Program Overview

The University of West Florida offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Exceptional Student Education ESE/ESOL/Reading. There is a critical need for teachers in the state of Florida, including the areas of middle school mathematics and science, reading, technology, and exceptional student education. This degree can be obtained after 77 credit hours and can be completed entirely online.

Students who are interested in this program are assigned to an Exceptional Student/Elementary/ESOL/Reading Education Pending major until they meet with an advisor in the department and complete certain requirements. These requirements include the following, students must: be admitted into the University as a degree-seeking undergraduate student, complete the separate School of Education application, provide passing scores on all parts of the Florida Department of Education General Knowledge Exam, have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on a 4.0 scale, and complete a self-rating scale.

Once accepted into the program, students must complete a variety of courses. Within the program there are 9 credit hours of required pre-requisites, 56 credit hours in required core classes, and 12 credit hours to complete student teaching and the senior seminar. That is a total of 77 credit hours to complete the program.

Upon completion of this program, graduates of this specialization will be eligible for Florida DOE Certification in both ESE and Elementary Education with ESOL and Reading Endorsements. Teachers graduating from this program are classified as "highly qualified" based on the No Child Left Behind Act. Students must successfully complete the Florida Teacher Certification Exam in Exceptional Student Education, Elementary Education, General Knowledge, and Professional Education and participate in field experiences at their location in order to earn this degree and be certified in the state of Florida. Once certified with the Florida DOE certification, students are eligible to teach throughout the nation.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Bachelor

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

    This is a Florida Department of Education (DOE) and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) approved undergraduate degree program in Exceptional Student Education with ESOL and Reading Endorsements designed to prepare students who plan to teach children and youth especially those with exceptionalities.


    Students must provide passing scores on all parts of the Florida Department of Education General Knowledge Exam.


    Reciprocity with several other states means the Florida DOE certification is valuable throughout the nation. Students must check with individual state boards of education for reciprocity.

    School Overview

    The University of West Florida, also known as UWF, is a public university located on a 1,600 acre campus in Pensacola, Florida, and was founded in 1967. UWF is Northwest Florida’s only regional comprehensive four year university, and is a research university that specializes in the humanities and engineering. UWF is a member of the State University System of Florida, and is the State University System’s third largest campus. The mission of UWF is "to give students access to top quality, relevant, affordable educational experiences, and to use teaching, research, public service and scholarship to transmit, discover and apply knowledge."

    UWF offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees from the following academic units: 

    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • College of Professional Studies
    • College of Business

    UWF also has an online campus that offers undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs that are offered entirely online.


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