Prepare to help exceptional children succeed: you’ll do that here.

The Exceptional Child program in mild/moderate cross categorical prepares you to work with students who have exceptional learning needs. These exceptional children need teachers with specialized skillsets. You’ll have multiple field-based courses where you will work in K-12 classrooms.

What You’ll Do

The Exceptional Child Ed program prepares students for the classroom through coursework on campus and field work within schools. In addition, you’ll be prepared to integrate technology into your classroom as a beginning teacher.

  • Be prepared and certified to teach and work with students with exceptional learning needs in K-12.
  • Add an additional certification in Elementary Education (grades 1-6).
  • Gain leadership skills in numerous student organizations.
  • Experience hands-on, real-world learning through multiple field experiences in classrooms as well as student teaching opportunities abroad including our partnership with Eagles College in Iquique, Chile.

What Can You Do with an Exceptional Child Education: Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Degree?

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time. 

Education Careers Outlook

  • Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical was the highest teacher shortage area in Missouri in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Exceptional Child Education: Mild / Moderate Cross Categorical graduates with add-on certification in Elementary Education find jobs as special education teachers in the elementary, middle or secondary grades, as well as general elementary teachers in public or private schools.
  • First-year teachers report feeling well-prepared by SoutheasMissouri State University on our annual survey of first-year teachers.
  • Principals report Exceptional Child Education graduates are well-prepared as beginning teachers on our annual survey about first-year teachers.

Exceptional Child Education: Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

Outcomes & Careers 

  • $68k 

    Elementary Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for an elementary school teacher is $68,000. 





  • $67k

    Middle School Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a middle school teacher is $67,790. 





  • $74k

    Special Education Teacher

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for a special education teacher is $74,310. 

What You'll Study

Degree Map

As an exceptional child education: mild/moderate cross categorical major, you’ll learn to meet the rigor of teacher education in a supportive environment with faculty who have extensive classroom experience themselves. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

Elementary Education students must be admitted to the Educator Preparation Program prior to enrolling in upper division (300 level or above) education courses.

Professional Education Requirements:

  • BS118 Process Science Elementary Teachers (1)
  • CF233 Creative Thought & Expression in Children (3)
  • ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession (3)
  • EF400 Student Teaching Seminar (1)
  • ED506 Education Law and Society (3)
  • EL274 Diversity in American Schools (3)
  • EL300 Instructional and Assistive Technology in a Universally Designed Learning Environment (3)
  • EL314 Literacy Field Experience (3)
  • EL316 Emergent and Early Literacy Instruction (3)
  • EL317 Literacy Methods for Elementary Teachers (3)
  • EL354 Meeting the Needs of Struggling Readers (3)
  • EL355 Content & Disciplinary Literacy (3)
  • EL360 Integrated Math, Science, Social Sciences, Health Instruction (3)
  • EL420 Assessment & Data Analysis (3)
  • EN140 Rhetoric & Critical Thinking (3)
  • EX302 Language Development of Children with Exceptionalities (3)
  • EX304 Classroom & Behavior Management (3)
  • EX305 Content Area Teaching: Learning and Transitioning for Secondary Students with Exceptionalities (5)
  • EX309 Field Experience in the Education of Students with Exceptionalities in Middle/Secondary Settings (3)
  • EX311 Introduction to Children with Exceptionalities (3)
  • EX312 Diagnosis and Remediation of Math Difficulties (3)
  • EX317 Assessment and Techniques of Teaching Children with Exceptionalities (3)
  • EX373 Strategies and Techniques with a Learning Theory Base for Teaching Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical (3)
  • EX409 Advanced Field Experience in the Education of Students with Exceptionalities in Elementary Settings (3)
  • EX480 Exceptional Child Education Student Teaching (12)
  • EX507 Families and the Child with Exceptionalities (3)
  • LI243 Children’s Literature (3)
  • MA128 Numbers and Operations for Educators (4)*
  • MA228 Geometry for Educators (4)
  • PY/CF120 The Child (3)

A grade of ‘C’ or better is required in education courses. A grade of ‘B’ is required in ED280.

Additional Requirements:

Some courses may also meet General Education requirements.

  • BS218 Biological Science: A Process Approach (3)
  • EC101 Economic Problems and Policies (3)
  • EN100 English Composition I (3)
  • PH218 Physical Science: A Process Approach (3)
  • PS103 U.S. Political Systems (3)
  • SC105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication (3)
  • UI308 Physical & Cultural Landscapes (3)
  • US105 American History I (3)

NOTE: All pre-education courses are prerequisites to all Education courses.

NOTE: This program includes the coursework for add-on certification in Elementary Education (1st–6th grades).

*Students who score less than 22 on the ACT math subscore must also take MA018 lab support

  • 42 credit hours completed

    One of the following:

    • Composite/Superscore of 20 or higher on the ACT exam
    • Composite score of 1040 or higher on the SAT exam
    • Score of 220 or higher on the Paraprofessional exam
    • Passing scores on all sections of the Missouri General Education Assessment (MoGEA)
    • A 4-year degree from an accredited college/university
  • The following course requirements met:
    • A grade of C or above in CF/PY120 The Child.
    • A grade of B or above in ED280 Introduction to Education as a Profession.
  • International Students must also meet the following requirements:
    • C1 (CEFR) level
    • IELTS minimum score of 7.0 or TOEFL minimum score of 95
    • Note: This policy is for non-United States citizens who are not native English speakers. Students from the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are exempt from English proficiency verification

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

  • GPA: 3.0 professional education
  • Pass the following Missouri Content Assessments: 050 Mild/Moderate Cross Categorical, 073-074 Elementary Education Multi-Content
  • Complete all required course work and field experiences

  • Early – explore the role of educators before you commit to the degree 
  • Mid-level – exceptional child: mild/moderate cross categorical education majors do field experiences with elementary, middle/high school aged students; field experiences are connected to education coursework. 
  • Student Teaching – semester long, co-teaching capstone experience in a K-12 special education classroom.

Freshman Year 

Fall Semester (12 Hours) 
  • UI100 (1) 
  • EN100 (3) 
  • BS118 (1) 
  • MA128 (4) 
  • SC105 (3) 
Spring Semester (15 Hours) 
  • BS218 (3) 
  • ED280 (3) 
  • EN140 (3) 
  • PY/CF120 (3) 
  • US105 (3) 

Sophomore Year 

Fall Semester (16 Hours) 
  • EC101 (3) 
  • EL274 (3) 
  • MA228 (4) 
  • PH218 (3) 
  • PS103 (3) 
Spring Semester (15 Hours) 
  • CF233 (3) 
  • EL300 (3) 
  • EX311 (3) 
  • LI243 (3) 
  • UI308 (3)

Milestone: Passing score MoGEA or ACT 

Junior Year 

Fall Semester (18 Hours) 
Literacy Block
  • EL314 (3) 
  • EL316 (3) 
  • EL317 (3) 
  • EX302 (3) 
  • EX304 (3)
  • EX312 (3)
Spring Semester (18 Hours) 
Content Block
  • EL355 (3) 
  • EL360 (3) 
  • EX305 (3) 
  • EX309 (3) 
  • EX317 (3) 
  • EX373 (3) 

Milestone: 3.0 GPA in professional education courses 

Senior Year 

Fall Semester (15 Hours) 
Advanced Block 
  • ED506 (3)
  • EL354 (3) 
  • EL420 (3) 
  • EX409 (3) 
  • EX507 (3)
Spring Semester (13 Hours) 
Student Teaching Block 
  • EF400 (1) 
  • EL480 (12) 

Milestone: Passing score MO Content Exams; Passing score on MEES; 3.0 GPA in Education and content courses. 

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.


Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation Logo

Technology in the Classroom

Southeast has started an EDvolution. It’s our tech-ready promise to prepare majors to use and integrate instructional technology in the classroom, so students can do so seamlessly in their classrooms as beginning teachers. All students in Educator Preparation Programs must have a device, i.e. laptop, iPad, for use during the program.

  • Tech for You: become a better student with technology
  • Tech for Us: learn how to teach with technology
  • Tech for Them: use technology in your field experiences

Tomorrow’s Teachers Learning Community

As an elementary, early, and special education major, you can choose to participate in Tomorrow’s Teachers Learning Community. This is Special Interest Housing comprised of groups of students with a shared academic interest either on the same floor or within the same residence hall. These communities provide students an opportunity to challenge and shape their personal and professional identities. They build community with programming designed by faculty and staff from their academic area and Residence Life staff. It gives you the opportunity to know, support, and collaborate with others to help in your academic and personal success.

Office Location
Scully Building, 313
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 5575
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701