Elementary/Special Education (B.S.)

The Elementary/Special Education (ESE) program prepares the candidate to provide educational services for all students in grades P-5, including those with disabilities whose Individualized Education Program (IEP) indicates instruction using the general education curriculum. The program is offered as day and online/weekend.


* The Teacher Education Program adheres to state and national accrediting board policies that govern Middle Georgia State University's Teacher Education Programs. All governing state and national policies will be applied  in tandem withMGA policy therein.

ESE Admission Requirements

Admission into the Elementary/Special Education Program is granted on a space available basis. To be considered for admission, students must:


  1. Be admitted to Middle Georgia State University in good academic standing. Disciplinary action at Middle Georgia State University and/or any other institution that the student has attended or while in the military may prevent admission.
  2. Submit a program admission packet online at education@mga.edu. Program admission packets are found on the School of Education & Behavioral Science website. Priority deadlines are posted on the School of Education & Behavioral Sciences website.
  3. Provide a clear criminal background check and proof of completion of the Georgia Educator Ethics Entry Assessment (Test Code 360). Information regarding both will be provided in the admission packet.
  4. Complete all core requirements of the program of study.
  5. Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher on all courses to include transfer, transient, or taken as a part of a prior degree.
  6. Provide threeletters of academic or professional recommendation.
  7. Be available during regular school day hours for internship, clinical experiences, and special program-based events.
  8. Transfer students may be eligible for admission without having satisfied the Middle Georgia State University Area B requirement. Exceptions will be made at the discretion of the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work.
  9. The Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will request a Pre-Service Certificate from the Georgia Professional Standards Commission (GaPSC) for the prospective candidate. The decision to issue the Pre-Service Certificate resides solely with GaPSC. If a student cannot obtain a GaPSC certificate, acceptance into this program will be revoked.
  10. Upon receipt of a copy of the Pre-Service Certificate by the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work the prospective candidate will be notified in writing by the department of their acceptance.
  11. Upon acceptance, students are referred to as “teacher candidates”.
  12. Upon acceptance teacher candidates must present proof of having liability insurance. Instructions will be provided as to how to obtain this coverage.
  13. Teacher candidates must sign their program of study. Teacher candidates are required to follow the program of study as prepared by the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work. Deviations from that program without prior consent from the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will result in dismissal from the Teacher Education Program.
  14. Applicants applying to the online/weekend track, who are currently employed as paraprofessionals must obtain a signed letter of support from their principal.


ESE Academic Progression and Completion

Teacher candidates must meet the following requirements to remain in the ESE program:


  1. Per semester, maintain an overall cumulative GPA of 2.75 or greater in all courses in the major.
  2. A grade of “B” or better is required in all upper division field/clinical courses. If a passing grade is not earned, the teacher candidate will not be allowed to continue in the program.
  3. Earn a grade no lower than a “B” in SPED 3110.
  4. Earn a grade no lower than a “C” in all upper division courses.
  5. Teacher candidate may retake only one upper level course. Teacher candidates will be placed on probation (with an action plan) until a passing grade is earned. See numbers 2 and 3 above.
  6. Pass all key assessments with an 80% mastery.
  7. Provide evidence of attempting the GACE Content Assessment (resulting in an official score on all parts of the assessment) prior to the end of the semester while enrolled in Clinical Practice II.
  8. Maintain professional liability insurance. Teacher candidates must hold a valid Pre-Service Certificate for the duration of the program.
  9. Adhere to all policies and codes of personal, academic, and professional conduct which originate with the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work, School of Education & Behavioral Sciences, Middle Georgia State University, the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and associated Boards of Education and other accrediting bodies.


NOTE: Should a teacher candidate complete all program requirements and the EPP determines that a candidate needs to increase competency in any area--knowledge, pedagogy, or dispositions--the EPP can request the completion of additional work before the teacher candidate will be declared a program completer.


Transferring Within the Program

Prior approval is required for a teacher candidate to transfer between campuses and/or program delivery options.


Certification Requirements

Upon receipt of the MGA Official Transcript with the degree awarded and earning passing scores on the following assessments, the Teacher Education Program will recommend the candidate for certification.


  1. Appropriate GACE content exams (003G & 004G)
  2. Clinical II Key Assessment 


The decision to issue the Certificate of Eligibility resides solely with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission.

ESE Probation Policy

The Department of Teacher Education & Social Work reviews each teacher candidate’s record at the end of each semester. When a teacher candidate’s cumulative GPA falls below 2.75, the teacher candidate will be placed on probation within the Teacher Education Program. The office of the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will inform the teacher candidate and the candidate's advisor of this action in writing.

Placement on probation means that the teacher candidate is scholastically deficient and is continuing his or her education with the understanding that he or she must improve the level of work and meet the conditions of probation set by the Teacher Education Program. Teacher candidates on probation shall meet with their academic candidate’s advisor to devise a plan of action to be approved by the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work to include minimally monthly meetings with their academic candidate’s advisor/course instructor.

The teacher candidate will be removed from probation in the Teacher Education Program if he or she is making satisfactory progress at the end of the probationary period. The office of the Chair of the Department of Teacher Education & Social Work will inform the teacher candidate and candidate’s advisor of this action. If a teacher candidate has not met the terms of satisfactory academic progress at the end of the probationary period, the teacher candidate will be dismissed from the Teacher Education Program. A teacher candidate who is dismissed from the Teacher Education Program may choose to petition the Dean of the School of Education & Behavioral Science.

ESE Dismissal Policy


Failure to meet progression requirements will result in dismissal from the Teacher Education Program. Behaviors that are grounds for removal from the program includes, but are not limited to: confidentiality breaches, harassment, low disposition ratings, absenteeism or tardiness, malpractice/negligence, failure to follow Teacher Education Program or field/ practicum/clinical site policies and procedures, failure to fulfill responsibilities, or other activities that the supervisor deems unsafe or inappropriate. Ongoing patterns of unsafe/unprofessional behavior may be grounds for dismissal from the Teacher Education Program.


Behavioral concerns may be addressed through the Office of Student Affairs of Middle Georgia State University.



Code of Ethics Violations

Pre-Service Certificate holders are certified individuals, and they are expected to uphold the Code of Ethics for Georgia Educators. Both Educator Preparation Providers (EPPs) and school districts are equally responsible for reporting suspected violations of the Code of Ethics to GaPSC. All educators are mandated reporters and are required to report alleged misconduct. For the educator, failure to report could result in a sanction of the educator’s certificate, and for an EPP, failure to report could impact the EPP’s approval status.

ESE Re-Entry Policy

Teacher candidates who meet all present criteria for readmission to the ESE Teacher Preparation Programs must reapply. Prior to readmission, certification track teacher candidates must hold a valid Pre-Service Certificate.



Curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Elementary/Special Education

Core Curriculum (Credit: 42 hours)

See Core Curriculum requirements.

Area F: Lower Division Major Requirements (Credit: 18 hours)

Major Field

EDUC 2008Foundations of Mathematics for Elementary Teachers


EDUC 2110Investigating Critical & Contemporary Issues in Education

3 credits

EDUC 2120Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives on Diversity in Educational Contexts

3 credits

EDUC 2130Exploring Learning and Teaching

3 credits

ISCI 2001Integrated Science - Life and Earth Science

3 credits

ISCI 2002Integrated Science - Physical Science

3 credits

Required Upper-Level Courses (Credit: 44 hours)

SCIE 3000General Science for Elementary Education

3 credits

SPED 3110Introduction to the Exception Learner

3 credits

SPED 4110Program Planning for Exceptional Learners

3 credits

ESE 3201The Art of Language and Literature/Reading Endorsement


ESE 3300Teaching Mathematics in Grades P-2


ESE 3310Teaching Mathematics in Grades 3-5


ESE 3410Development of the Whole Child


ESE 3431Literacy Acquisition/Reading Endorsement


ESE 3520Organizing an Effective Learning Environment


ESE 3531Literacy Assessment & Intervention Strategies/Reading Endorsement


ESE 3540Evidence-based Curriculum and Assessment for Learning


ESE 3800Social Studies: Designing Interdisciplinary Curriculum


ESE 4320Applied Data Analysis for Elementary Teachers


ESE 4520Positive Behavior Supports


ESE 4431Content Area Literacy/Reading Endorsement


Field Courses (Credit: 16 hours)

ESE 3555Practicum II


ESE 3444Practicum I


ESE 4477Clinical I


ESE 4588Clinical II


Total hours: 120