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  • Visual Disabilities

    The Curriculum and Instruction: Visual Disabilities program prepares you to teach people who are visually impaired (blind or low vision).

    Teaching students with visual impairments is unlike any other type of teaching. The Visual Disabilities Program at Florida State University teaches specialized strategies to help students who are visually impaired (those who are blind or who have low vision). Teachers of the visually impaired (TVIs) enable and empower students. In their classrooms, TVIs equip their students with all the skills every adult needs, regardless of ability.

    TVIs do more than teach educational and practical skills. They also teach students the skills necessary for them to navigate social situations. Additionally, TVIs assist students with lifestyle skills for future professional development and independent living.

    Both public and private institutions have tremendous demand for teachers of the visually impaired. Our highly sought-after graduates enjoy a 100% employment rate throughout Florida and the nation!

    FSU now offers three options for those interested in becoming teachers of the visually impaired. The options include:

    • Traditional in-person master’s and specialist degrees to prepare pre-service teachers to work with children who have visual impairments
    • In-person master’s degree to prepare orientation and mobility specialists to teach the skills used by individuals who are visually impaired to physically navigate through their environments
    • Online master’s degree to prepare teachers certified in general or special education areas who seek to expand their professional skills to include working with students who are visually impaired. The online program offers current teachers an ideal choice for continuing education while providing enough flexibility to continue working.

    Students who complete the O&M specialization are eligible to apply for national certification from the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP) in orientation and mobility.

    Admission Requirementsexpand menu

    In order to meet minimum University admission requirements, applicants must have:

    • A bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.0 GPA – An earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or a comparable degree from an international institution, with a minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade point average (GPA) in all coursework attempted while registered as an upper-division undergraduate student working towards a bachelor’s degree.
    • NOTE: FSU is waiving the GRE as a requirement for admission to master’s (M.S.) and specialist (Ed.S.) degree programs for Fall 2020.
      test scores. Official test results are required from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). These scores are considered official only when they are sent directly to the Office of Admissions from the testing agency. Examinee copies are not considered official. Graduate Record Exam (GRE): http://www.ets.org/ – FSU Institution Code: 5219.

    M.S. and Ed.S. Applicant Target Scores:
    Verbal – 146+
    Quantitative – 140+

    Ph.D. Applicant Target Scores:
    Verbal – 151+
    Quantitative – 145+
    Writing – 3.5+

    The Educational Testing Service (ETS) do not retain scores longer than five years. If your test scores are older than five years, you may have to retake the test to have official scores sent directly to FSU from the testing agency. If you have the report that was mailed to your home address for older scores, then FSU will accept that report.

    • Language proficiency test (international students only)– FSU accepts scores from TOEFL (minimum 80), IELTS (minimum 6.5) and MELAB (minimum 77).
    • Transcripts – Applicants must submit an official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college and/or university attended to the Office of Admissions. The address for submitting transcripts is:

    Florida State University
    Office of Admissions
    282 Champions Way
    P.O. Box 3062400
    Tallahassee, FL 32306-2400

    Applicants must upload the following REQUIRED supporting documents to the Admissions Application Portal:

    • Statement of purpose – should describe your purpose for pursuing a degree, qualifications and long-term career goals.
      • At least one (1) page for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
      • At least two (2) pages for Ph.D. applicants
    • Letters of recommendation
      • Two (2) for M.S. and Ed.S. applicants
      • Three (3) Ph.D. applicants
    • One page resume/curriculum vitae
    • Writing Sample – it is acceptable to submit a paper used in another class, or one that was published.

    Application Deadlinesexpand menu

    Fall: July 1st

    Spring: November 1st

    Summer: March 1st

    Apply Now
    Apply Now- International Students

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    To learn more about financial aid opportunities for College of Education students, please see Scholarships and Aid.

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    Every year in Florida, jobs go unfilled and students go unserved because so few people know about this rewarding and satisfying field of education.

    Results from a recent study indicate that there is a need for 5,000 new Teachers of Children with Visual Impairments (TVIs) and a need for 10,000 new Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Specialists to work with children and adults with visual impairments across the U.S.

    These teachers and specialists help children and adults who are blind or who have low vision to achieve their educational goals and prepare for the future. They work with individuals with visual impairments and their parents, educators, rehabilitation centers, and community agencies.

    Contactexpand menu

    Program Contact: Dr. Eileen Bischof

    Admissions Contact: Britni DeZerga

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