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. The Program prepares TVIs to 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
Vision Studies Program Admissions Cycle
Students gaining admission to the TVI certification program will be admitted into a fall term cohort. In this hybrid program, the TVI courses are offered online with some face-to-face interaction, primarily in the summer at Pitt’s Oakland campus. In addition to the online courses, students complete two levels of clinical practice. The first is an observational experience focused on TVI instruction. The second is a student teaching practicum, which is required for all initial or second-field certification applicants. Students apply for their PDE Instructional I teaching certificate upon successful completion of TVI coursework, student teaching practicum, and the required Praxis II exams. It takes approximately two years to complete this single certification program.