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University of Pittsburgh    
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog 
    
 
  May 06, 2021
 
2019-2020 Graduate & Professional Studies Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Instruction and Learning


Return to School of Education Return to: School of Education

The mission of the Department of Instruction and Learning is to provide regional, national, and international leadership in the study and improvement of teaching and learning in diverse educational settings. As part of its effort to carry out this mission, the department offers commonwealth teacher education certification and degree programs.

The department offers the MAT, MEd, MS, EdD, and PhD degrees in instruction and learning as well as various certifications and a graduate certificate in urban education. It has the following. It has the following general areas of study:

  • An area of concentration in early childhood education
  • An area of concentration in elementary education
  • An area of concentration in reading education
  • Secondary education certification and areas of concentration in:
    • English and communications education
    • Mathematics education
    • Science education
    • Social studies education
    • Foreign language education
  • Special education certification and areas of concentration in:
    • Special Education Teacher Preparation 7-12
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Early intervention for children with disabilities
    • Education of students with mental and physical disabilities
    • Vision studies special education
    • General Special education
  • Additional Doctoral Degrees
    • Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC)
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)
  • Certificate in Urban Education

A brief section for each of these areas follows. In each section, a link to the program’s Web site is provided. Readers interested in a specific program are encouraged to visit that program’s Web site for additional information. Please pay special attention to information provided on prerequisite courses and the curriculum.

Contact Information

Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for many of the following degrees, refer to the school sections on Degree Requirements.

Program Information

Applied Behavior Analysis

The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program prepares practitioners who are qualified to assess, design, implement, and evaluate ABA programs for a range of populations, but with an emphasis on developmental disabilities and behavioral health issues. Successful completion of the coursework and practicum experiences allows students to seek certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) from the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). With the growing number of children presenting with unique behavioral challenges and requiring additional supports, mental health providers, agencies, and school districts are increasingly seeking the services of professionals with highly specialized training in ABA. The ABA Area of Concentration offers two programs.  Supervision of practicum experiences required by the national BACB is also available within the program.

  • MEd in Applied Behavior Analysis
    The Applied Behavior Analysis MEd program provides intensive instruction in the theoretical bases of Applied Behavior Analysis as well as the clinical and pedagogical application of the theory and principles. The courses are aimed at special educators and behavioral health providers and are designed to specifically prepare students to apply for the certification examination of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc (BACB). To become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), the Board requires a Master’s degree, approved coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis, and a specified number of supervised practicum hours dependent upon intensity of supervision (750-1500 hours), and successful passage of a national examination following completion of the Master’s degree, required coursework, and supervised practicum. Those who are interested should become familiar with the Board’s requirements found on its website (http://www.bacb.com). This MEd program offers students the opportunity to pursue the intensive supervised practicum as part of the program’s elective courses or students may make other arrangements outside the university to acquire those hours by following the requirements found on the BACB web site.
     
  • Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
    The University of Pittsburgh Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate program consists of the coursework required for a national certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis issued by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The program’s coursework partially fulfills the requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

    Additional requirements include the possession of a master’s degree, completion of supervised practicum hours, and successfully passing a national exam. While enrolled in the program, students may also pursue through the university, the intensive supervised practicum to acquire the practicum hours required by the BACB. Those who are interested should become familiar with the Board’s requirements found on its website (bacb.com). BCBA pass rates for first-time candidates taking the BCBA exam from the University of Pittsburgh can be found at on the BACB web site.

    This program is specifically designed for:

    • Students who already have a Master’s degree who wish to obtain a University of Pittsburgh certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis without having to enroll in a degree program; and
    • Students who are enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Pittsburgh other than the MEd in Applied Behavior Analysis who wish to include a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis as part of or in addition to their degree program

Autism Certificate

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education Autism Certificate is a 15-credit program designed to enrich the knowledge and skills of teachers and other practitioners in the area of autism. The program will focus on the characteristics and etiology of autism; assessment and instructional programming for language/communication, social skills, and academic subjects across settings and grade levels; and family, interagency, and community collaboration.

For those with a Pennsylvania Department of Education Level I or Level II teaching certificate, the program also fulfills the Pennsylvania Department of Education Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Endorsement requirements. The list of possible certifications to which the endorsement might be added includes but is not limited to the following: regular and special education, school psychologist, principal, guidance counselor, speech and language clinician, occupational and physical therapist, reading specialist, and home and school visitor.

The following groups of individuals are encouraged to apply:

  • Post- Baccalaureate or Post-Master’s students who possess a Pennsylvania Department of Education Level I or Level II teaching certificate and are interested in obtaining the PDE Program Endorsement in Autism
  • Post-Baccalaureate or Post-Master’s students who do not have a teaching certificate, but who are interested in enhancing their credentials in the area of Autism
  • Degree-seeking Master’s students who are currently enrolled in a program that leads to a Pennsylvania Department of Education Level II teaching certificate and who are interested in obtaining the PDE Program Endorsement in Autism
  • Degree-seeking Master’s and Ph.D. students who do not have a teaching certificate, but who are interested in enhancing their credentials in the area of Autism

Master of Special Education with Academic Instruction Certificate (MOSAIC)

The University of Pittsburgh, School of Education, offers a specialization that leads to a Master’s Degree in Special Education and dual teaching certificate for grades 7-12 - one in Special Education and one in a Secondary Content Area (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language Education). Teaching candidates will study evidence based practices to improve adolescent learning through Special Education and Content Area coursework. Candidates will develop their professional teaching skills during practical experiences, in a variety of public middle and high school classrooms. The MOSAIC program is designed to provide future teachers with the skills, knowledge and experiences to be effective teachers of adolescents both with and without disabilities.

MOSAIC Master of Education (MEd) in Special Education with Instructional Certification in both Secondary Special Education and Secondary Content Area (English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language Education) Grades 7-12

  • Satisfies the requirements for a PA Instructional I Certificate in Special Education Grades 7-12, pending passing scores on PECT Special Ed 7-12 exams and successful completion of the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430)
  • Satisfies the requirements for a PA Instructional I Certificate in a Specified Content Area (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language) Grades 7-12, pending passing scores on Praxis II exam and successful completion of the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430)
  • Requires completion of 42 credits
  • Is completed in 12 months (summer II, fall, spring, summer I) beginning in June of the admission year
  • Lasts four consecutive terms for full-time students - Summer II, Fall, Spring, Summer I
  • Requires obtaining all Federal and PA state clearances before entering schools
  • Requires a full-time practicum experience (5 days per week) at a local school district in both the fall and spring terms. Fall practicum includes content area and low-incidence disabilities placements. Spring practicum includes content area and high-incidence disabilities placements.
  • Requires students to successfully complete the Special Education Comprehensive Exam

Early Childhood Education Program

  1. MEd in Early Childhood Education
    The Early Childhood Education Program focuses on the education of young children (birth to age 8) in public and private schools and centers, homes, and other facilities in which children within this age range are served. Strong emphasis is also placed on developing relationships with the families of young children and working collaboratively with other professionals. The program offers a range of coursework encompassing infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and primary-aged children. Through student teaching, field placements, and practical learning, students develop competence in the use of developmentally appropriate practices. Main themes within the program include understanding and respecting family diversity, supporting families in their roles with young children, and addressing the needs of children with special needs in inclusive settings.

    The program is intended for individuals who already have an Early Childhood Education Certificate or whose career paths do not require them to have a certificate. Individuals who complete the post-baccalaureate Early Childhood Education Certification program (Primary Plus) at the University of Pittsburgh may apply up to 18 credits from their certification studies towards the Master of Education program. Application to the M.Ed. program must be made within three years of completing the certification program. Course work in the Master of Education program is intended to enhance the continuing professional development of early childhood teachers beyond the skills and competencies acquired during certification study and to assist them in gaining greater self-determination through heightened awareness and understanding of their own teaching practice. 
     
  2. MEd in Elementary Education
    This is an online program. For more information about our online programs see Pitt Online.

    The goals of the MEd program are:
  • To enable teachers to enhance both their understanding and ability to meet the needs of the diverse learners in their classrooms.
  • To enable teachers to advance their understanding of one or more content areas.
  • To enable teachers to broaden their understanding of educational research, educational theories as they apply to practice, action research practices, and educational policy.
  1. Primary Plus: PreK-4 Instructional I Teaching Certification

    The Primary Plus: PreK-4 Teacher Certification Program prepares students to teach young children ages 4-9 in Pre-kindergarten and K-4 classrooms and to work collaboratively with parents and other professionals. Students will develop skills for employment in public and private schools and early childhood centers. Through coursework and field experiences with pre-kindergarteners and children in grades K-4, students will acquire an integrated understanding of academic content and child development in diverse inclusive settings. The program must be completed as a full-time student. No part-time option is available.

    The Primary Plus: PreK-4 Teacher Certification Program is intended for individuals from a wide range of undergraduate degree and work backgrounds. A student who successfully completes the program and passes both the PECT (Pennsylvania Education Certification Test) in PreK-4 and the PA Statewide Evaluation Form for the Student Professional Knowledge and Practice (PDE 430) is eligible to apply for a Pennsylvania Instructional I certificate for PreK-4.

  • prepares qualified graduates for initial certification in PreK-4 Early Childhood Education
  • lasts three consecutive terms for full-time students - Summer II, Fall, Spring
  • requires two full days per week in a PreK practicum and one full day per week at a K-4 student teaching site during Fall Term
  • requires twelve full weeks of student teaching in a K-4 classroom in the Spring term
  • requires obtaining all Federal and PA state clearances before entering schools


www.education.pitt.edu/earlychilded

Elementary Education Program
 

This is an online program. For more information about our online programs see Pitt Online.

www.education.pitt.edu/elementaryed

Reading Education Program

Graduate work in reading Education is available to individuals interested in working toward:

  • K-12 reading specialist certification
  • Master’s degree in reading education

Those interested in doctoral study in the area of literacy should consult information related to the PhD and EdD Language, Literacy, and Culture area of concentration.

This program offers the following degree in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in reading education and certification and specialization options as noted below:

  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Education (MEd) + K-12 reading specialist certificate
 
Secondary Education Areas of Study

The secondary education area of study offers five areas of concentration:

  • English and Communications Education
  • Foreign Language Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Science Education
  • Social Studies Education

Within each of these areas of concentration, the student can choose to pursue a Master of Arts (MAT) teaching degree with certification in one area of concentration, or a Master of Education.

English and Communications Education

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in English and communications education and certification options as noted below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Instructional I Certificate

    The mission of the MAT and Instructional I Teaching Certification programs in English and Communications Education at the University of Pittsburgh are to prepare secondary English and Communications teachers with content, pedagogical knowledge, and professional knowledge and skills to meet regional and national needs in the areas of literacy learning, language arts, and communication, especially in diverse school settings.

    To achieve this mission, our programs follow the National Council of Teachers of English’s criteria for highly qualified teachers of English Language Arts by teaching sophisticated content knowledge; current “best practices” in pedagogical and assessment strategies; the developmental trajectories and needs of adolescents from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds; culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy; and professional leadership skills.

  • Master of Education (MEd)

    At the master’s degree level, students may emphasize study in the specialization of English/Language Arts Education. The master’s degree options are designed to help beginning and experienced elementary and secondary teachers acquire the concepts, skills, and attitudes of master teachers in their fields.

    Students will work with an English Education faculty advisor to develop a Plan of Studies in the major field that combines work in English Education courses, related studies in education, and related electives from across the university.


www.education.pitt.edu/english

Foreign Language Education

Graduate work in the foreign language education area of concentration is available to qualified persons interested in pursuing K-12 Instructional I certification in French, Spanish, German, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, or Russian.

The following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in foreign language education and the certification options are defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Education (MEd) and a University Certificate in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
www.education.pitt.edu/foreignlanguage

Mathematics Education

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in mathematics education and secondary school teacher education certification as detailed below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
     
  • Master of Education (MEd)
    The MEd in Mathematics Education is a professional degree for the graduate student who wishes to pursue advanced study in the field. In addition to addressing the needs and interests of beginning and experienced teachers whose objective is to advance their backgrounds as mathematics teachers in schools, the master’s degree also prepares students for admission to doctoral study. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits.
     
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
www.education.pitt.edu/mathematics

Science Education

The School of Education offers innovative graduate-level degree and certification options (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, general science, and physics) for science area majors interested in careers in teaching. The certification options in science education prepare the candidate for teaching assignments in grades seven through 12.

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in science education and certification programs as defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
www.education.pitt.edu/science

Social Studies Education

The social studies education concentration offers courses of study leading to certification for grades seven through 12 and a master’s degree.

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in social studies education and certification options as defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
    Our online program is designed to engage you in dynamic discourse, advanced teaching methods, local and regional research, and to contextualize all you learn with your teaching and scholarly experiences in the field of secondary social studies education.
www.education.pitt.edu/socialstudies

Special Education Area of Study

The special education area of study within the Department of Instruction and Learning offers a variety of graduate study opportunities to individuals whose career goals include working with people with disabilities.

A master’s degree (MEd) in instruction and learning is offered in each of the program’s areas of concentration:

  • Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities
  • Education of Students with Mental and Physical Disabilities
  • General Special Education
  • Special Education Teacher Preparation
  • Vision Studies Special Education

Work toward graduate degrees may be combined with special education teacher certification study, autism enforsement and vision studies. The areas of concentrations include academic and field work for full-time or equivalent part-time study. Field work appropriate to the individual areas is carried out at cooperating schools, agencies, and clinics in Western Pennsylvania.

The program also offers courses of study leading to eligibility for certification as supervisor of special education. At the doctoral level, the program provides opportunities for specialization studies with a particular emphasis on applied behavior analysis, learning disabilities, vision studies, orientation and mobility, or early intervention.

Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities

This concentration prepares students to teach infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities from birth to 5 years of age in hospital, home, and center-based settings, to support families of these young children in decision-making and resource identification, and to collaborate with other professionals in service delivery. The degree options are as follows:


www.education.pitt.edu/ei

Education of Mental and Physical Disabilities

The major goal of the Special Education PhD and Ed.D degree is the preparation of leadership personnel. Graduates must have leadership skills to identify the significant issues of the day and the ability to make decisions about the most effective use of new technologies and information to serve the nation’s disabled population. They will also become researchers and scholars committed to furthering the knowledge and empirical base needed for enhancement of special education practice and of the training of special education personnel. Graduates will serve infants, children, youth, and adults with disabilities through roles as teacher educators, researchers, administrators, consultants, and supervisors.

As they have in the past, it is expected that graduates of this program will have a significant impact on the quality of educational opportunities for persons with disabilities by providing leadership for local education agencies, state educational agencies, private foundations and agencies, colleges, and universities.

This option is available for students with at least three years experience in teaching children with Mental and Physical Disabilities. (i.e., learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, emotional/behavioral disabilities, etc.). The full-time only program requires a minimum of 90 credits of course work including dissertation research.


www.education.pitt.edu/mpd

Vision Studies Special Education

The vision studies concentration prepares professionals to educate children and adults with visual disabilities. This specialization enables students to acquire dual certification as teachers of children with visual disabilities and/or as Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists with a Master of Education degree. In addition, a component of the program provides the student with both didactic and clinical course work in early intervention with children who are blind and visually impaired. Teachers of children with visual disabilities provide instruction in educational placements that include public schools, resource rooms, and full-time classrooms for children with visual disabilities, or in approved private schools. Graduates provide specialized educational services as an itinerant teacher, a full-time classroom teacher, or a teacher consultant with children birth through age 21. O&M specialists provide necessary instruction to visually disabled children and adults to enable safe, independent travel. Training includes integrating skills such as orientation in space in conjunction with the use of a long cane, dog guide, or an optical or electronic device. Students in the vision studies specialization participate in both didactic and practicum experiences to gain a broad range of specialty skills.

The vision studies special education concentration offers the applicant a number of degree and certification options:

  1. Commonwealth Certification in Vision Education
  2. Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) Certification in Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
  3. Dual Certification in Vision Education and O&M
  4. MEd in Instruction and Learning with Vision Education Certification
  5. MEd in Instruction and Learning with O&M Certification
  6. MEd with Dual Certification in Vision Education and O&M
www.education.pitt.edu/visionstudies
General Special Education

Individually designed master’s degree specializations (36 credits minimum) are available for those students who hold Pennsylvania special education teaching certificates or for regular educators who just want to learn more about special education. These specializations are designed to accommodate individualized professional goals but do not provide students with special education certification. Students may also pursue study for other certifications and/or other specialized study.

Language, Literacy and Culture

The Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) doctoral program brings together four previous doctoral programs in the Department of Instruction and Learning: English Education, Foreign Language Education, Reading Education, and Social Studies Education. LLC takes an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to the study of cultural, linguistic, social, psychological, and political perspectives on educational studies. Changing immigration patterns, the population of K-12 schools, and new empirical and theoretical advances in education together indicate the need for diverse approaches and disciplinary lenses on the fields of teacher education and classroom teaching and learning. The focus is on the examination of educational issues using sociocultural, linguistic and critical theoretical approaches that are rooted in the promotion of equity, social justice and democratic values.

The LLC area of concentration is appropriate for students with backgrounds in subject matter disciplines (such as reading, English education, foreign and second language learning, applied linguistics, and social studies education) as well as for students interested in pursuing the kinds of interdisciplinary studies in instruction and learning listed above. The interdisciplinary emphasis provides students the opportunities to work with a group of dedicated faculty with diverse backgrounds in addition to being matched with an advisor who is appropriate to their interests.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics EdD

The STEM Doctor of Education (EdD) program is intended for teachers and educators who desire the skills and credentials needed to advance their practice-oriented careers. It offers a rigorous theoretical and practical orientation for scholar practitioners aspiring to become leaders in K-12 schools and institutions of higher learning, in positions such as district curriculum supervisor, faculty member at a teaching-focused university or district leader in the STEM fields. Candidates for the program must have a master’s degree in a related field as well as extensive instructional work experience.

Four core courses examine ideas that lie at the intersection of research in STEM (based primarily in mathematics and science education) in the areas of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment and Professional learning.  Across these courses are threaded considerations of Equity (issues of fairness and justice in how people are treated and of how to provide access and opportunity to all learners), Policy (how policies are created, interpreted, and enacted, and their relationship to educational practice), Methodology (different procedures for studying educational phenomena in STEM education research and their implications) and Theories of learning (different perspectives on how people learn and their influence on instructional decision-making).

 

Supervisor of Special Education Certificate

Applications of the Supervisor of Special Education Certificate were on hold for the incoming 2018-19 academic year.

This certification option in special education is built on the assumption that most supervisory operations in education are, in principle, generic, with their fundamentals of theory and practice in common. The major distinguishing characteristic of this option is the application of supervisory theory to the context of the special education of exceptional children and youth. Specific emphasis is placed upon activities, relationships, facilities, agencies, persons, and processes that are peculiar to or have particular relevance to special education. The student completes a plan of studies encompassing such courses as supervision, curriculum development, current and legal issues in the specialization, and a supervision internship.

Urban Education

The School of Education Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Urban Education addresses the social-emotional and learning needs of diverse students in urban schools locally and nationally in an effort to achieve greater equity in opportunity and experience.  The program enrolls both preservice and in-service teachers.

The Urban Education certificate program aims to increase a teacher’s level of effectiveness for their students in urban schools as well as increasing their marketability and longevity in the field. The certificate program is built upon the following themes developed through asset-based knowledge, understanding, attitudes, dispositions, beliefs, skills and practices: 

  • Social/Cultural/Relational Dynamics - deeply understanding our students, their families and communities, to best develop meaningful relationships from which to learn and teach.
  • Authentic Teacher Self-Excavation - teachers deeply understanding themselves and their impact on students.
  • Pedagogical/Curricular/Classroom Learning and Dynamics - deeply understanding and creating positive, responsive, effective classroom student experiences.  

The program leads to a University Certificate in Urban Education and does not lead to commonwealth certification. 


www.cue.pitt.edu

Certificate Requirements

The Certificate in Urban Education is a 15-credit program.  Students are required to apply to the certificate program.  They must have earned a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution and meet the University’s requirements for admission to graduate school.  Applicants need not be concurrently enrolled in a graduate degree program in the School of Education. 

For additional degree requirement information, refer to the Center for Urban Education website and the Department of Instruction and Learning website.

 

Vision Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    The goal of the Blindness/Vision Impairment/Orientation and Mobility PhD degree is the preparation of leadership personnel to assume academic faculty positions at the university level. The focus of preparation for the PhD program is on teaching graduate and undergraduate courses, mentoring graduate students, developing a research agenda that will result in funded and published research and translating research outcomes for the improvement of educational and related service programs for individuals with disabilities. PhD candidates are mentored by a faculty adviser who shares their research interests and are supported by graduate faculty in Special Education. Students may focus their studies in one or more of the following areas: blindness, vision impairments, or orientation and mobility. The PhD program is writing and research-intensive and PhD candidates will have multiple opportunities to learn and participate in the review of research literature, the preparation and submission of research grant proposals, the design and implementation of research studies, and the preparation and dissemination of research reports.
     
  • Master of Education (MEd)

    The School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh requires all students pursuing a Master’s of Education degree (MEd) to complete a minimum of 36-credits, 12 of which are the required graduate-level general education courses listed.

    Applicants may choose to pursue the MEd degree through a variety of options (with or without certification):

    • MEd degree with single certification as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)
    • MEd degree with single certification as an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist
    • MEd degree with dual certification (TVI and O&M)
    • MEd degree without certification but with a Vision Studies Area of Concentration

Students pairing the degree in combination with any certification option will complete additional credits hours to fulfill program requirements. Additionally, the MEd program requires students to successfully complete the Vision Studies Comprehensive Exam. The Comprehensive Exam is a proctored three-hour exam based on the student’s area of concentration and is completed towards the end of their MEd degree program.

  • Single Certification - Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI)

    The University of Pittsburgh, School of Education Vision Studies Program offers a hybrid program of study (online and on-campus) to prepare professionals to serve the educational needs of children who are blind or visually impaired. TVIs provide educational services to students’ birth to 21 in a variety of educational settings, which include early intervention or preschools, public school classrooms, resource rooms, specialized schools, or the home. Graduates provide direct assessment and instruction in vision-specific subject areas.

    The TVI certification courses are typically offered in a two-course per term pairing. Students may also combine a Master’s of Education (MEd) degree with their TVI certification program. For additional curriculum details regarding this combination, please see the MEd degree with single certification as a Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI).

    TVI certification allows the teacher to provide educational services needed by students who are blind or visually impaired. These services include:

    • Assessing and evaluating educational strengths and needs including educational functional vision assessments
    • Recommending appropriate service delivery plans
    • Providing training in the use of adapted materials and devices
    • Consulting with classroom teachers and parents regarding the impact of visual impairment on development and learning
    • Direct instruction in:
      • Compensatory Academic Skills
      • Career Exploration
      • Sensory Efficiency Skills
      • Social Skills
      • Assistive Technology
      • Recreation and Leisure and activities
      • Self-Determination Skills
      • Techniques of Daily Lives
  • Single Certification - Orientation and Mobility (O&M) 

    The University of Pittsburgh, School of Education Vision Studies Program offers a hybrid program of study (online and on-campus) to prepare professionals to serve the orientation and mobility (O&M) needs of children and adults who are blind or visually impaired. O&M Specialists provide the necessary instruction for safe, independent travel. The Vision Studies Program provides graduate students with competencies necessary to teach individuals from early childhood through adulthood. Training includes integrating skills such as orientation in space with the appropriate selection and use of mobility devices and/or optical devices for utilization of residual vision.

    The O&M certification courses are offered online during the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as on-campus during the Summer. Students may also combine a Master’s of Education (MEd) degree with their O&M certification program. For additional curriculum details regarding this combination, please see the MEd degree with single certification as an Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialist.

    Graduates are eligible for national certification as an O&M Specialist by the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation & Education Professionals (ACVREP). With this certification, the graduate is qualified to provide O&M services needed by children and adults who are blind or visually impaired in public schools, rehabilitation agencies, Veteran’s Administration hospitals. With this certification, the graduate is qualified to provide educational and rehabilitation services. These services include:

    • Assessing and evaluating O&M strengths and needs including O&M functional vision assessment
    • Recommending appropriate service delivery plans
    • Providing training in the use of mobility materials and devices (e.g. prescriptive cane, optical and non-optical devices, dog guide, and electronic devices)
    • Consulting with other education and rehabilitation personnel and family regarding the impact of blindness and visual impairment on the O&M process
    • Direct instruction in:
      • Utilization of mobility devices
      • Gross motor development
      • Visual efficiency skills
      • Concept and sensory development
      • Utilization of residual vision
      • Spatial orientation
      • Instruction in travel in both indoor and outdoor environments
      • Utilization of mass transportation systems
      • Communication and social skills
      • Self-determination skills
      • Utilization of tactile, visual, and auditory maps
      • Familiarization to familiar and unfamiliar environments
    •  
  • Dual Certification - TVI and O&M

 

 

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