The Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education (BS-ESE) at CFK provides an opportunity for aspiring educators to become Florida certified teachers ready to embark on rewarding, in-demand careers in K-12 schools. The degree program trains and educates individuals to assist and empower children with disabilities who need specially designed instruction and related services. Graduates of the program will be eligible to earn Florida Professional Teacher Certifications in Exceptional Student Education (ESE), Reading, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL).


Virtual Info Event - Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Education - June 28

Learn more about our new Bachelor of Science in Exceptional Student Education. Starting Fall 2023! Come to our virtual info session on June 28 at 5:30 p.m. Learn about:
* Coursework & field experience
* Program requirements
* Pre-Req Bootcamp (for those who have AA, but need EDF20025 & EEX2010)
* Steps to apply & enroll.

Criteria and Coursework

The BS-ESE follows a “2 + 2” model, in which a student first earns an Associate in Arts (A.A.) degree or equivalent from CFK or another accredited institution before applying to the bachelor’s degree program to complete two years of upper-level courses. In addition to an A.A., admission to the BS-ESE program requires students to have completed Introduction to the Teaching Profession (EDF2005) and Introduction to Special Education (EEX2010) with a C or higher. Students who start by earning an A.A. at CFK will work with their academic advisor to ensure they complete the two prerequisite courses required for admission to the BS-ESE. Students must also have a GPA of at least 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for the general education component of undergraduate studies.

BS-ESE graduates complete 120 credit hours, including their associate degree credits. The total comprises successful completion of 36 general education credit hours, 24 elective credit hours, and 60 upper-level ESE credit hours.

Courses includes but are not limited to:

• Classroom Management and Communication
• Integrated Technology in the Classroom
• Human Development and Learning
• Curriculum and Instruction for Students with Disabilities
• Educational Assessments for Exceptional Students
• Integrating Mathematics and Science
• Integrating Language Arts and Social Sciences
• Second Language Acquisition and Culture
• Capstone Experience (9-credit immersive experience in Monroe County School District schools)
• Seminar in Exceptional Student Education

Please consult the CFK College Catalog for full details pertaining to curriculum and requirements.

Career Outlook

Graduates of CFK’s BS-ESE program will be ready to elevate their career— with skillsets to lead diverse classrooms and make a difference in the lives of young learners. Preparation for professional teaching certificates in ESE, Reading, and ESOL are embedded in CFK’s program—adding value to the degree and a competitive edge to land the best jobs.

National, state, and local shortages of teachers are expected to persist— creating ongoing demand for credentialed teachers. These critically needed positions pay well. Salaries for local teaching positions start at approximately $60,000. Those with ESE credentials will be more likely to ascend to higher paying positions.

Partnership with Monroe County School District

This new bachelor’s degree was born through collaboration with Monroe County School District (MCSD) to help meet the need for credentialed K-12 teachers in the Florida Keys. Through their Grow Our Own initiative, MCSD is encouraging their paraprofessionals to pursue this opportunity. Their Para-to-Teacher Support Program offers up to $700 in tuition for each course the paraprofessional enrolls in that contributes to a baccalaureate degree in ESE.


The BS-ESE is pending approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and Teacher Preparation anticipated in July 2023.