Program Description

The Master of Arts: Exceptional Child Education is ideal for busy teachers wanting to further their education. As a degree that is entirely online, it allows for flexibility, convenience, and an ability to to learn at one's own pace. Interested candidates will have the opportunity to choose between these three areas of emphasis: 

  • Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical
  • Autism
  • Early Childhood Special Education


Unique Features

  • Southeast is fully accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and the National Council for the accreditation of Teacher Education.
  • The College of Education has received national recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), and the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).
  • The program is designed for someone who does not have an undergraduate degree in education or a teaching certificate. It leads to an initial teaching certificate in Early Childhood Special Education (birth-3rd Grade).
  • This program has 33 credit hours of coursework. Additionally, it not only allows for general education teachers to become skilled in working with those who have special needs, but allows Special Education teachers to deepen their skills and knowledge.
  • Teachers have the opportunity to become certified in Early Childhood Special Education.

While this program does not lead to an initial teaching certificate, it does allow candidates to "add on" certification in Early Childhood Education. 

Admissions Requirements

  • Teaching certificate or a qualifying score on the Missouri Content Assessment (MoCA), 
    Place in the 50th percentile of the Verbal and Analytic components of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or the Millers Analogy Test (MAT).
  • Undergraduate grade point average must be at or above a 2.75. 

exceptional childView Degree Map

Internships & Career Opportunities

  • Early Childhood Education Specialist
  • Day Care Director for Preschool Programs
  • Preschool and Nursery Center Director
  • Early Childhood Special Education Teacher


Costs at Southeast