Masters in Visual Impairments FAQ's

FAQ's

Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness (VI):

Q: What is an Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: The Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness authorizes holders of the credential to work with children ages birth-22 years old, who are eligible for special education due to visual impairments, including children with multiple disabilities.

Q: How long does it take to complete the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Generally speaking, students must commit to two years of full time study to earn a Preliminary Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness, followed by an additional set of course work to complete a Clear Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness. However, some students may have taken courses in general education and/or special education at California State Univeristy, Los Angeles or from another institution. Some of these courses may be transferred. Advisement should be sought for a determination of transferrable credit.

Q: What are the admissions requirements to apply to California State University, Los Angeles?

A: Please visit the California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) homepage where you will find a link to the CSULA Admissions requirements. To apply for the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness you should schedule an appointment to meet with the Program Coordinator. 

Q: What are the admissions requirements to apply to the Charter College of Education?

A: Please visit the Charter College of Education (CCOE) homepage for additional admissions requirements. To apply for the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness you should schedule an appointment to meet with the Program Coordinator. 

Q: Do I need to take the CBEST and the CSET prior to being admitted to the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: As of fall 2011 students entering the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness must pass the Californai Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and have met subject matter competence, prior to admission. Passing the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET) is one way to meet the subject matter requirement. However, some students may have met the subject matter requirement in an alternate way (e.g. possession of a single subject credential); please contact your advisor for further clarification of subject matter requirements. 

Q: When is the deadline to apply for the Education Specialist Credential in  Visual Impairment and Blindness program?

A: The CCOE accepts applicants to the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness three quarters each year (fall, winter, and spring quarters). Please visit the CSULA website for admissions deadlines

Q: Can I get a master’s degree in VI as I pursue my Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness may choose to concurrently work towards earning a Master of Arts degree (MA) in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness. Students interested in applying to the MA program in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness should apply to the program prior to taking 13 units of MA coursework. Admissions requirements to the MA program require students to apply for the MA program. To apply for the MA Program, a university application and a CCOE application must be filed. Please contact the Program Coordinator for further information.

Q: Do I have to get a master’s degree in VI as a requirement of the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness do not need to pursue a MA degree while enrolled in the program. 

Q: Can I get a master’s degree without possession of or working toward the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students who are working towards their MA degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairment and Blindness must also earn or possess an Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness. Students may not earn a MA degree without holding a valid Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness.

Q: Do you have a program for international students?

A: International students may apply to CSULA and work towards earning a California Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness.

Information for Future Students who are in Possession of a Valid California Teaching Credential:

Q: If I already have a valid, Clear California teaching credential in general or special education, then how long will it take me to complete the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: If you possess a valid, Clear California multiple subjects, single subjects, or education specialist credential, then some courses may be waived from your program of study. You will need to meet with the Program Coordinator  to determine which courses may not be required. A course transfer form, found in the Division of Special Education and Counseling Office may be required.  

Q: If I have a valid California Credential in Clinical Rehabilitation Services in Orientation and Mobility (O&M), then what are the requirements for me to earn a Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students with a valid California Clinical Rehabilitation Services Credential in O&M are required to have passing scores on the CBEST and they must meet the subject matter requirement or pass the CSET. While students may have some transferable credits from coursework previously completed during the O&M program, several additional courses will need to be completed. You will need to meet with the Program Coordinator  to determine which courses may not be required. A course transfer form, found in the Division of Special Education and Counseling Office may be required.  

Q: If I already have valid, Clear California teaching credential in general or special education, do I have to complete student teaching?

A: All students enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness are required to successfully complete 2 quarters of student teaching practicums, as required by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. 

Masters of Arts in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairments:

Q: What are the requirements for completeing the MA Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students completing a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness should consult with the Program Coordinator to determine the requirements of the MA Program. Successful completion of the MA Comprehensive Exam or a thesis is required. 

Q: Can I graduate with my Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness without having finished the MA Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: The Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness and the Master’s of Arts Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness are two separate programs. Students can apply for graduation for their teaching credential during their final quarter of the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness. Additionally, students may apply for graduation for their MA degree during their final quarter of the Master’s of Arts Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness.  

Coursework in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness:

Q: While I am waiting on formal acceptance into the University and/or the CCOE, may  I enroll in courses?

A: Yes, you may enroll in EDSP 400, EDSP 408, and EDSP 469 through Open University/Extended Education while waiting on formal acceptance to the university and/or CCOE. Due to the fact that some courses are offered once a year, and pre-requisite requirements vary, it is recommended that you frequently meet with your advisor to determine which courses you are eligible for enrollment.  

Q: Are the courses in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness online?

A: Many courses in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness are offered fully online using a variety of synchronous and asynchronous virtual tools. Some courses are hybrid courses, meaning they meet partially online and face-to-face, and other courses meet face-to-face weekly. For more information about course scheduling please contact the Program Coordinator.

Q: Are courses in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness offered in the evenings? 

A: The majority of courses in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness are offered in the evenings and/or on Saturdays. For more information about course scheduling please contact the Program Coordinator.  

Q: Do I have to learn braille?

A: All students enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness program are required to pass the Literary Braille and the Nemeth Code Braille courses, and they must pass the Final Braille Competency Examination by the end of their final quarter in the program. Certified braille transcribers also must take the braille courses. For more information on the braille courses or the Final Braille Competency Examination please meet with the Program Coordinator.

Q: When enrolled in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness, which student teaching course do I enroll in? 

A: Prior to enrolling in student teaching practicums students must meet with the Program Coordinator to determine which student teaching practicum they are eligible for enrollment.

Q: May I enroll in courses in the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness while I am pursuing my Bachelor of Arts degree (BA)?

A: CSULA offers a BA degree in Urban Learning. As part of the Urban Learning program, you may enroll in some courses that may count towards earning your Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness. For more information on possible courses you will need to meet with the Urban Learning advisor at 323-343-4409. 

Q: Do I have to work on my BA at CSULA to take courses in Visual Impairment and Blindness as an undergraduate student?

A: The Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness is a program for graduate students. However, undergraduate students who are enrolled in the Urban Learning program at CSULA may take courses in Special Education while they complete their BA.  

Registration :

Q: I cannot register for a class through GET. What do I do?

A: To register for courses you must first pay your registration fees. Once registration fees have been paid, if you receive an error message that states that you need a permit, then please email your program advisor a request for a permit that includes your name, CIN#, and the course number for which you need a permit. For additional information, please contact the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness office 323-343-6297 or the Division of Special Education and Counseling office, at 323-343-4400.

Q: I am not able to register for EDSP 300. What are the requirements to get into EDSP 300?

A: To enroll in EDSP 300 students must meet several pre-requisite requirements, including proof of passing scores on the California Basic Subject Skills Test (CBEST) and evidence that they have met the subject matter requirement [e.g. passing the California Subject Exam for Teachers (CSET)]. For students who have met the pre-requisite requirements and who are elligible to enroll in EDSP 300, a permit will be submitted during the 9th or 10th week of the previous quarter. 

Deadlines, Permit Requirements, and Applications:

Q: What are important deadlines and requirements that I need to be aware of? 

A. Students are responsible for being informed of deadlines and for meeting the requirements in a timely manner. Each quarter, dates for all requirements that have a deadline are posted in the Division of Special Education and Counseling's office. Particular dates to be aware of include deadlines for the following procedures: a) Admissions deadlines & paperwork, b) Applying for a MA program, c) Learning Center application EDSP 407, d) Fieldwork practicum applications EDSP 407/489, e) Credential applications f) Leave of Absence, g) Induction courses EDSP 595A/B, h) Credential evaluation process. Also, some courses have prerequisites. For example, EDEL 417 – Requires Math portion of CSET or passing Math 110 and EDSP 407 (6 units) – Requires EDSP 300, EDSP 400, EDEL 415. Check the CSULA catalog for the most current prerequisite requirements for each course, prior to enrolling in the courses.

Q: What is the difference between EDSP 407/489?

A: Both EDSP 407 and EDSP 489 are fieldwork courses. Please contact the Program Coordinator to discuss the differences between the options and which options for completing fieldwork are best for you.

Q: Where do I find applications for 407, 489, 595A/B, and 596?

A: Applications for EDSP 407, 489, 595A/B and 596 can be picked up in the Division of Special Education and Counseling office. Completed applications must be submitted to the Division of Special Education and Counseling office. Students are responsible for timely submission of the applications. Please check with the division office for deadlines. 

Q: When is the deadline to submit applications for EDSP 407/489?

A: You must complete an application and turn it in to the Division of Special Education and Counseling office by the second week of the quarter prior to taking EDSP 407/489 to receive a permit to take the course. Permits are issued after the 8th week of the prior quarter.

Q: When is the deadline to submit applications for EDSP 595A/B?

A: You must complete and submit an application no later than Thursday of the fifth week of the quarter prior to enrollment in the course. Exact dates are listed in the Division of Special Education and Counseling office each quarter. 

Q: When is the deadline to submit applications for EDSP 596 the MA Comprehensive Examination?

A: You must complete and submit an application no later than Thursday of the fifth week of the quarter prior to enrollment in the course. Exact dates are listed in the Division of Special Education and Counseling office each quarter.

Q: How do I apply for my Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness?

A: Students must complete a credential evaluation form and submit the form to Student Services to apply for their credential. For more information on applying for your credential please contact Student Services at 323 343-4320.

Q: After completing my Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness or my MA Program with a specialization in Visual Impairment and Blindness, how do I apply for graduation?

A: The graduate division has four filing periods for graduation. The dates are posted on the bulletin board outside of the Division of Special Education and Counseling office and can also be found on the CSULA website. Students will apply for the filing period for the last quarter that they will complete their program. Example: If you will complete your program in fall 2012 then you would apply for the filing period for fall 2012 which is July 10-July 26, 2012. Graduate applications should be completed and submitted to the Charter College of Education Associate Dean’s office. Please contact the Associate Dean’s office at 323 343-4303 if you have additional questions regarding applying for graduation.

Summer Quarter:

Q: Does CSULA offer courses during the Summer Quarter?

A: A limited number of courses are sometimes offered during the summer quarter. For additional information, please contact the Division of Special Education and Counseling office, at 323-343-4400.

Leave of Absence:

Q: How many quarters may I miss before I must apply for a leave of absence.

A: Students must apply for a leave of absence if they miss more than two consecutive quarters (excluding summer).

Q: What is the deadline for submitting a leave of absence form?

A: The leave of absence form must be submitted no later than the quarter before you plan to take your leave of absence.

Q: How many quarters may I miss while on a leave of absence?

A: Graduate students are allowed to take a leave for a maximum of four quarters. For additional information regarding leave of absence please contact the Office of Enrollment Services and Veteran Affairs.

Q: Where can I get a leave of absence form?

A: The leave of absence form can be picked up in the Special Education and Counseling office in King Hall C1064. The form can also be printed from the Office of Enrollment Services and Veteran Affairs on the CSULA website.

Additional Information:

Q: Are there a lot of jobs in the field of visual impairment and blindness?

A: Job opportunities are available in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Although visual impairments are considered a low incidence disability, at a national level, highly qualified teachers of students with visual impairments are scarce.

Q: If I have a job offer how can I get into the Education Specialist Intern Program?

A: For information regarding the Education Specialist Intern Program, contact the Intern Program Coordinator at (323) 343-4436. Also, please visit the Intern Program Website.

Q: Does the Education Specialist Credential Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness program offer scholarships, grant funding or financial assistance?

A: The Program in Visual Impairment and Blindness has federal grant funding available to provide stipends to assist students as they pursue their Education Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment and Blindness. For more information about the federal grant contact the VI advisor or visit the Grant Awards webpage. 

M.A. in Special Education Option in Visual Impairment & Blindness: Teacher Preparation