Special Education: Visual Impairment

Bachelor of Science in Education, Teacher Certification

The Visual Impairment program in our College of Education is one of the oldest and most established of its kind in the state of Pennsylvania. Special Education majors pursuing a B.S. in Education/Visual Impairment will be part of an extraordinary network of students and faculty who make this program so outstanding among others of its kind.

Program History

In addition to the fact that Kutztown University is the only program to offer such an undergraduate program at a state university in Pennsylvania, KU also has successful relationships with larger organizations. For example, KU students have presented research studies at state and national conferences across the United States, served as representatives on national boards and even become supervisors themselves.

Basic Information

Learning Braille, working with students with disabilities and having the advantage of an option of a dual certificate with elementary education are all opportunities that are exceptional to our Visual Impairment students.

Qualifications

In this program, students can choose single certification in visual impairment or dual certification with elementary education. The program ensures all elementary certification requirements are met for students enrolled in the dual certification program. Field experiences are provided and teacher candidates will experience them in both elementary education and visual impairment settings.

For more information, please contact Dr. Nicole Johnson.

KU is one of only six institutions in the U.S. to offer a program focused on preparing teachers of the visually impaired at the undergraduate level. In most scenarios, such a teacher plays a central role in the life of students and families, as they work to help build necessary skills, and to create adaptations that enable students to have the richest possible educational experiences.  Teacher candidates who wish to focus in visual impairment can work toward a major and certification in elementary education, making them dual certified to teach students with visual impairments birth to age 21 along with general elementary education. Teacher candidates can also choose to become single certified in teaching students with visual impairments birth to age 21.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Teacher Certification 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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