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The University of Massachusetts Boston is the only academic center for preparing Orientation and Mobility Specialists in New England. The university is seeking graduate applicants in each of the six New England states and is particularly interested in expanding enrollment of students from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds as well as students with disabilities.
Although our program is mostly online, most of the courses have in-person, face-to-face class requirements. These requirements are dictated by each course instructor--typically one or two meetings per semester on a weekend. The Methods of Orientation and Mobility Lab (SPE-G 641) is a course that meets in person, one full weekday per week, from the beginning of July to November (total = 20-21 full-day classes) in the Boston Area. In this lab, students learn O&M skills and how to teach these techniques to peers. In the lab, there are no more than six students per cohort with one instructor. Cohorts are assigned based on geographic area.
The School for Global Inclusion and Social Development has often federal grants to address the national and regional shortage of teachers and related service professionals with specialized knowledge in Orientation and Mobility. Students meeting admission and scholarship requirements may qualify for financial aid and tuition support.
The UMass Boston O&M program uses a combination of web-based courses and pre-practicum and practicum experiences which allow students to gain professional skills and prepare for the international certification exam through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
The M.Ed. degree program in Vision Studies (and certificate) / Orientation and Mobility track is currently accepting applications. If you are unclear which path (Masters or Certificate) is better for you, please contact Laura Bozeman (firstname.lastname@example.org). Once you apply, if you do decide to change, Graduate Admissions will require a new application and fee.
Note: Students in the Vision Studies Program must earn a B- or better in each vision core course on their program of study. Students who earn a C+ or below must repeat the course at their own expense and pay any associated fees.