College of Education and Human Development - George Mason University

Virginia Department of Education Grant Supports Mason’s Work in the Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment

January 22, 2024

Kimberly Avila
Kimberly Avila

Kimberly Avila, assistant professor in the Special Education program within the School of Education at the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD), has been awarded a grant in support of the Virginia Consortium for Teacher Preparation in Vision Impairment (VI Consortium). Funding for this grant is provided by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE). The VI Consortium was established to meet the high demand and critical need for teachers trained to work with students who are blind and visually impaired.

Avila leads the VI Consortium which is comprised of three universities: George Mason University, Old Dominion University, and Radford University. Together, Mason and its Consortium partners work collaboratively to recruit, train, and equip the next generation of teachers with the expertise necessary to meet the diverse needs of students with blindness and visual impairments. The program offers coursework, field experiences, and internship opportunities that fulfill VDOE requirements for individuals seeking special education blindness and visual impairments PK-12 licensure. The Consortium program may be completed as part of an initial teacher licensure course of studies, or as an add-on credential.

Interested applicants may seek admission to the program and enroll in courses via the Consortium member university nearest to their geographic location. Classes are conducted through a combination of online, synchronous, asynchronous, and face-to-face learning environments. Live, web-conference courses are scheduled in the evenings and allow teacher candidates to experience real-time, interactive, multipoint instruction across Consortium partners that connect students from their varied geographic locations. Face-to-face courses are offered in the evening or on the weekend. Field experiences and internships are completed at designated locations and times provided for each candidate’s individual circumstances.

To learn more about the Consortium, including eligibility requirements, financial assistance, course sequence, and the application process, please visit the program website.