Distance Education


Indiana State University offers the Visual Impairment Licensure Program which is designed to prepare Indiana teachers to work with students who are blind or have low vision. The program is made possible by the Promoting Achievement for Students with Sensory Loss (PASS) grant which is funded by the Indiana Department of Education through the Blumberg Center.

This 16-credit-hour program may be completed in 24 months of study.  Students begin in spring and follow the program sequence (spring: 3 credits; summer: 3 credits; fall: 3 credits; spring: 3 credits; summer: 3 credits; fall:  1 credit).

Required Courses:

All courses are offered online with required face-to-face classes and weekend seminars. Coursework from other colleges/universities in the area of blind/low vision do not count toward completion of the program.

Program Benefits

The PASS grant provides textbooks and supplementary materials at no cost for students who are accepted into the program if they are a teacher employed by a school system or special education planning district in Indiana.

In addition, PASS will make hotel reservations and pay for lodging costs for students who live more than fifty miles (one-way) from where weekend seminars are held (must be employed by a Indiana school system or special education planning district). 

These benefits are subject to change each grant year.

Program Stipulations:

  • High-speed Internet access, a webcam, and microphone are required.
  • Students are expected to perform and compose work at a graduate level. On-line coursework is similar to a guided independent study. A significant amount of time reading and completing assignments is necessary in order to successfully complete the requirements of the coursework (typically 9-12 hours per week).
  • Each course in the program may require field components which will involve identifying, observing and/or interacting with students who are blind/low vision, their families, and other VI professionals.
  • Priority for enrollment is given to teachers working on an Emergency Permit from the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Educator Licensing and Development in the area of Blind/Low Vision.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must satisfy the following minimum requirements:

  • Hold a baccalaureate degree granted by an accredited institution.
  • Have earned:
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 in all undergraduate course work, or
    • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in all courses taken at the graduate level.
  • Hold or be eligible for an Indiana teaching license in Special Education or General Education.
  • The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is not required.

Application Instructions:

To apply, complete the online Non-Degree Application.

To be considered, attach the following documents prior to submitting the online application:

  1. A copy of transcripts for all institutions attended (undergraduate and graduate). Official transcripts are accepted, but not required.
  2. A copy of your Indiana teaching license(s).
  3. A letter of recommendation from your current supervisor (if currently teaching); or a letter of recommendation from someone who is familiar with your teaching and interpersonal skills (if not currently employed); or a letter of recommendation by one of your undergraduate professors (if a recent graduate).
  4. A resume including employment information and work experience.
  5. A written statement of purpose that explains how the Blind/Low Vision certification fits in with his or her professional goals. The statement should be one to two pages, double-spaced, and typed in either ten- or twelve-point font.
  6. A copy of your criminal history check if not currently working in an Indiana school district or special education cooperative.

Once admitted, students receive notification from the University as well as their University ID number needed to activate their Sycamore login on the MyISU Portal. The Portal offers access to University records, and other important University services, including e-mail, and University announcements.

Fees & Expenses:

Students in this graduate level program pay for tuition costs and fees. For more information, visit tuition and fees

Financial Aid & Assistance:

Students may be eligible for payment plans and veterans benefits.

Further Information:

Robin Thoma
Project Coordinator, PASS
Blumberg Center
Indiana State University


Please note that distance education is not for everyone. Distance education requires self-motivation, discipline, and an ability to independently complete assignments in a timely manner. Web-based learning can be best described as a facilitated self-study. There are traditional training programs throughout the country that may be better suited for some individuals' learning styles. The Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER) tries to keep an updated list of those programs at www.aerbvi.org/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=107.