About the Program In Visual Impairment (Credential or MA)
California State University, Los Angeles offers an Educational Specialist Credential in Visual Impairment (VI) and a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Visual Impairment. Courses in both the VI credential and MA program promote educational equity, collaboration, reflective practice, while maintaining mastery of the body of knowledge for the specific discipline of interest.
The purpose of the Credential Program in VI is to prepare teachers to work with infants, toddlers, children and youth who are blind and visually impaired, including those with multiple disabilities, to teach in a diverse urban society. Credential candidates learn to teach academic and functional skills, including reading and writing braille. Students learn instructional strategies and methods for adapting materials for learners who are visually impaired. They also develop skills to assess functional vision and determine learning media. Emphasis is placed on preparing candidates to provide instruction in independent living skills, low vision efficiency, use of assistive technology, leisure/recreation skills, vocational/transition, and social skills.
The purpose of the MA Degree in VI is to provide students with higher education learning. One major focus of the MA program is on analyzing and conducting educational research in the field of visual impairment and blindness. Students in the MA program must complete one of two options as their culminating experience: 1) pass the MA comprehensive examination in Visual Impairment and Blindness or 2) complete a thesis project.
California Program graduates may work as itinerant, resource room, and special classroom teachers, or as teachers at specialized schools for visually impaired children and youth. They also may serve as consultants and support professionals to public school teachers in elementary, middle or high schools.