Visual Impairments Licensure, PK-12 Graduate Certificate
Graduates learn the the strategies and tools that can help visually impaired students learn about the world, perform everyday activities, and participate in the general curriculum and other activities in school.
This certificate offers the required coursework for PK-12 teacher licensure in Teaching Students with Visual Impairments.
15-33 credits — Students who have completed graduate or undergraduate coursework in a special education university program prior to admission to the certificate may request that courses in the certificate program be waived based on completion of the content in prior coursework. Students waiving coursework must complete a minimum of 15 credits to be eligible for the certificate.
Co/Pre-requisite to entry into the program: EDSE 501 Intro to Special Education
Pre-requisite to internship (prior to completion of the program): Language Development and Literacy course (EDSE 503), passing RVE or VRA score, or current collegiate professional license
Courses offered every fall, spring and summer semester:
- EDSE 501: Introduction to Special Education (3 credit hours) — Program pre-requisite; if not already met through prior coursework, must be completed in the first semester
- EDSE 511: Characteristics of Students with Visual Impairments (1 credit hour) — Must be taken in the first semester of VI coursework
- EDSE 785: Internship: Visual Impairment (2 - 6 credit hours) (Must complete six credits of internship)
Fall course offerings:
- EDSE 512: Braille Code (3 credit hours)
- EDSE 513: Medical and Educational Implications of Visual Impairments (3 credit hours)
- EDAT 522: Assistive Technology for Individuals with Sensory Impairments (3 credit hours)*
- EDSE 532: Positive Behavior Supports (3 credit hours)
Spring course offerings:
- EDSE 662: Consultation and Collaboration (3 credit hours) This course is offered spring, summer and fall but is only eligible for tuition benefits as part of the Visual Impairments Consortium in the spring semester
- EDSE 518: Curriculum and Assessment for Students with Visual Impairments (3 credit hours)*
- EDSE 616: Braille Reading & Writing (3 credit hours)* — pre-requisite: EDSE 512
Summer course offerings:
- EDSE 514: Orientation & Mobility for Students with Visual Impairments (2 credit hours)
- EDSE 613: Teaching Methods for Students with Visual Impairments (3 credit hours)*
Total: 34 credits
Masters in Special Education Students
Students who are completing the Masters in Special Education in conjunction with their licensure program will need to complete the following courses to meet the MEd course requirements. Click here for a chart showing overlap in coursework of the VI licensure certificate and MEd. The MEd courses can be taken at any point in a student's program.
- EDSE 503: Language Development & Reading
- EDSE 517: Computer Applications for Special Populations
- EDSE 590: Special Education Research
- Official, passing VDOE Required Entry Assessment scores (Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators, Praxis I pre-December 31, 2013, or qualifying substitute) are required prior to the time of application for internship and for application to Mason's state-approved licensure certificate programs.
- Official, passing Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment (VCLA) scores are required at the time of application for internship. A total test score of at least 470 is passing.
- An official, passing score on the Praxis II: Reading for Educators (RVE) assessment is required at the time of application for internship. A total test score of at least 157 is passing.
- An official, passing score on the Praxis II: Braille Proficiency assessment is required prior to graduation or submission for licensure.
- Evidence of Emergency First Aid, CPR and Use of AED Certification or Training at the time of application for internship.
*Students completing Virginia licensure programs are eligible for an exemption from RVE, VCLA, and Praxis II: Braille Proficiency if the Special Education licensure area they are pursuing will not be their initial teacher licensure in Virginia. Students exempt from taking one or more tests for this reason must provide documentation of this exemption. (Holding a VA License is not an approved exemption for meeting the VDOE Required Entry Assessment.)
Tuition Assistance and Grant Funding
Visual Impairments Consortium: The Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Visual Impairments is made up of six universities: George Mason University, James Madison University, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University. Its primary goal is to prepare teachers to be highly skilled at working with students with visual impairment and blindness. Classes will be offered through video conferencing equipment to establish real-time, interactive, multipoint instruction among the six universities. The consortium is supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Education. Every semester, a limited number of tuition stipends are awarded to qualified applicants.
Graduate Research Assistantships: Part time positions are available for students interested in providing research support to faculty.
George Mason University College of Education and Human Development is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). All licensure programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Education. George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student’s responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law a social security number is required for licensure.