Skip to main content

This is your Donation message.

Academic Program Guide


Visual Disabilities Education


College: Education
Degree: Combined BS/MS
Limited Access: Yes

Contact: Robert Birken or Frank Amidon
Address: 2301 Stone Bldg., FSU Tallahassee, FL 32306-4460
Phone: (850) 644-3760
Email:


Description of Major

The Visual Disabilities Education BS/MS pathway will prepare you to work with individuals who are blind or have low vision. Visual Disability teachers are employed in a variety of settings, such as a resource room or as an itinerant teacher in a public school, at a school for the blind, or at an agency serving children who have visual impairments. Most graduates find immediate employment in this field and lead satisfying professional lives facilitating the development of skills of children and adults with visual impairments.

Combined BS/MS Degree Pathway
The Visual Disabilities Education program is a combined BS/MS degree pathway. The BS/MS pathway requires two years of upper-division undergraduate coursework plus one additional year of graduate coursework. Admission to the graduate portion of the combined degree pathway requires a 3.00 upper-division undergraduate GPA.

Upon completion of the undergraduate program you will earn a bachelor’s degree in Visual Disabilities Education. Your bachelor's degree will be awarded at the end of the Spring semester of your senior year. Upon completion of the graduate program you will earn a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with a major in Visual Disabilities.

Professional Educator’s Certificate
Upon awarding of the Master’s degree you will have satisfied all the requirements for a state-approved teacher preparation program in Florida. You will be eligible for a Florida Professional Educator’s Certificate in Visual Impairment (K - 12).


Prerequisite Coursework

Prerequisite Coursework: (3 hours)

Pre-Education Coursework: (3 Credit Hours)
The following coursework must be completed with a grade of C minus or better:

EDF 1005 (3) Introduction to Education or an equivalent course offering a broad view of education from a historical, cultural, psychological, political, social, and philosophical perspectives. Course must include a field experience.

Limited Access/Enrollment Notice
Visual Disabilities Education is a limited access program that utilizes selective admission to limit program enrollment.*Meeting the minimum requirements for admission does not guarantee admission to the program.*

Admission to Educator Preparation
Admission to Educator Preparation is separate and distinct from admission to upper-division from lower-division or admission to the university as a transfer student. All prospective students for Visual Disabilities Education must apply for formal admission to Educator Preparation through the College of Education. The Educator Preparation application is available online at http://education.fsu.edu/teacher-ed-admissions.

Application Deadline
The Visual Disabilities Education program only accepts applications for the Fall semester. Educator Preparation applications are due April 1. All application materials including official transcripts and official FTCE General Knowledge Exam scores must be received by application deadline. The College of Education reserves the right to deny any application that is not complete by the application deadline.

Common Admission Requirements
All prospective students to Educator Preparation must meet the following minimum requirements for admission:

1. Complete 60 credit hours of college-level coursework.
2. Earn a 2.50 cumulative GPA in all attempted college coursework. In calculating your GPA, we use all attempted courses (including D's, F's, and WF's) from every college you have attended. If a course is repeated, we will use both grades.
3. Complete FSU General Education curriculum or earn AA degree from a Florida public institution.
4. Complete a Natural Science Lab course with a C minus or better.
5. Complete Oral Communication Competency (Speech) requirement with a C minus or better.
6. Complete Computer Skills Competency requirement with a C minus or better (EME 2040 recommended).
7. Complete Diversity requirement with a C minus or better (EDF 2085 recommended).
8. Complete EDF 1005 - Introduction to Education with a C minus or better.
9. Earn passing scores on all four sections of the FTCE General Knowledge Exam.

See http://liberalstudies.fsu.edu/curriculum.html for General Education curriculum.
See http://liberalstudiescourses.fsu.edu for a list of approved Liberal Studies courses.

Additional Requirements for Transfer Students
Transfer students must satisfy the university’s minimum requirements for admission including demonstration of satisfactory academic progress, college-level English and mathematics proficiency, and world language proficiency. Applicants who will have attempted 90+ semester hours of college credit (including withdrawals and repeated courses) before enrolling at Florida State University must submit a personal statement to the Office of Admissions. The statement must address the reason(s) for transferring to FSU this late in the academic program and should also include a plan for a timely graduation. See http://admissions.fsu.edu/transfer/ for details.

FTCE General Knowledge Exam
The FTCE General Knowledge Exam (GK Exam) is a state-mandated entrance exam for all Educator Preparation programs in the State of Florida. No student may be admitted to an Educator Preparation program without official passing scores on all four sections on the GK Exam. There are no exceptions to this policy. For more information on the GK Exam including test preparation resources please visit http://education.fsu.edu/teacher-ed-admissions and http://education.fsu.edu/test-prep.


Requirements

Major Program of Study at FSU: (84 hours)

Undergraduate Coursework: (48 hours)
EEX 4770 (3) Study of Human Exceptionality
EVI 4011 (3) Introduction to Visual Disabilities
EVI 4121 (3) Anatomy and Diseases of the Eye for Blindness Professionals
EVI 4211 (3) Literary Braille
EVI 4212 (3) Nemeth Code and Supporting Math Instruction for Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4220 (3) Introduction to Orientation and Mobility
EVI 4230 (3) Educational Management of Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4250 (3) Teaching Social and Career Skills to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4254 (3) Teaching Independent Living Skills to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4311 (3) Teaching Reading and Writing to Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4312 (3) Academic Modifications for Students with Visual Impairments
EVI 4314 (3) Low Vision
EVI 4324 (3) Assistive Technology for Students with Visual Impairments in the Schools
EVI 4330 (3) Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Other Disabilities I
EVI 4331 (3) Teaching Students with Visual Impairments and Other Disabilities II
RED 4310 (3) Early Literacy Learning

Graduate Coursework: (30 hours)

Twelve (12) of the thirty (30) graduate credit hours required for the Master’s degree are completed as part of the undergraduate program during the senior year study. These courses will be charged at the graduate tuition rate.

EEX 8966 (0) Master's Comprehensive Exam
EVI 5018 (3) PK-12 Students with Visual Impairments: Assessment Strategies
EVI 5226 (3) Developmentally Appropriate Orientation and Mobility
EVI 5355 (3) Issues of Blindness in Society
EVI 5374 (3) Advanced Methods for Learners with Visual Impairment and High Intensity Needs
EVI 5935 (3) Studies in Research on Individuals with Visual Impairment
EVI 5942 (12) Student Teaching in Visual Disabilities
TSL 5325 (3) English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Instruction in the Content Areas

University Wide Graduation Requirements

Computer Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Oral Communication Competency: (3 hours) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Natural Science Lab: (1 hour) Completed within General Education/elective coursework

Scholarship-In-Practice: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework

Upper-Division Writing: (3 hours) Completed within major coursework (RED 4310)

LiveText
A LiveText membership is required for all Educator Preparation candidates. The LiveText membership costs $133 and must be purchased within the first 30 days of your first semester in the program. Throughout your program, courses will include Signature Assessments that must be completed and uploaded into LiveText for evaluation by your instructors. Your LiveText membership is good for five years and allows you to retain evidence of your demonstration of the Florida Educator Accomplished Practices (FEAPS) and Reading Competencies.

Additional Examinations
Two additional exams are required before student teaching and graduation:

1. FTCE Professional Education Exam (PE) - $150
2. FTCE Subject Area Exam - $150

The FTCE Professional Education Exam and Subject Area Exam are state-mandated requirements and cannot be waived. Both FTCE exams must be completed before a candidate can participate in Student Teaching. Test preparation resources are available online at http://education.fsu.edu/test-prep.

Criminal Background Screening
School districts have taken precautionary measures to ensure the security and safety of their students. To gain entry into a school and to comply with the Jessica Lunsford Act, all Educator Preparation candidates involved in field experiences and student teaching must complete a Level II background screening (fingerprinting). The cost of the screening and red badge is $95.00 and is effective for five years. The background check must be completed within the first 30 days of your first semester in the program. See https://education.fsu.edu/background-clearance-level-ii for additional details.

Field Experiences
Field Experiences are a required component of all educator preparation programs at Florida State University. They provide students an opportunity to participate in teaching activities in a classroom setting with a certified teacher. The location, duration and frequency of field experiences vary by semester and program. Prospective students should think carefully about their transportation needs, work schedule, extracurricular activities and time management. See https://education.fsu.edu/classroom-field-experience for additional details.

Student Teaching
Student Teaching is the culminating experience in Florida State University’s Educator Preparation Program. During this semester-long experience, you will be given an opportunity to demonstrate the various skills that you have learned throughout your program. See https://education.fsu.edu/student-teaching for additional details.

Professional Behaviors and Dispositions
While enrolled in an Educator Preparation program, candidates are expected to demonstrate positive behaviors and dispositions that conform to the "Code of Ethics" (State Board of Education Rule 6A10.080 FAC) and the "Principles of Professional Conduct in Florida" (State Board of Education Rule 6A10.081 FAC). Each program reserves the right to refuse or discontinue enrollment of any student who violates these expectations or in the judgment of a majority of the program faculty does not meet the program standards. Information on professional behaviors and dispositions can be found on the Educator Preparation Web site: http://education.fsu.edu/student-resources/student-academic-services-oasis/educator-preparation.

Program Completion
All Educator Preparation candidates must demonstrate mastery of the Florida Department of Education Uniform Core Curriculum and positive dispositions prior to graduation. Upon admission to the program, students will receive a cohort specific Educator Preparation Handbook that outlines these requirements in detail. A copy of the current Educator Preparation Handbook is available online at http://education.fsu.edu/student-resources/student-academic-services-oasis/educator-preparation.

Minimum Program Requirements – Summary

Total Hours Required: 139
General Education: 36
Lower Division Elective Coursework: 15
Computer Skills: 3
Oral Communication Competency: 3
Natural Science Lab: 1
Pre-Education Coursework: 3
Undergraduate Major Coursework: 48
Graduate Major Coursework: 30


Mapping
Mapping is FSU’s academic advising and monitoring system. Academic progress is monitored each Fall and Spring semester to ensure that students are on course to earn their degree in a timely fashion. Transfer students must meet mapping guidelines to be accepted into their majors. You may view the map for this major at www.academic-guide.fsu.edu/.


Remarks
1. A minimum of 45 hours at the 3000 level or above, 30 of which must be taken at this University.
2. All of the major course semester hours must be completed in residence at this University.
3. The final 30 hours must be completed in residence at this University.


Employment Information
Salary Information: National Association of Colleges and Employers, Occupational Outlook Handbook

Representative Job Titles: Resource Room Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Itinerant Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, Transition Specialist for students with Visual Impairments, Preschool Specialist for Young Children with Visual Impairments, Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Program Specialist, ESE Administrator, Agency Director, Principal, Superintendent of School for the Blind, Educational Diagnostician, Educational Consultant.

Representative Employers: School Boards, Rehabilitation Centers, Community Agencies, Governmental Agency Schools, Division of Blind Services, Private Residential Schools.


View Visual Disabilities Education Academic Map