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Elementary Education/Exceptional Student Education - B.S. Ed.

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Inclusiveness is at the heart of our education mission. This means learning to teach in a way that includes and builds on the cultural, linguistic, and individual skills of all children, with an emphasis on their learning strengths. Our dual certification program, which also includes endorsements in Reading and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), ensures that teachers are prepared to meet the unique learning needs of all students. The Elementary/Exceptional Student Education major leads to eligibility for State of Florida certification in both Elementary (K-6) and Exceptional Student Education (K-12). The first of its kind in Florida, this program prepares teachers for the 21st century classroom, in which students of varying (dis)abilities, academic strengths, and linguistic backgrounds are educated together. 

Most of the courses in this traditional four-year program are taught by faculty who are active researchers in their field. This expertise gives students direct access to current research and best practices founded on knowledge constructed in part through the research efforts of TAL faculty. Ultimately, when faculty are at the forefront of innovation and best practices in education, students benefit.   

Of the 14 TAL courses required for the major, 10 of them include hands-on teaching experiences in classroom settings across Miami-Dade County Public Schools (MDCPS), including well-resourced and under-resourced schools, urban and suburban locations, and charter, private, and public schools. Across settings, these hand-selected schools provide the ideal setting for a dynamic collaboration that transforms educational theory into practice. Given that MDCPS is the fourth largest school district in the nation, students have the opportunity to work with a diverse student body consisting of children whose families speak over 100 different home languages. This district provides a rich environment for UM students to engage in practical teaching experiences informed by culturally responsive pedagogy under the guidance of mentor teachers in the district.  

In short, our rigorous Elementary Education/Exceptional Student Education program produces graduates who are well qualified to meet the educational needs of diverse learners, and who are highly sought after for job opportunities upon graduation.


Program Contact

Dominic Castillejo
SR. Advisor
Academic Services

(305) 284-5990