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School of Education—Department of Instruction and Learning

 

The mission of the Department of Instruction and Learning is to provide regional, national, and international leadership in the study and improvement of teaching and learning in diverse educational settings. As part of its effort to carry out this mission, the department offers commonwealth teacher education certification and degree programs.

The department offers the MAT, MEd, MS, EdD, and PhD degrees in instruction and learning as well as various certifications. It has five general areas of study:

  • An area of concentration in early childhood education
  • An area of concentration in elementary education
  • An area of concentration in reading education
  • Secondary education certification and areas of concentration in:
    • English and communications education
    • Mathematics education
    • Science education
    • Social studies education
    • Foreign language education
  • Special education certification and areas of concentration in:
    • Special Education Teacher Preparation 7-12
    • Applied Behavior Analysis
    • Autisum Graduate and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
    • Early intervention for children with disabilities
    • Education of students with mental and physical disabilities
    • Vision studies special education
    • General Special education

A brief section for each of these areas follows. In each section, a link to the program’s Web site is provided. Readers interested in a specific program are encouraged to visit that program’s Web site for additional information. Please pay special attention to information provided on prerequisite courses and the curriculum.

• Admission

Applicants for admission to any of the programs in the Department of Instruction and Learning must submit their application materials to the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Admissions and Enrollment Services, 5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, PA  15260 or telephone 412-648-2230.

Admissions Information

Application for Admission

Program Information

• Early Childhood Education Program

(Area of Concentration)

The Early Childhood Education Program prepares students to teach young children (birth to age 8) and to work collaboratively with their families and other professionals. Students develop skills for employment in public and private schools, childcare centers, homes, and other facilities in which children within this age range and their families are served.

Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Early Childhood Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254  
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/earlychilded

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the School of Education section on Master’s Degree Requirements.

These following programs offer the Master of Education (MEd) in Instruction and Learning with areas of concentration and certification options as described below:

Combined Accelerated Studies in Education

After completion of the junior and senior years of study in the undergraduate Combined Accelerated Studies in Education (CASE) program the student can apply for admission to the graduate CASE Program.  The 44 credit program leads to an MEd degree, PreK-4 certification  and preK-8 special education certification.

Primary Plus, PreK-4 Teacher Certification

The Primary Plus: PreK-4 Teacher Certification Program prepares students to teach young children ages 4-9 in Pre-kindergarten and K-4 classrooms and to work collaboratively with parents and other professionals. Students will develop skills for employment in public and private schools and early childhood centers. Through coursework and field experiences with pre-kindergarteners and children in grades K-4, students will acquire an integrated understanding of academic content and child development in diverse inclusive settings. The program is designed for full-time study (Summer II, Fall and Spring Semesters), but may be adapted for part-time study.

 

Master of Education Degree (Early Childhood Education)

The program is intended for individuals who already have early childhood education certification or whose career paths do not require them to have certification. Course work in the master of education program is intended to enhance the continuing professional development of early childhood teachers beyond the skills and competencies acquired during certification study and to assist them in gaining greater self-determination through heightened awareness and understanding of their own teaching practice. Students complete a minimum 36-credit-hour program.

• Elementary Education Program

(Area of Concentration)

Contact Information

Program Coordinator
Elementary Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254   
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/elementaryed

Degree and Certification Requirements

Initial Teacher Certification (Primary Plus, PreK-4 Teacher Certification)

The Primary Plus: PreK-4 Teacher Certification Program prepares students to teach young children ages 4-9 in Pre-kindergarten and K-4 classrooms and to work collaboratively with parents and other professionals. Students will develop skills for employment in public and private schools and early childhood centers. Through coursework and field experiences with pre-kindergarteners and children in grades K-4, students will acquire an integrated understanding of academic content and child development in diverse inclusive settings. The program is designed for full-time study (Summer II, Fall and Spring Semesters), but may be adapted for part-time study.

Master of Education Degree

The MEd is a 36-credit program specializing in elementary education. Applicants are required to have a 3.00 undergraduate GPA and to be certified in elementary education.

• Reading Education Program

(Area of Concentration)

Graduate work in reading Education is available to individuals interested in working toward:

  • K-12 reading specialist certification
  • Master's degree in reading education

Those interested in doctoral study in the area of literacy should consult information related to Language, Literacy, and Culture doctoral program.

This program offers the following degree in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in reading education and certification and specialization options as noted below:

  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Education (MEd) + K-12 reading specialist certificate

Contact Information

Management
5500 Reading Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5500 Wesley W. Posvar Hal
          230 S. Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
           412-648-2230   
Fax: 412-648-1889
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/readinged

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements.

Reading Specialist K–12 Commonwealth Certification

It is required that applicants have an initial teaching certificate and some teaching experience. A minimum of 24 credit hours is required. In addition, candidates have to take 9 special education credits related to teaching English language learners either at the undergraduate or graduate level prior to apply for certification.

Reading Specialist K–12 Commonwealth Certification and a Master of Education Degree

It is required that applicants have an initial teaching certificate and some teaching experience. A minimum of 39 credit hours is required for the certificate plus Master of Education option.

Secondary Education Area of Study

The secondary education area of study offers five areas of concentration:

  • English and Communications Education
  • Mathematics Education
  • Science Education
  • Social Studies Education
  • Foreign Language Education

Within each of these areas of concentration, the student can choose to pursue a Master of Arts (MAT) teaching degree with certification in one area of concentration, or a Master of Education.

• English and Communications Education

(Area of Concentration)

Graduate work in English and communications education is available to individuals interested in working toward:

  1. English/Communications certification for grades seven through 12 and the Master of Arts in Teaching degree
  2. The Master of Education degree

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in English and communications education and certification options as noted below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
English and Communications Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254  
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/english

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

This option provides teacher certification for qualified college graduates who want to coordinate certification study with advanced studies for a master's degree. Applicants must have completed, or must be able to complete, prerequisite course work before beginning the MAT studies. Applicants must have at least a 3.00 GPA. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits beyond the prerequisite course work.

Master of Education Degree

The MEd option is a professional degree in education for the graduate student who chooses to pursue advanced study in English education. This degree is tailored to the needs of beginning or experienced secondary English teachers who wish to learn about recent developments in the field. This option requires 36 credits of specialized study in English education. All students must pass a comprehensive examination to complete the degree.

This degree is a professional degree for the graduate students who wishes to pursue advanced study in the field. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits.

• Mathematics Education

(Area of Concentration)

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in mathematics education and secondary school teacher education certification as detailed below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7454 
Fax:  412-648-7081
Email: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/mathematics

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

The Master of Arts in Teaching option provides comprehensive teacher preparation for qualified mathematics area graduates who want to coordinate certification study with advanced-level studies in education. Applicants must have completed, or be able to complete, prerequisite academic course work before beginning MAT studies. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits beyond the prerequisite course work.

Secondary Certificate and Special Education Area of Study       

      

A Secondary Content Area teacher certificate (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language Education) is combined with a second teaching certificate for Special Education grades 7-12 and a Master of Education in Special Education. Teaching candidates will study evidence based practices to improve adolescent learning through Special Education and Content Area coursework. Candidates will develop their professional teaching skills during practical experiences, in a variety of public middle and high school classrooms. The MOSAIC program is designed to provide future teachers with the skills, knowledge and experiences to be effective teachers of adolescents both with and without disabilities.

Master of Education Degree

The MEd degree in this field is a professional degree for the graduate student who wishes to pursue advanced study in the field. In addition to addressing the needs and interests of beginning and experienced teachers whose objective is to advance their backgrounds as mathematics teachers in schools, the master's degree also prepares students for admission to doctoral study. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits.

Doctor of Education Degree 

The EdD degree in this field emphasizes the development of scholarly attainment in the theory, research, and practice of mathematics education. Doctoral candidates are expected to focus on current research and theory in mathematics education, historical and philosophical issues that have influenced work in mathematics education, and the application of theory and research to the teaching and learning of mathematics in schools and related settings. Students pursuing the EdD in mathematics education are expected to have a strong background in mathematics appropriate for their focus of study.

A redesigned Doctor of Education degree starts Summer 2014. For additional degree information refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees.

• Science Education

(Area of Concentration)

The School of Education offers innovative graduate-level degree and certification options (biology, chemistry, earth and space science, general science, and physics) for science area majors interested in careers in teaching. The certification options in science education prepare the candidate for teaching assignments in grades seven through 12.

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in science education and certification programs as defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Science Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254 
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/science

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

This option provides a comprehensive teacher preparation program for qualified science area graduates who want to coordinate certification study with advanced-level studies in education. Applicants must have completed or be able to complete prerequisite academic course work before beginning MAT studies. This 36-credit program for full-time students involves 12 consecutive months of study (June - June).

Master of Education Degree

The MEd in science education program is designed for teachers who are already certified (in science or elementary education). The goals of this program are to raise the professional performance of practicing teachers, to enhance their school science faculty leadership potential, to review their knowledge of their science field(s), and to broaden their understanding of science education theory and practices. This option requires a minimum of 39 credits.

Doctor of Education Degree

This area of concentration is designed to prepare (a) professors of science in application-oriented colleges or universities, (b) faculty responsible for the preparation of teachers of science in those institutions, or (c) science curriculum and instruction leaders in either elementary or secondary science education settings.

A redesigned Doctor of Education degree starts Summer 2014. For additional degree information refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees

Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Students enroll in this degree area of concentration to become science education professors in research-oriented universities. They will teach science courses and/or guide the preparation of elementary and/or secondary school science teachers, conduct research and development projects, and serve as a graduate faculty member in those types of institutions.

A redesigned Doctor of Philosopy degree starts Summer 2014, for additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees

• Social Studies Education

(Area of Concentration)

The social studies education concentration offers courses of study leading to certification for grades seven through 12 and a master's degree.

This program offers the following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in social studies education and certification options as defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Arts in History Education (MAHE)

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Social Studies Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/socialstudies

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

This option provides qualified graduates in the social science disciplines with the opportunity to obtain Instructional I teacher certification in social studies education for grades seven through 12 and the MAT degree. All applicants are required to have completed 30 credits in one of the social science disciplines along with another 18-30 credits across the other six disciplines in addition to general arts and sciences prerequisites. The MAT option requires 36 credits.

Master of Education Degree

The MEd option is a professional degree in education for the graduate student who chooses to pursue advanced study in social studies education. This option is tailored to the needs of practicing or returning social studies teachers who wish to learn about recent developments in the field. All MEd students who enter have obtained Instructional I teacher certification or can undertake courses leading to Instructional II teacher certification in social studies. This option requires 36 credits of specialized study in social studies. All students must pass a comprehensive examination to complete the degree.

• Foreign Language Education

(Area of Concentration)

Graduate work in the foreign language education area of concentration is available to qualified persons interested in pursuing K-12 Instructional I certification in French, Spanish, German, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, or Russian.

The following degrees in instruction and learning with an area of concentration in foreign language education and the certification options are defined below:

  • Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT)
  • Master of Education (MEd)
  • Master of Education (MEd) and a University Certificate in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Foreign Language Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254   
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/foreignlanguage

Degree and Certification Options and Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Master of Arts in Teaching Degree

The Master of Arts in Teaching degree is available for qualified liberal arts graduates who want to combine initial teacher certification in a particular foreign language with advanced study for a master's degree. Applicants must have completed, or must be able to complete, prerequisite course work before beginning the MAT. Native speakers of the language of certification are not exempt from prerequisite course work in the culture, civilization, literature, and structure of their language. Students complete a minimum of 36 credits. Applicants are also required to submit results of an Oral Proficiency Interview by an individual certified by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. A rating of Advanced Low or higher on the Oral Proficiency Interview is expected.

Master of Education Degree

The MEd degree is a professional degree for individuals wishing to pursue advanced study in the field of teaching and learning foreign languages combined with trends, issues, and research in education in general. This option is tailored to the needs of foreign language teachers who wish to learn about recent developments in the field of foreign language education. This degree is also suitable for international students who wish to learn more about foreign language instruction (e.g., English as a foreign language). Some course work in a particular foreign language at the graduate level is also possible within this option. This option does not provide courses or clinical experiences for initial teacher certification. The degree consists of a minimum of 36 credit hours and may be completed on a part-time basis. International students are required to provide an assessment of English language proficiency at the time of application. A minimum score of 550 on the paper based TOEFL or a score of 80 on the internet-based TOEFL is required for admission. The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) may also be submitted as evidence of English language proficiency. A minimum score of 6.5 is necessary on IELTS for admission.

Master of Education Degree with TESOL Certificate

This option permits qualified individuals for the MEd with a specialization in foreign language education to be considered upon application by the Department of Instruction and Learning and by the Department of Linguistics for admission to the University of Pittsburgh certificate program in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). If accepted, students combine course work for the MEd in foreign language education with required courses for the TESOL certificate. Students complete a minimum of 37 credits in this combined specialization. The University of Pittsburgh TESOL certificate is not to be confused with state certification for teaching in the public elementary or secondary schools. The degree is ideal for individuals seeking positions as English language teachers in other countries or in university English Language Institutes. Each applicant who is not a native speaker of English must: (1) achieve a score of 100 or higher on the internet-based TOEFL (Skill Requirements: Reading and Listening - High; Speaking and Writing - one skill must be at the level of Good) or 7.5 or higher on the IELTS (Skills Requirement: Speaking and Writing - combined minimum of 13) and (2) have good spoken English skills.

Language, Literacy and Culture (Area of Concentration)

The Language, Literacy, and Culture (LLC) doctoral program brings together four previous doctoral programs in the Department of Instruction and Learning: English Education, Foreign Language Education, Reading Education, and Social Studies Education. The LLC program takes an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach to the study of cultural, linguistic, social, psychological, and political perspectives on educational studies. Changing immigration patterns, the population of K-12 schools, and new empirical and theoretical advances in education together indicate the need for diverse approaches and disciplinary lenses on the fields of teacher education and classroom teaching and learning. The focus is on the examination of educational issues using sociocultural, linguistic and critical theoretical approaches that are rooted in the promotion of equity, social justice and democratic values.

The LLC doctoral program is appropriate for students with backgrounds in subject matter disciplines (such as reading, English education, foreign and second language learning, applied linguistics, and social studies education) as well as for students interested in pursuing the kinds of interdisciplinary studies in instruction and learning listed above. The interdisciplinary emphasis provides students the opportunities to work with a group of dedicated faculty with diverse backgrounds in addition to being matched with an advisor who is appropriate to their interests.

Doctor of Education degree

EdD students in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program who enter the program without a master’s degree in a relevant field are required to take nine courses within the major field of LLC, a minimum of five research methods courses, three advanced seminars in a supporting field, and four electives. Students with a Masters degree in a related field can transfer credits toward the EdD with approval by the LLC faculty. EdD students are also required to complete two research practica and one teaching practicum. There is no residency requirement for EdD students. The EdD program culminates with completion of a doctoral dissertation.

A redesigned Doctor of Education degree starts Summer 2014. For additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees.

Doctor of Philosophy degree

PhD students in the Language, Literacy, and Culture program who enter the program without a Masters degree in a relevant field are required to take ten courses within the major field of LLC, a minimum of six research methods courses, six advanced seminars in a supporting field, and elective courses as needed. Students with a Masters degree in a related field can transfer credits toward the PhD with approval by the LLC faculty. PhD students are also required to complete two research practica and one teaching practicum. Furthermore, all PhD students are required to spend two consecutive terms in residency as a full-time, on-campus student. The PhD program culminates with completion of a doctoral dissertation

A redesigned Doctor of Philosophy degree starts Fall 2014. For additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees.

• Special Education Area of Study

(Area of Concentration)

The special education area of study within the Department of Instruction and Learning offers a variety of graduate study opportunities to individuals whose career goals include working with people with disabilities.

A master's degree (MEd) in instruction and learning is offered in each of the program's areas of concentration:

  • Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities
  • Education of Students with Mental and Physical Disabilities
  • General Special Education
  • Vision Studies Special Education

Work toward graduate degrees may be combined with teacher certification study in deaf and hard-of-hearing students, mentally/physically disabled, and vision studies. The areas of concentrations include academic and field work for full-time or equivalent part-time study. Field work appropriate to the individual areas is carried out at cooperating schools, agencies, and clinics in Western Pennsylvania.

The program also offers courses of study leading to eligibility for certification as supervisor of special education. At the doctoral level, the program provides opportunities for specialization studies with a particular emphasis on learning disabilities, deaf and hard-of-hearing, vision studies, orientation and mobility, or early intervention.

Degree and Certification Options and Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degrees, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements or Doctoral Degree Requirements.

Secondary Certification Options and Requirements

A Secondary Content Area teacher certificate (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, or Foreign Language Education) is combined with a second teaching certificate for Special Education grades 7-12 and a Master of Education in Special Education. Teaching candidates will study evidence based practices to improve adolescent learning through Special Education and Content Area coursework. Candidates will develop their professional teaching skills during practical experiences, in a variety of public middle and high school classrooms. The MOSAIC program is designed to provide future teachers with the skills, knowledge and experiences to be effective teachers of adolescents both with and without disabilities.

Supervisor of Special Education Certification

This certification option in special education is built on the assumption that most supervisory operations in education are, in principle, generic, with their fundamentals of theory and practice in common. The major distinguishing characteristic of this option is the application of supervisory theory to the context of the special education of exceptional children and youth. Specific emphasis is placed upon activities, relationships, facilities, agencies, persons, and processes that are peculiar to or have particular relevance to special education. The student completes a plan of studies encompassing such courses as supervision, curriculum development, current and legal issues in the specialization, and a supervision seminar associated with the internship.

Doctoral Degrees in the Special Education Area of Study

The major goal of the special education PhD and EdD degrees is the preparation of leadership personnel. Graduates must have leadership skills to identify the significant issues of the day and the ability to make decisions about the most effective use of new technologies and information to serve the nation's disabled population. They will also become researchers and scholars committed to furthering the knowledge and empirical base needed for enhancement of special education practice and of the training of special education personnel. Graduates will serve infants, children, youth, and adults with disabilities through roles as teacher educators, researchers, administrators, consultants, and supervisors. Students complete either a PhD or EdD with a particular emphasis in one of the concentrations. As they have in the past, graduates of this program will be expected to have a significant impact on the quality of educational opportunities for persons with disabilities by providing leadership for local education agencies, state educational agencies, private foundations and agencies, colleges, and universities. Both degrees require a minimum of 90 credits and a dissertation.

A redesigned Doctor of Education degree starts Summer 2014 while the designed Doctor of Philosophy Degree starts Fall 2014. For additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees.

• Early Intervention for Children with Disabilities

(Area of Concentration)

This concentration prepares students to teach infants, toddlers, and preschoolers with disabilities from birth to 5 years of age in hospital, home, and center-based settings, to support families of these young children in decision-making and resource identification, and to collaborate with other professionals in service delivery. The degree options are as follows:

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Early Intervention Special Education
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254  
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/ei

Master of Education Degree - Focus on Early Intervention

A hands-on, carefully supervised approach is used to assist students in developing competence in assessing young children with a variety of disabilities and planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs for them. The specialization emphasizes the development of collaborative partnerships with families and with other professionals in the delivery of services. Special consideration is given to preparing students to address the needs of young children with disabilities in community settings that are designed for the inclusion of all children. Course work and practicum experiences are based on evidenced-based practices. Students complete a minimum of 37 credit hours beyond six hours of prerequisite course work.

Master of Education Degree - Focus on Early Intervention with Autism Specialization

This program adds an Autism Specialization to the Early Intervention Program. In addition to courses specific to autism, students take courses in Applied Behavior Analysis. They typically complete one practicum in a setting specifically designed for children with autism in addition to one in an inclusive setting and another in a home-based program that include children with autism. Students complete a minimum of 46 credits beyond the six hours of prerequisite course work.

• Education of Mental and Physical Disabilities

(Area of Concentration)

The major goal of the Special Education PhD and Ed.D degrees is the preparation of leadership personnel. Graduates must have leadership skills to identify the significant issues of the day and the ability to make decisions about the most effective use of new technologies and information to serve the nation's disabled population. They will also become researchers and scholars committed to furthering the knowledge and empirical base needed for enhancement of special education practice and of the training of special education personnel. Graduates will serve infants, children, youth, and adults with disabilities through roles as teacher educators, researchers, administrators, consultants, and supervisors.

Students complete either a PhD or Ed.D in Special Education with a particular emphasis in learning disabilities, deaf and hard of hearing, vision studies, orientation and mobility, or early intervention. As they have in the past, it is expected that graduates of this program will have a significant impact on the quality of educational opportunities for persons with disabilities by providing leadership for local education agencies, state educational agencies, private foundations and agencies, colleges, and universities.

This option is available for students with at least three years experience in teaching children with Mental and Physical Disabilities. (i.e., learning disabilities, mental retardation, etc.). Students may choose between the Ph.D. or Ed.D. Both programs require a minimum of 90 credits of course work including dissertation research. The Ph.D. requires a one year research residency on campus.

A redesigned Doctor of  Education degree starts Summer 2014 while the redesigned Doctor of Philosophy Degree starts Fall 2014, for additional degree information, refer to the introductory school section on Doctoral Degrees

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Education of Mentally and Physically Disabled
Department of Instruction and Learning
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254 
Fax: 412-648-7081
E-mail: dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/mpd

 

• Vision Studies Special Education

(Area of Concentration)

The vision studies concentration prepares professionals to educate children and adults with visual disabilities. This specialization enables students to acquire dual certification as teachers of children with visual disabilities and/or as Orientation and Mobility (O&M) specialists with a Master of Education degree and provides the only opportunity for dual certification in this region of the United States. In addition, a component of the program provides the student with both didactic and clinical course work in early intervention with children who are blind and visually impaired. Teachers of children with visual disabilities provide instruction in educational placements that include public schools, resource rooms, and full-time classrooms for children with visual disabilities, or in approved private schools. Graduates provide specialized educational services as an itinerant teacher, a full-time classroom teacher, or a teacher consultant with children birth through age 21. O&M specialists provide necessary instruction to visually disabled children and adults to enable safe, independent travel. Training includes integrating skills such as orientation in space in conjunction with the use of a long cane, dog guide, or an optical or electronic device. Students in the vision studies specialization participate in both didactic and practicum experiences to gain a broad range of specialty skills.

The vision studies special education concentration offers the applicant a number of degree and certification options:

  1. Commonwealth Certification in Vision Education
  2. Commonwealth Certification in Orientation and Mobility (O&M)
  3. Dual Certification in Vision Education and O&M
  4. MEd in Instruction and Learning with Vision Education Certification
  5. MEd in Instruction and Learning with O&M Certification
  6. MEd with Dual Certification in Vision Education and O&M

Contact Information

Specialization Coordinator
Vision Studies Special Education
5300 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
412-624-7254 
Fax:  412-648-7081
E-mail:  dil@pitt.edu
www.education.pitt.edu/visionstudies

Degree and Certification Requirements

For additional degree requirement information for the following degree, refer to the school section on Master’s Degree Requirements.

Commonwealth Certification in Vision Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education grants a certification as a teacher of children with visual disabilities, which is a recognized certification in most states. This option includes approximately 27 credits of both didactic and clinical coursework.

Certification in Orientation and Mobility

The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals grants a professional certification in O&M that enables the graduate to provide O&M services to children and adults. This option includes approximately 24 credits of both didactic and clinical coursework.

Dual Certification in Vision Education and Orientation and Mobility

Holding dual certification as a teacher of children with visual disabilities and O&M specialist makes the vision studies specialization graduate more attractive to employers in public schools, private schools for the blind, and agencies that serve children or adults. This option includes approximately 39 credits of both didactic and clinical coursework.

Master of Education Degree

The Master of Education degree can be added to any of the options above with the completion of four courses or 12 credits of graduate-level course work in regular education.

• General Special Education

(Area of Concentration)

Individually designed master’s degree specializations (36 credits minimum) are available for those students who hold Pennsylvania special education teaching certificates or for regular educators who just want to learn more about special education. These specializations are designed to accommodate individualized professional goals but do not provide students with special education certification. Students may also pursue study for other certifications and/or other specialized study.

Department of Instruction and Learning Course Listings

 

 
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