Students Spend Hours Blindfolded To Become Orientation and Mobility Specialists

(VIDEO) More than 20 students from across the country practiced their cane skills as part of the College of Education's Orientation and Mobility Program.

The program lasts only five weeks but in that short time, sighted students learn what it's like to live with a visual impairment. It's part of Texas Tech University's Orientation and Mobility (O&M) Program, which is available once every summer through the College of Education and is one of only two O&M programs offered in Texas.

Nearly two dozen students used a cane under blindfold to maneuver through buildings, navigate neighborhoods and cross busy intersections. Once they've completed the course, the students will become certified Orientation and Mobility specialists and can teach those with blindness or low vision how to travel safely, confidently and independently in their environment.

"As a teacher, you can tell somebody how it should be done," said Julie Greenleaf, a special education teacher from Georgia enrolled in the course. "But then when you're under blindfold, you really learn those important things. Having the experience as a teacher and somebody under blindfold is really important."

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College of Education

The College of Education at Texas Tech University offers a full range of programs, including 9 doctoral degrees, 10 master's degrees, two bachelor's degrees and numerous specializations which can lead to careers in public or private education as teachers, professors, administrators, counselors and diagnosticians.

Programs in the college are housed in three departments.

The Department of Curriculum & Instruction offers advanced degrees that prepare leaders, researchers, and professors with the knowledge, skills, and practical application experience needed to analyze, construct, and evaluate curricula in ways that create optimal learning conditions for all learners. Language and literacy, bilingual education and STEM education are just a few of the specializations offered by C&I.

The Department of Educational Psychology & Leadership consists of a diverse group of academic programs that equip students with a comprehensive knowledge of learning, motivation, development, and educational foundations. The disciplines of counseling and school psychology are housed within the EP&L department as are programs to prepare future college administrators, primary and secondary school and district leaders, as well as practical and academic educational psychologists.

The Department of Teacher Education focuses solely on teacher preparation, ensuring that teacher candidates are ready for the classroom on day one. The Teacher Education Department is home to TechTeach, an innovative teacher preparation program that puts teacher candidates into public school classrooms for a full year and requires that students pass teacher certification tests prior to entering the classroom. Various paths to teaching careers, including fast-track distance programs statewide and alternative certification options, are also housed in this department.

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