The Visual Impairment Training Program (VITP) is a distance education program with courses offered through a combination of on-campus concentrated weekend and summer meetings, and on-line study allowing students to continue working during the school year. As part of every program, candidates will complete a minimum 350-hour internship in their specialty area. The VITP is guided by the professional standards 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), the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER), and the North Carolina Department Instruction (NCDPI). Areas of instruction include compensatory functional academic skills, including communication modes, orientation and mobility, social interaction skills, independent living skills, recreation and leisure skills, career education, use of assistive technology, sensory efficiency skills, and self-determination.
The Masters of Education (MEd) is available through three concentrations: 1) Teaching Visually Impaired Children (TVI - 52 credits), 2) Orientation and Mobility (O&M - 39 credits), and 3) Dual TVI/O&M (63 credits). The TVI concentration prepares individuals to become eligible for teacher licensure and to serve as classroom teachers. The O&M concentration prepares individuals to become eligible for certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision and Rehabilitation Professionals (ACVREP) and to serve as mobility instructors for children and adults. The dual concentration in both TVI and O&M prepares individuals to become eligible for both teacher licensure and ACVREP certification.
Certificate and Licensure Preparation Programs
Alternatively, applicants may pursue an add-on specialization to their current degree through a, Post Baccalaureate or Post Master’s Certificate in Orientation and Mobility (27 credits), or through Licensure Preparation in Teaching Visually Impaired Children (31 credits). Students who enter the Post Master’s Certificate Program will also earn a second master’s degree upon completion of all Foliotek requirements.
Second Master’s Degree (O&M Concentration)
Students with an existing master’s degree may earn a second master’s degree (MEd) by completing the 27-credit hour Orientation and Mobility certificate coursework and completing all of the Foliotek requirements.
I. Admission Requirements for all Programs
- A bachelor’s degree from a recognized or accredited institution; A minimum 2.75 GPA overall at the undergraduate level. Prospective candidates with a GPA between 2.5 and 2.749 can be granted conditional admission but must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on their first 9 credit hours of study to be granted regular admission to the graduate school;
- Two letters of recommendation submitted by persons who are knowledgeable about the candidate’s teaching or work experience, who have worked in a supervisory role with the applicant, and who have direct knowledge of the applicant’s teaching skills;
- An interview with special education faculty;
- A writing sample indicating the applicant’s ability to write in a clear, concise, and professional manner; Official transcripts of all previous degrees.
II. Program Requirements for MEd Degrees
Prerequisites in the Program for all MEd Students - 3 hours
Special Education Core Courses for all MEd Students - 6 hours
VI Core Courses for all MEd Students - 18-19 hours
Courses for MEd Concentration in TVI - 24 hours
Courses for MEd Students in Orientation and Mobility - 12 hours
Dual MEd Program in TVI and O&M
Students enrolled in the dual TVI/O&M program will be required to complete both the TVI courses and O&M courses in addition to the prerequisite course and the VI core courses. Since some courses apply to both areas, the total number of hours are reduced to 63.
III. Exit Requirements
- Completion of courses on the student’s plan of study.
- Candidate must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or above and no more than one C during their program.
- Successful presentation and defense completion of the e-portfolio.
- Successful completion of a comprehensive examination.
NOTE: For any person who comes into the Masters of Education Degree program without an initial license, who then decides to pursue licensure in Visual Impairment with an endorsement from North Carolina Central University, will be required to complete the additional course required for initial licensure.