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The Graduate School

Teaching Exceptional Student Education



The Masters of Arts in Teaching Exceptional Student Education (ESE) at UNF is designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree in a non-teaching related field or who have a temporary ESE teaching certificate who wish to teach students with disabilities. Upon successful completion of the program graduates will be eligible to apply for an initial professional teaching license with ESOL and Reading endorsements. 

This program brings individuals with life experiences into the classroom and addresses the needs of ESE teacher candidates to ensure they have the skills necessary to work with students with disabilities (eligible under any of the 13 disability categories) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Critical ESE pedagogy addressed in coursework will include:
  1. high leverage practices in special education,
  2. universal design for learning,
  3. special education law,
  4. positive behavior supports, and
  5. data driven instruction.
Course work will be scaffolded through field work (e.g., assignments designed in courses will be implemented in the field under the direction of mentors and field supervisors) to ensure students develop the knowledge and practices needed for educator certification in the state of Florida as measured by the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPs).

Funding Opportunities

Jacksonville Teacher Residency
There may be a stipend available during the MAT ESE. For individuals who are interested in additional funding and can commit to teaching in Duval county for 3 years after graduation, please refer to our JTR website for additional information. 

The Para-to-Teacher Tuition Support Program provides financial assistance for paraprofessionals who are currently working in Florida’s public schools to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching ESE. Upon completion of the program, participants agree to fulfill a service obligation and teach students with disabilities in a Florida public school.

Application Deadlines

Summer Term . . . April 15

Graduate Program Director

Dr. Jennifer Kilpatrick
Associate Instructor
(904) 620-2930

The following items must be submitted no later then the deadline posted above. Incomplete applications with outstanding requirements, or those post-marked after the posted deadline, are subject to cancellation. Once an application has been canceled, the decision can not be reversed. Applicants may apply for the next application cycle.

  • UNF admission application
  • Application fee
  • If applicable, collection holds and judicial holds must be cleared
  • All of the below university and program requirements
  • University Requirements
    • A baccalaureate degree from an accepted institutional accreditor, or its equivalent from a foreign institution, with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all work attempted in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate study.
    • Transcripts, and foreign evaluations if applicable, from all post-secondary institutions attended. Admitted students will be prompted to provide official copies. 
  • Program Requirements
    • Two letters of recommendation
    • Potential students must have a bachelors degree. This program is designed for individuals who received a degree in a non-educational field and want to teach in the ESE field.