Special Education M.A. or Graduate Teaching Endorsement, Focus in Visual Impairment

hands shown reading braille representing online degree in Visual Impairment Special Education

Program Description

The Visual Impairment program will prepare you with the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively address the unique educational needs of students with visual impairment or blindness.

This program is the result of the collaborative efforts of:

  • The UNL Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at the Barkley Memorial Center
  • Nebraska Department of Education
  • Nebraska Center for the Education of Children who are Blind or Visually Impaired (NCECBVI)
  • Kansas State School for the Blind
     

Special Accreditation

In addition to the Higher Learning Commission accreditation carried by all University of Nebraska campuses, this program is also accredited by:

  • Teacher Education Accreditation Council
  • Nebraska Department of Education

Nebraska Department of Education logo, TEAC logo

Delivery Format

Home Campus: University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Method of Delivery: Blended Program - what's this? Some components of the program are synchronous, meaning students and instructor interact in real time. These meetings may be online or face-to-face/on campus.

All online courses are accessed via the Internet and use a learning management system. Technology requirements may vary by program and course, but all campuses have basic recommended requirements. High-speed Internet is required.

Interaction with professors and other students may include:

  • E-mail
  • Online discussion boards
  • Phone or video conferencing
  • Other forms of electronic and print communication

Supplemental materials for some courses may include:

  • Printed material and scanned documents
  • Digital resources accessed through university libraries
  • Videos accessed via the Internet, CDs or DVDs
  • Other media

To be successful, students taking online classes should be reasonably comfortable using a computer and the Internet. Learn more about online student tips for success.

Academic Year 2014 - 2015

Tuition rates are effective for the academic year listed. Tuition is subject to change.

Nebraska Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$325.50$25.00$9.25$4.00$363.75
3 credit hour$976.50$75.00$27.75$12.00$1,091.25

Non-Resident:

 TuitionDistance Ed. FeeTechnology FeeLibrary FeeTotal
Per credit hour$537.75$25.00$9.25$4.00$576.00
3 credit hour$1,613.25$75.00$27.75$12.00$1,728.00

Note: In addition to the costs outlined above, students will be assessed a $20.00 registration fee each semester they enroll in courses.

This unique program is structured with a specialized visual impairment course offered each fall and spring and two courses each summer across a two and a half year period. It provides a small, supportive learning community.

Upon completion of courses in the visual impairment core, your elective courses will afford you the opportunity to focus on a supporting area of special education such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Deaf Education, Early Childhood Special Education, or Mild/Moderate Disabilities, just to name a few.

Student teaching is individualized and these experiences can be embedded throughout the students' program.

Requirements for the Teaching Endorsement:

 SPED846 Foundations of Visual Impairment:  Programs & Services for Individuals with Visual Impairments    3 
 SPED847 Introduction to Eye Anatomy of Students with Visual Impairments    3 
 SPED849 Braille Codes and Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments    3 
 SPED851 Intermediate Braille Codes and Instructional Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments   3
 SPED852 Instructional Methods for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments    3 
 SPED852A Applied Technology Methods for Students with Visual Impairments    1
 SPED852B Applied Instructional Methods to Teach Students with Visual Impairments    2 
 SPED853 Orientation and Mobility Skills for Students with Visual Impairments   3
 SPED882 Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities   3
 SPED897V Student Teaching:  Exceptional Learners - Visual Impairments   3
Supporting courses in Special Education selected in consultation with your advisor   6
Total hours required for the teaching endorsement 33


Requirements for the Master's Degree:

In addition to the 33 credit hours indicated above, students seeking a master's degree will need to choose one of the following courses for an additional 3 credit hours:

 EDPS800 Foundations of Educational Research    3 
 EDPS859 Statistical Methods   3
 EDPS860 Applications of Selected Advanced Statistics    3 
 EDPS900A* Correlational and Experimental Methods in Educational Research    3 
 EDPS900D Survey Methods in Educational Research    3 
 EDPS900K Qualitative Approaches to Educational Research    3 
Total hours required for the Master's Degree 36

*Not currently available as an online course.

Course Name
Course #
Credits
Core Courses

Foundations of Visual Impairments

SPED 846
3
Prereq: Admission to visually impaired program; hold or concurrently earn subject/field endorsement Current educational programs and services for children with visual impairments, as well as children with multiple disabilities. History of educational services, developmental characteristics, psycho-social aspects, history of legislation, and grade I Braille.

Introduction to Eye Anatomy of Students with...

SPED 847
3

Introduction to Eye Anatomy of Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846 or permission

Structure and function of the visual system, conditions that effect visual ability, and the functional and environmental implications of low vision. Strategies for enhancing visual ability in children with visual impairments and children who have additional disabilities.

Braille Codes and Material Adaptations for...

SPED 849
3

Braille Codes and Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846 and *847, or permission

Basic skills in literary Braille transcription and codes. Acquire competence in reading and writing Braille and using the Perkins braillewriter and slate/stylus.

Intermediate Braille Codes and Instructional...

SPED 851
3

Intermediate Braille Codes and Instructional Material Adaptations for Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, and *849

Advanced skills in Nemeth (mathematics code) and/or Literary code. Basic activities in braille formatting, foreign language, music and identification of braille technology devices and resources.

Instructional Methods for Teachers of Students...

SPED 852
3

Instructional Methods for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, and *851 Methods and materials for educating children who are totally blind or have low vision, including students with multiple impairments. Practical skills in selecting, designing, and/or modifying materials for content area subjects: mathematics, science, social studies, creative arts, foreign language, and other subjects.

Applied Technology Methods for Students with...

SPED 852A
1

Applied Technology Methods for Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846 and *847, or equivalents

Theory and skill development in the selection and use of technology for students with visual impairments. Technology assessments, data collection, equipment feature, source of equipment, funding sources, writing technology instructional plans, and demonstration of using various equipment and technology.

Applied Instructional Methods to Teach Students...

SPED 852B
2

Applied Instructional Methods to Teach Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852; or equivalents

Practice using appropriate instructional methods and materials for educating the blind and low vision child.

Orientation & Mobility Skills for Students...

SPED 853
3

Orientation & Mobility Skills for Students with Visual Impairments

Prereq: SPED *846, *847, *849, *851, and *852

Theory and applied practice in basic orientation and mobility techniques for use with students with visual impairments. Practical methods for work in concept development, orientation skills, travel skills and techniques, personal safety and independent travel. Needs of specific populations such as people with low vision and individuals with additional disabilities. Vision simulators and occluders. An introduction to the history and development of the profession.

Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe...

SPED 882
3

Specialized Instruction for Students with Severe and Multiple Disabilities

Lec 3. Prereq: SPED *881 for the Severely/Multihandicapped endorsement program or SPED *862 for Preschool Handicapped endorsement program; and permission. Majors in severe disabilities must parallel with SPED 896P (1 cr). SPED *882 requires observations in schools and applied assignments. Selection, design, and implementation of best practice instruction for students with severe disabilities, multiple disabilities, or deaf-blindness.

Student Teaching: Exceptional Learners

SPED 897V
1-9
Prereq: Permission Laboratory and teaching experience in visual impairments.

Foundations of Educational Research

EDPS 800
3

Prereq: EDPS 459/859 or equivalent or parallel EDPS 859. Purposes and characteristics of research process, selection of research problems in education and social sciences, critical review of published research, research ethics and institutional review, sampling methods, threats to validity in research.


Statistical Methods

EDPS 859
3
Computation and interpretation of measures of central position, variability and correlation; introduction to sampling, probability, and tests of significance.

Applications of Selected Advanced Statistics

EDPS 860
3

Prereq: EDPS 859

Variety of parametric and nonparametric analyses, including analysis of variance (completely randomized design and various factorial designs), regression analysis, analysis of covariance, full model stepwise multiple regression, chi square Mann-Whitney U, and Wilcoxon test. Understanding and application of these analyses. Appropriate mainframe and microcomputer statistical packages utilized to assist in the numerical analysis of data.


Survey Methods in Educational Research

EDPS 900D
3

Prereq: EDPS 459/859 or equivalent; EDPS *800 or equivalent

Principles and applications of survey research. Use of appropriate sampling techniques and applications of survey methods to the study of relative incidence, distribution, and interrelations of educational, sociological, and psychological variables.

Qualitative Approaches to Educational Research

EDPS 900K
3

Prereq: EDPS 459/859 or equivalent; EDPS *800 or equivalent. Uses of qualitative research methods in education. The theoretical premises of research using qualitative methods and the application of this information through critique and planning research.  Qualitative methods for data collection.

Mackenzie Savaiano, Assistant Professor of Practice

Guidelines for Admittance

Admission to a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate program is a two step process. You will apply to both the Office of Graduate Studies and to the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders.  For admission requirements specific to this program, please visit UNL's Graduate Studies website.  If you have additional questions regarding the admissions process for the Visual Impairment program, contact Jill England at 402.472.2141.

Application Deadlines

The Visual Impairment program has specific admissions deadlines.  Visit the Visual Impairment website for more information.

Contact

Online Worldwide Educational Representative
Phone:
888.622.0332
E-mail: online@nebraska.edu

 

Distance Education Contact
Name:
Cheryl Griffith
Phone: 402.472.5515
E-mail: online@unl.edu

Program Contact
Name: 
Jill England
Phone:  402.472.2141
E-mail:  jengland2@unl.edu

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