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Make an impact in the lives of students with special needs.

The M.A. in Exceptional Child Education is designed to give general teachers tools and methods to help students with special needs in their classroom, and deepen the teaching skills and knowledge of special education teachers. Although this program does lead to an initial teaching certificate, it does offer an add-on Missouri teaching certificate in Early Childhood Special Education.  

Since Southeast has been preparing educators since 1873, you can feel confident in our history, our reputation, and our accreditation. We're fully accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.  

What to Expect

As an exceptional child education major, you’ll be able to customize your degree to your interests and needs with three emphasis areas: mild/moderate cross-categorical, autism, and early childhood special education. More specifically, you’ll have the opportunity to: 

  • Work with an advisor with expertise in your area of study. 
  • Conduct research relating to challenges you face in your own teaching. 
  • Earn additional Southeast certificates in Autism Spectrum Disorder or Missouri teaching certificate in Early Childhood Special Education.  

College of Education, Health and Human Studies

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is housed within the College of Education, Health and Human Studies. The college boasts programs that train students in mind, body, and soul. So, whether you want to teach, to care, to support, or to fix, we have a program to get you there.

Online Learning at Southeast

When it comes to your success, we do whatever it takes. Online learning at Southeast takes the same reputable college courses taught by Southeast faculty and makes them available anytime, anywhere.

Assistant Professor and MA in Exceptional Child Program Coordinator for the Department of Exceptional Child Education & Elementary Education

"Stephen King once said, ‘We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why…’ When I teach I always remember the future of the world is in the hands of the students in my classroom today. "

Dr. Dixie McCollum

Headshot of Dr. Dixie McCollum

Exceptional Child Curriculum

The time it takes to earn a degree will vary based on factors such as dual enrollment, remediation, and summer enrollment. Students meet with an academic advisor each semester and use Degree Works to monitor their progress.

  • An undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
  • A valid professional teaching certificate OR a qualifying score on the state content exam appropriate for that certificate OR be in the 50th percentile verbal and analytic components of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Note: This program does not lead to initial teacher licensure.
The program admission process must be completed within one calendar year. Failure to do so will result in reclassification as a non-degree student. Reinstatement to degree-seeing status will require a new application for admission. Courses taken prior to full admission will not necessarily be accepted toward meeting degree requirements.

EXCEPTIONAL CHILD - 30 hours – 3.25 GPA required for graduation

  • EL 615 Research in Action (3)
  • EX 601 Educational Assessment (3)
  • GR 698 Master's Final Comprehensive Exam (0)
    Choose 3 hours:
  • CE 614 Family / School Collaboration (3)
  • EX 507 The Family and the Exceptional Child (3)

    Choose one Emphasis Area:

    Autism Emphasis

  • EX 555 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EX 556 Communication Interventions and Strategies for Individuals with Autism
    Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EX 557 Behavior Management and Interventions for Individuals with Autism
    Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EX 558 Research Autism Spectrum Disorders (3)
  • EX 691 Transition Planning for Individuals with Exceptional Learning Needs (3)
  • EX 693 Special Education and the Law (3)

    Choose 3 hours:

  • EX 618/EX 619 Introduction to Children with Exceptionalities (2)/Introduction to
    Mild Moderate Cross Categorical Internship (1)
  • EX 621/EX 622 Behavior Intervention Strategies (2)/ Behavior Intervention
    Strategies Internship (1)

    Early Childhood Special Education Emphasis:

  • CE 530 Foundation of Early Childhood and Special Education (3)
  • CE 605 Issues and Trends in Early Childhood Education (3)
  • CE 634 Assessing Young Children's Learning and Development (3)
  • EX 693 Special Education and the Law (3)

    Choose three hours:

  • EX 555 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EL 648 Dyslexia and Reading Disabilities (3)

    Choose three hours:

  • EX 556 Communication Interventions and Strategies for Individuals with Autism
    Spectrum Disorder (3)
  • EX 602 Language Acquisition for the Child with Exceptionalities (3)

    Choose three hours:

  • EX 557 Behavior Management and Interventions for Individuals with Autism
    Spectrum Disorder (3)
    OR
  • EX 621 Behavior Intervention Strategies (2)
    AND
  • EX 622 Behavior Intervention Strategies Internship (1)

    Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical Emphasis:

  • EL 606 Curriculum Construction in a Multicultural Society (3)
  • EX 602 Language Acquisition of Exceptional Children (3)
  • EX 618 Introduction to Children with Exceptionalities (2)
  • EX 619 Introduction to Mild/Moderate Cross-Cat Intern (1)
  • EX 621 Behavior Intervention Strategies (2)
  • EX 622 Behavior Intervention Strategies Intern (1)
  • EX 652 Techniques of Teaching the Mild/Moderate Cross-Categorical (3)
  • EX 691 Transition Planning for Individuals with Exceptional Learning Needs (3)
  • EX 693 Special Education and the Law (3)

  • The Autism Spectrum Disorder and Early Childhood Special Education emphasis areas require a practicum course that may be completed in a variety of settings, such as the Southeast Autism Center or the students’ school district’s early childhood special education program. 
  • The Autism certificate is a 15-credit hour transcripted certificate and is included as a part of the Autism emphasis area. 
  • The Early Childhood Special Education emphasis area offers a MO teaching certificate in Early Childhood Special Education for graduate students who already possess an Early Childhood Education certificate. In addition to the coursework, students must pass the Missouri Content Assessment: Early Childhood Special Education to earn the MO teaching certificate. This exam is not required for the master’s degree. 

  • EX 556, EX 557, EX 558 (pre-requisite – EX 555 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder)
  • EL 615 Research in Action (pre-requisite - EX 601 Educational Assessment)
  • GR 698 Action Research Project (pre-requisite - EL 615 Research in Action)

Become a Redhawk.

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

"I am excited about the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives through education. The training I have received has been phenomenal."

 - Christi Williams, '17, Elementary and Exceptional Child Education

Accreditations

  • Apple Distinguished School logo
  • CAEP (Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation) logo
  • An Affiliate of naeyc logo

Getting the Job

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.

Online: Exceptional Child Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree

What Can You Do with a M.A. in Exceptional Child Education?

Earning a master’s degree in exceptional child education prepares you to understand and support students with special needs through interventions and assessments. This degree can also cover continuing education requirements. 

You’ll be prepared to take on roles such as: 

  • Autism Consultant 
  • Early Childhood Functional Skills Teacher 
  • Director of Inclusive Programs 

Exceptional Child Education by the Numbers

  • 100%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Elementary, Early, and Special Education report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $68K

    Preschool Special Education Teachers

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for Preschool special education teachers is $68,110.

  • 2

    National Recognitions

    The College of Education has received national recognition for excellence from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), & Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).

Phone
Advising
(573) 651-5184
Location
Office Location
Kent Library 309
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 4610
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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