Texas Tech University

Special Education - Visual Impairment

The Trademark Outcome (TO) that distinguishes our program graduates for the Visual Impairment (VI) Program is: The candidate in the Visual Impairment Program will, upon completion, be able to conduct an assistive technology evaluation with and provide instruction to a student with a visual impairment using collaborative consultation.

Upon completion of this program, the candidate is qualified to become a teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI) working with students ages birth-21 in a variety of educational settings. The majority of the students in the VI program at TTU have jobs as a TVI prior to completion of the program on a VI Emergency Permit.

Program Overview

Students in the Visual Impairment (VI) Program can obtain the Visual Impairment Supplemental Certification EC-12 only or can also get a Master's Degree in Special Education with a specialization in Visual Impairment. For the VI Supplemental Certification, an initial teaching certification in any area of general education or in special education is required since this certification is added on to the initial certification. Passing two TExES state exams (braille and VI) is required to become certified in Texas.


The Visual Impairment Program is guided by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) initial and advanced Visual Impairment Knowledge and Skills Standards and by the Texas State Board for Educator Certification Visual Impairment and Braille Standards.

Programs Offered

M.Ed.in Special Education and Texas Visual Impairment Supplemental Certification- EC-12, offered Online/Hybrid (online with some face-to-face components: 3 courses have required weekends- 2 in Lubbock and 1 in Austin). One class per long semester is offered face-to-face in Austin on 7 Saturdays.

Career Opportunities With This Degree

Students completing either the VI Certification Program or the Master's Program with a specialization in Visual Impairment who become certified are eligible to be hired by a school district to work as a teacher of students with visual impairments (TVI). The majority of TVIs work in an itinerant service delivery model and travel from school to school to work with the students who are blind or visually impaired in their home school. It is a unique teaching profession that differs from being a classroom teacher in which the TVI significantly impacts the lives of children who are blind or visually impaired. Some TVIs work at a residential school for students with visual impairments in a classroom setting.

Application Process

All programs require that you submit an online application through the Graduate School.

Semester in which the program can be started

Spring, Fall, or Summer I or II

Estimated Hours to Completion

36 credit hours for Master's; 24 hours for visual impairment certification only

Allowable Transfer Hours

6 credit hours for Master's, at advisor's discretion

Financial Aid

TTU Graduate School and COE scholarships, research assistantships, student loans (loans not available for certification-only students)

Program-Specific Scholarships Offered

The Reach Across Texas Program offers competitive scholarships for tuition assistance for Texas residents in the Teacher of Students with Visual Impairment Program for the visual impairment certification courses. Applicants who want to be considered should complete this application. The application for a competitive stipend award needs to be printed out and faxed to 806-742-2326 or mailed to the Sowell Center. Deadline for consideration for a scholarship award for fall is June 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is May 1.


No hard deadline, however, deadlines exist for completion and submission of scholarship applications. Deadline for consideration for a scholarship award for fall is June 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is May 1.

Tuition & Fees

Visit the Student Business Services website to estimate your costs.


Visual Impairment Program Coordinator:
Dr. Rona Pogrund
512-206-9213 (office)
806-252-8026 (cell)

Dr. L.J. Gould