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UCF - Graduate Program Handbooks 2015-2016

Program Info

Last Updated 2015-04-07

Exceptional Student Education K-12 MA



Together, the Graduate Student Handbook and your graduate program handbook should serve as your main guide throughout your graduate career. The Graduate Student Handbook includes university information, policies, requirements and guidance for all graduate students. Your program handbook describes the details about graduate study and requirements in your specific program. While both of these handbooks are wonderful resources, know that you are always welcome to talk with faculty and staff in your program and in the Graduate College.

The central activities and missions of a university rest upon the fundamental assumption that all members of the university community conduct themselves in accordance with a strict adherence to academic and scholarly integrity. As a graduate student and member of the university community, you are expected to display the highest standards of academic and personal integrity.

Here are some resources to help you better understand your responsibilities:



The Master of Arts (MA) in Exceptional Student Education K-12 program requires a minimum of 39 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree including 9 credit hours of required core courses, 21 credit hours of specialization courses, and 9 credit hours of Internship and Reading Practicum. Individual learning projects, including research skills and action research, are embedded in the specialization courses and completed in authentic settings. In addition, a culminating Comprehensive Exam will be completed to demonstrate mastery of research, knowledge, skills, and dispositions of standards from accrediting educational agencies. Students entering the MA program without prior related courses and/or appropriate teacher certifications may need to complete courses in the MA Foundation Core/Co-requisite area as prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation (ITP).

Foundation Core/Co-requisites

These foundation core/co-requisite courses are prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation (ITP). Students entering the Exceptional Student Education MA program without prior related courses and/or appropriate teacher certifications may need to complete courses in the Foundation Core/Co-requisite area.

If a student has successfully completed equivalent courses in the Foundation Core/Co-requisite area, as prescribed by Florida State Statutes for initial teacher preparation, then course waivers can be requested (see adviser).

  • EEX 5051 Exceptional Children in the Schools (3 credit hours). Students are strongly advised to enroll in EEX 5051 early in their graduate program.
  • EDF 6727 Critical Analysis of Social, Ethical, Legal, and Safety Issues Related to Education (3 credit hours)
  • EDG 6415 Principles of Instruction and Classroom Management (3 credit hours)
  • EDF 6237 Principles of Learning and Introduction to Classroom Assessment (3 credit hours)
  • RED 5147 Developmental Reading (3 credit hours)
  • RED 5517 Classroom Diagnosis (3 credit hours). Please note that RED 5517 is currently not available online.

Required Courses—30 Credit Hours

Core—9 Credit Hours

  • EDF 6481 Fundamentals of Graduate Research in Education (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 5085 Teaching Language Minority Students in K-12 Classrooms (3 credit hours)
  • TSL 6250 Applied Linguistics in ESOL (3 credit hours)

TSL 5085 and TSL 6250 are required courses leading to ESOL endorsement. Students should see an adviser if they hold a current ESOL endorsement.

Specialization—21 Credit Hours

  • EEX 6061 Instructional Strategies PreK-6 (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6065 Programming for Students with Disabilities at the Secondary Level (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6107 Teaching Spoken and Written Language (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6295 Assessment and Curriculum Prescriptions for the Exceptional Population (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6524 Organization and Collaboration in Special Ed (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6612 Methods of Behavioral Management (3 credit hours)
  • EEX 6342 Seminar: Cricial Issues in Special Education (3 credit hours)

Internship and Practicum—9 Credit Hours

  • EEX 6946 Graduate Internship: ESE (6 credit hours)
  • RED 5948 Practicum in Reading Assessment and Instruction (3 credit hours)

Additional Graduation Requirements

  • Pass all applicable sections of the Florida Teacher Certification Examination. See or for additional information about test dates and resources.
  • Pass Comprehensive Exam.
  • Complete a LiveText Professional Portfolio.
  • Complete a TESOL Portfolio.
  • Compliance with all university and graduate student policies.

NOTE: Effective January 1, 2015, only examination results earned by educators within 10 years prior to the date of application for a new Florida Educator’s Certificate with the Florida Department of Education may be acceptable for certification eligibility requirements (SBR 6A-4.002).


Course Schedule

The Exceptional Student Education program is a ESOL Endorsement Program, for more information, please visit:

Graduate Research

UCF has three fundamental responsibilities with regard to graduate student research. They are to (1) support an academic environment that stimulates the spirit of inquiry, (2) develop the intellectual property stemming from research, and (3) disseminate the intellectual property to the general public. Students are responsible for being informed of rules, regulations and policies pertaining to research. Below are some general policies and resources.

Research Policies and Ethics Information: UCF's Office of Research & Commercialization ensures the UCF community complies with local, state and federal regulations that relate to research. For polices including required Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval when conducting research involving human subjects (e.g. surveys), animal research, conflict of interest and general responsible conduct of research, please see their website: > Compliance.

UCF’s Patent and Invention Policy: In most cases, UCF owns the intellectual property developed using university resources. The graduate student as inventor will according to this policy share in the proceeds of the invention. Please see the current UCF Graduate Catalog for details: > Policies > General Graduate Policies.


Financial Support

Financial Support

Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see Financing Grad School, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.

Key points about financial support:

  • If you're interested in financial assistance, you're strongly encouraged to apply for admission early. A complete application for admission, including all supporting documents, must be received by the priority date listed for your program under "Admissions."

    b. You must be admitted to a graduate program before the university can consider awarding financial assistance to you.

  • If you want to be considered for loans and other need-based financial assistance, review the UCF Student Financial Assistance website at and complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form, which is available online at Apply early and allow up to six weeks for the FAFSA form to be processed.

  • UCF Graduate Studies awards university graduate fellowships, with most decisions based on nominations from the colleges and programs. All admitted graduate students are automatically considered in this nomination process. To be eligible for a fellowship, students must be accepted as a graduate student in a degree program and be enrolled full-time. To receive need-based fellowship awards, the student must have demonstrated need as determined by FAFSA. Merit fellowship awards are not affected by FAFSA determination of need.

  • Please note that select fellowships do require students to fill out a fellowship application (either a university fellowship application, an external fellowship application, or a college or school fellowship application).

  • For information on assistantships (including teaching, research, and general graduate assistantships) or tuition support, contact the graduate program director of your major.


Graduate Student Associations

The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is UCF's graduate organization committed to enrich graduate students' personal, educational and professional experience. To learn more or get involved, please visit For individual department or graduate program organizations, please see program advisor.

Professional Development

Instructor Training and Development

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning (FCTL) promotes excellence in all levels of teaching at the University of Central Florida. They offer several programs for the professional development of Graduate Teaching Assistants at UCF.

  • GTA Training (mandatory for employment as a GTA)
    This training provides information and resources for students who will be instructors in a two-day workshop. The seminars cover a variety of topics, including course development, learning theories, lecturing, and academic freedom. Those interested in additional training can also attend an optional training session that normally follows the mandatory training.

  • Preparing Tomorrow's Faculty Program
    This certificate program (12-weeks) consists of group and individualized instruction by Faculty Center staff and experienced UCF professors. Textbooks and materials are provided.

For more information: > Events > GTA Programs or call 407-823-3544.

Pathways to Success Workshops

Coordinated by the College of Graduate Studies, the Pathways to Success program offers free development opportunities for graduate students including workshops in Academic Integrity, Graduate Grantsmanship, Graduate Teaching, Personal Development, Professional Development, and Research. For more information and how to register, please visit

Graduate Research Forum

The Graduate Research Forum will feature poster displays representing UCF’s diverse colleges and disciplines. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their research and creative projects and to receive valuable feedback from faculty judges. Awards for best poster presentation in each category will be given and all participants will receive recognition.

The College of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Student Association invite all UCF students, community, and employers to attend the Graduate Research Forum. For more information, contact

Graduate Excellence Awards

Each year, the College of Graduate Studies offers graduate students who strive for academic and professional excellence the opportunity to be recognized for their work. The award categories include the following:

Award for Excellence by a Graduate Teaching Assistant – This award is for students who provide teaching support and assistance under the direction of a lead teacher. This award focuses on the extent and quality of the assistance provided by the student to the lead instructor and the students in the class. (Not intended for students who are instructor of record)

Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Teaching – This award is for students who serve as instructors of record and have independent classroom responsibilities. The focus of this award is on the quality of the student’s teaching and the academic contributions of those activities.

Award for the Outstanding Master’s Thesis – It recognizes graduate students for excellence in the master's thesis. The focus of this award is on the quality and contribution of the student's thesis research. Excellence of the master's thesis may be demonstrated by evidence such as, but not limited to: publications in refereed journals, awards and recognitions from professional organizations, and praise from faculty members and other colleagues in the field. The university award will be forwarded to a national-level competition sponsored by the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) when the thesis discipline corresponds to the annual submission request.

For the nomination process and eligibility criteria, see the College of Graduate Studies website


Students should take opportunities to present a poster or a topic of research at a conference. To obtain financial support to present at a conference (other than through your program) or to engage in comparable creative activity at a professional meeting, visit the Graduate Travel Fellowship section at

For information about the Council of Southern Graduate Schools (CSGS) thesis and dissertation awards, see their website: > Awards.


Job Search

UCF’s Career Services department offers a wide range of programs and services designed to assist graduate students. These services include evaluation and exploration of career goals, preparation for the job search and job search resources. To learn more, visit their website at

For specific services or resources provided by the academic program, please contact the graduate program director or academic advisor.



  • College of Graduate Studies Forms
    A listing of forms and files for the College of Graduate Studies.
  • Graduate Petition Form
    When unusual situations arise, petitions for exceptions to policy may be requested by the student. Depending on the type of appeal, the student should contact his/her program adviser to begin the petition process.
  • Traveling Scholar Form
    Required form of graduate students who would like to take advantage of resources available on another campus, but not available at UCF; for example, special course offerings, research opportunities, unique laboratories and library collections.