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Visual Impairment Training Program

Student under blindfold, learning White Cane skills
An O&M student learning White Cane skills

Grant Funding Opportunity

Beginning October 2013 and going through September 2018, tuition and stipends are available for students in the Visual Impairment Training Program. Check out the links for more information.

Tuition/Stipend Funding for Candidates
Georgia Tuition/Stipend Funding for Candidates

The Graduate and Licensure Programs in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairment are designed to prepare professionals to work with individuals with visual impairments. The VITP is a distance education program with courses offered through a combination of on-campus weekend and summer work as well as on-line study allowing students to continue working during the school year. The number of face-to-face classes varies by course. As part of every program, candidates will complete a minimum 350 hour internship in their specialty area.

The Board of Governors gave NCCU authorization to develop a master's degree program track, Special Education: Visual Impairment Education (API#0808) in October 1995 in response to Chapter 507, Section 15.2 of House Bill 230 of the General Assembly. This program track was prepared in response to the legislative mandate which instructed the University Of North Carolina Board of Governors to provide a master's level education program to prepare teachers to work with students who have visual impairments. The institution authorized the establishment of the track in July 1997.

This program was developed based on the professional standards and beliefs in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Coursework is based on the knowledge and skills identified by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC), the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), and the North Carolina Department of Instruction. The VITP is aligned with the mission of NCCU and the professional standards and beliefs in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Coursework is based on the knowledge and skills identified by the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC), the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP), and the North Carolina Department of Instruction. The course of study covers all aspects of instruction including but limited to:

  • Learning to read and write braille and to teach braille reading
  • Learning about eye conditions and their implications for education
  • Learning to perform Functional Vision Assessments and Learning Media Assessments
  • Learning about orientation and mobility
  • Learning about access technology
  • Learning about methods of teaching children who are blind or have low vision
  • Learning to teach the use of optical devices to children with low vision
  • Learning how to incorporate areas of the Expanded Core Curriculum for students with visual impairments.

Degree Programs

The Visual Impairment Training Program offers two Master's degree programs in the field of visual impairments.

The Master's of Education Program (M.Ed.) is a 47-50 hour program with 2 focus areas: Teachers of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and Orientation and Mobility (O&M). Graduates of this program will be eligible to apply for state licensure as a teacher of students with visual impairments or certification for O&M through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).

The Master's of Arts of Teaching in Visual Impairments (MAT) is a program of study for prospective students who do not have a teaching credential and are seeking initial teacher licensure in special education general curriculum and visual impairments.

Program Requirements

  • Master's of Education - Visual Impairment Focus
  • Master's of Education - Orientation and Mobility Focus
  • Master's of Arts in Teaching - Visual Impairments

Non-Degree Options

Add-On Visual Impairment Licensure

The add-on licensure program is designed to enable a person with a teaching license to obtain licensure as a Teacher of the Visually Impaired in North Carolina. Specific program plans are established on an individual basis, with requisite courses determined by previous degree(s) earned and prior university coursework.

  • Visual Impairment Licensure Add-On Program Requirements
  • Visual Impairment Licensure Add-On Program Requirements for Grant Recipients

Certification in Orientation and Mobility

Certification in Orientation and Mobility is designed to provide an individualized program of instruction to enable a person with a degree in a related field to obtain certification as an Orientation and Mobility Specialist. Specific program plans are established on an individual basis, with requisite courses determined by previous degree(s) earned and prior university coursework. Individuals must enroll in either the graduate program or the licensure add-on program and then complete those courses necessary to become eligible for certification in Orientation and Mobility through ACVREP.

  • O&M Certification-Only Program Plan

Personal/Professional Development

Most courses offered within the program may be taken by interested individuals for personal information and growth, to enhance professional skills, or to meet continuing education requirements designated by a particular profession. Admission for courses would be as a Special Student.

Complete Course Listing

Please Note: VITP classes are held on the NCCU Campus in Durham, and/or via Distance Education. Not all classes may be available in any given semester.

  • VITP Graduate Courses

Graduate and Licensure Admissions - Visual Impairment Training Program

All students must be admitted to the NCCU School of Education Graduate Programs in addition to being admitted to the Visual Impairment Training Program. The graduate application can be accessed by clicking on the “Apply On-line Now” link listed under Future Students on the NCCU website. Applications for the Licensure Program can be obtained by contacting the Program Coordinator.

 
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