Exceptional Student Education, B.A.

The Exceptional Student and Elementary Education program at UWF is designed to prepare highly effective graduates with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experiences to become empowered professional educators who can make a difference in the lives of students with special needs.

Exceptional Student Education

Program Description

The Exceptional Student and Elementary Education program is a fully accredited online program that prepares teachers who are uniquely able to set high learning expectations and address diverse individual learning needs. Upon graduation from this program, students are eligible for a Professional Florida Educator’s Certificate in Exceptional Student Education (K-12) as well as Elementary Education (K-6) with endorsements in both Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).

Special educators must be skilled in selecting and implementing research-supported instructional practices for students with disabilities, whether in the general education classroom or solely in special education settings.

Eligibility for initial educator certification in most states is based on completion of a state approved educator preparation program. This program is approved in Florida. Even though you may be residing in Washington while in this program, your application for educator certification in Washington will be processed as an out–of–state application. Go to http://pathway.pesb.wa.gov/outofstate for more information. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for teacher advancement.

Career Opportunities

  •  Public School Teacher (K-12)
  •  Private School Teacher (K-12)
  •  International Teacher (K-12)
  •  Supplemental Education Services Provider

Department Contact

Teacher Education and Educational Leadership
University of West Florida
Building 85, Room 196
Pensacola, FL 32514

Catalog Description
Department's Website

Field Experiences

The Exceptional Student and Elementary Education degree program includes two 100-hour field experiences in K-12 classrooms under the careful supervision of an experienced teacher prior to their capstone experience, Student Teaching.

Field experiences are designed for UWF students to observe effective teaching practices and deepen their knowledge base related to content, the learner and learning, instructional practice, and professional responsibility. Students develop their planning and instructional skills as they tutor individual and small groups of K-12 students, and provide whole group instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies.

Field experience 2 also includes an emphasis on teaching English Language Learners. Student teaching is the capstone experience for students in the Exceptional Student and Elementary Education program. During the semester-long experience, students gradually assume full teaching responsibilities in a general or special education classroom with the guidance and support of an experienced teacher. They demonstrate that they can effectively provide all students with rigorous standards-based instruction, and are prepared for their first teaching position.


A limited number of year-long paid internships in high-need Escambia County schools are available each year for exemplary students. These internships fulfill the student teaching requirement.

Internship form: Teacher Education and Educational Leadership


Related Pages

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