College of Education and Rehabilitation
Department of Graduate Studies in Vision Impairment
Depending upon the program, experiential experience for our Education and Rehabilitation students may include internships, practicum and/or field work. Here is an overview of what students in each of our programs can expect:
Vision Rehabilitation Therapy
Fieldwork in the Vision Rehabilitation Therapy programs at Salus University is a two-stage process. First, students participate in a one (1) credit hour practicum experience, referred to as fieldwork. Fieldwork is intended to provide students with an initial exposure to agencies, professionals, and practice methods in the field of Vision Rehabilitation Therapy. Learners begin to apply the competencies they have acquired in didactic and laboratory experiences to individuals in a variety of service delivery systems. Learners work at fieldwork sites under joint on-site and Salus University supervision. On-site supervisors are expected to provide direct, consistent observation and feedback, as well as meet regularly with learners to discuss their activities, responsibilities, and the supervisor’s ongoing assessment of learner performance.
In addition to the practicum field experience, VRT students complete a four (4) credit hour Internship experience. This internship provides learners with the opportunity to engage directly with clients and consumers who are blind or visually impaired during 400 contact hours and 14 weeks of learning experience. Learners apply the competencies they have acquired in didactic and laboratory experiences to individuals in a variety of service delivery systems. Learners participate in observation, direct client/consumer contact, meetings with staff, and other special projects during the assigned internship days. Learners will also have opportunities to identify and work cooperatively with selected community resources to ensure the application of a full range of holistic Vision Rehabilitation Therapy interventions. All internship sites and supervisors meet the certification criteria of the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
Low Vision Rehabilitation
Internships for the Low Vision Rehabilitation Program are available across the country in Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, Associations for the Blind, rehabilitation centers and group/private practices.
A total of 350 hours is required for internship completion, along with midterm and final evaluations, internship site project and internship site presentation. Internship sites involve an eye care specialist (ophthalmologist or optometrist) and a Certified Low Vision Therapist (CLVT).
For sites without an on-site CLVT, pre-approval of the site must be obtained through the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP). All interns successfully completing their internship will be prepared to obtain ACVREP certification as a CLVT.
Orientation and Mobility
The O&M Program is designed to help our students bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing them with carefully sequenced opportunities to experience the field of orientation and mobility, beginning as soon as they enter the program.
During the summer semester, students complete 15 hours of observations in a variety of settings. In the Fall and Spring semesters, students co-teach one day a week with experienced, certified instructors while they continue to take online courses.
Once all course work is completed, students finish their programs with a full time, semester-long internship, becoming eligible for National Certification in O&M through the academy for the Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP).
Professional Preparation Program for
Teachers of Children with Visual and Multiple Disabilities
This program, formerly known as TVI (Teachers of the Visually Impaired), incorporates both fieldwork and internship for students seeking certification. While master’s degree candidates need complete only the fieldwork requirement, the majority of our degree students choose to include field-based teaching assignments.
Fieldwork consists of 100 hours of observation and visitation, which permit students to experience a broad range of settings in which education occurs for children who are blind or visually impaired. This may include visits to agencies and organizations serving individuals who are blind or visually impaired or who provide other types of services related to blindness and visual impairment.
Internships for this program are arranged on an individual basis and consist of twelve weeks, or a total of 360 documented teaching hours with children aging from infancy to 21 years who are visually impaired.
In addition to fieldwork and internships, this program includes field-based learning assignments such as student, classroom, and teaching observations, as well as interviews with vision professionals and the children and their parents.