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Visual Impairment

Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification

Visual Impairment Graduate Certification Preparation Program

Play an important role in students’ and families’ lives as a Kutztown University offers Visual Impairment Certification Preparation as a post-baccalaureate program. Whether you are already teacher-certified or not, our program can be adapted to prepare you to take the Praxis II visual impairment examination and internship.

Program at a glance

  • The program is 21 credit hours and follows the required curriculum for the Pa. Department of Education Educator Certification in Visual Impairment Birth-21.
  • All courses are offered online. Some on-campus days are required to reach competencies and successfully complete the program.
  • Prerequisite: bachelor's degree in general or special education. A bachelor’s degree in another area will require extra coursework and field hours.
  • Courses are offered in precise order and new students should begin during the Summer I or Winter session.
  • Checksheet

Specializing in visual impairment

TVIs, or teachers of the visually impaired, receive specialized training to support students who are blind or visually impaired. They are certified to provide vision support from birth to age 21. This is an instructional position – not a vision therapist or medical provider.

TVIs have the flexibility to provide instruction either in a small classroom or in a 1:1 individualized setting. They learn Braille and how to use specialized technology that supports students with visual impairments and enables them to have the richest possible educational experience.

Required courses for the certificate only are:

  • SPU 501: Basic Orientation and Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments including Deafblindness
  • SPU 502: Reading, Writing, and teaching Literary Braille
  • SPU 505: Early Intervention for Students with Visual Impairments
  • SPU 503: Anatomy of the Eye and Visual Assessments
  • SPU 504: Reading, Writing, and Teaching the Nemeth mathematics and Other Braille Codes
  • SPU 506: Adapting Materials and methods of Instruction including Vision Assessments
  • SPU 507: Internship in Visual Impairment

What makes Kutztown University’s program unique?

KU is one of only three institutions in Pennsylvania to offer a post-baccalaureate certification program for TVIs, and the only program at a state university in Pennsylvania.

Graduates with these credentials have strong job placement success, however, because there is a large demand across the U.S. for certified teachers of students with visual impairments, according to Indeed.

As a post-baccalaureate certification student, you will be part of an extraordinary network of students and faculty who make this program outstanding among others of its kind. KU students have opportunities to present research studies at state and national conferences across the U.S., as well as serve as representatives on national boards.

Quotation Mark

The resources that are provided to us are classic and the examples are real-world examples that we are very much likely to encounter. I appreciate that the program has made an effort to represent the families’ perspectives and try and build in empathy. I’ve been very happy with the program.

Sylvia Greenberg, graduate student

Master’s degree opportunity

Students can choose to pursue the visual impairment as a track within the M.Ed. in Multicultural Education program (15-credits within a 33-credit master’s). Through this concentration, teacher candidates who only want to teach students with visual impairments will achieve a thorough understanding of all required PDE and Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) competencies for their certification requirements. Field experiences are provided and candidates will experience them in both elementary education and visual impairment settings.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Visual Impairment Certification Program

How to apply

The certification program begins each winter (December) and summer (May) term. Applicants are encouraged to apply early, ahead of the deadlines of November 1 and May 1.

  • Completed application
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Copy of teaching certificate (if applicable)

Applicants who wish to earn the M.Ed. in Multicultural Education should refer to that program page for additional application requirements.

For more information, please or call 610-683-4297.


Student Learning Outcomes

  • Teacher Certification Programs (BSEd) (includes Elementary Education, Secondary Education and Special Education programs)

    All initial teacher certification programs use the ten InTASC standards (required by CAEP accreditation) as their Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). The ten InTASC standards are organized in 4 domains (The Learner and Learning, Content Knowledge, Instructional Practice, and Professional Responsibility).

    1. Learner Development - The teacher candidate will understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.
    2. Learning Differences - The teacher candidate will be able to use understandings of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.
    3. Learning Environments - The teacher candidate will be able to work with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation.
    4. Content Knowledge - The teacher candidate will be able to understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.
    5. Application of Content - The teacher candidate will be able to understand how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.
    6. Assessment - The teacher candidate will be able to understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher candidate's and learner's decision making.
    7. Planning for Instruction - The teacher candidate will be able to plan instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.
    8. Instructional Strategies - The teacher candidate will be able to understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.
    9. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - The teacher candidate will be able to engage in ongoing professional learning and use evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.
    10. Leadership and Collaboration - The teacher candidate will be able to seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

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