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VIL Frequently Asked Questions

I have taken the prerequisite courses at another university or through a community college setting. Will they count as satisfying the prerequisite?

Yes, as long as they were taken at an accredited post secondary institution and you received a B or better. You will need to submit appropriate waiver forms.

May I take prerequisite classes concurrently with the VIL classes?

In general, the answer is no. These classes form a foundation for the graduate program and must be completed prior to entering the program. In exceptional circumstances, one or two may be taken concurrently.

May I postpone the Summer Session?

No, summer session will introduce you to the cohort model, assure that you have the skills to access the coursework via the internet and provide foundation courses.

When I look at the course sequences, I noticed there are some courses titled STE. What does STE mean?

STE is an acronym for Supervised Teaching Experience. During your program, each Supervised Teaching Experience will be established with a mentor in your home area. It will consist of special projects, observations and supervised teaching with blind and visually impaired children.

I am already working with blind children. Do I need to complete the STE?

If you do not presently hold a teaching certificate, you must complete all STE's plus a full time Student Teaching for a minimum of 10 weeks. If you currently hold a teaching certificate, some of these hours may be waived, based upon documentation presented to PSU's Student Affairs Committee.

What does VIL mean?

Visually Impaired Learner

I don't want the full program leading to licensure, or my state does not require it. May I take individual courses to satisfy a personal development plan?

Yes, with the permission of the instructor. Be aware that by taking individual courses, you will not satisfy program and licensure requirements.

Do I need to be admitted to the program to take individual courses?

No, but you must have the permission of the instructor.

Once I have finished the program, what do I receive?

During the term of your student teaching, you will need to take the PRAXIS exam in the area of visual impairment. This is required prior to Licensure. Upon completion of all requirements, you will receive Initial Oregon Licensure or Oregon endorsement. This licensure is recognized in all surrounding states to provide appropriate certificates or endorsement in your home state. Also, if you complete the full program you will receive the Master of Science in Education.

Is there financial help available?

There are PSU-based scholarships available to students through our Project BRAILLE, a federally funded program through the Office of Special Education Programs. In addition, we recommend checking with your State Department of Education as they often have scholarships available for low incidence rate populations. School districts may also be willing to fund part of your education with a commitment to return to the school district. Students may also be eligible for the teach grant.

If I live outside of Oregon, do I need to pay out-of-state tuition?

This licensure program is part of the Western Regional Graduate Program. This program provides in-state tuition to qualified students in member states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

I don't have a bachelor's degree. Is that a problem?

Yes, you must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university AND the prerequisite courses before admission is possible.

My undergraduate degree is not in education. Does that matter?

No. Oregon's teacher training programs are on a fifth year graduate level. You must have a bachelor's degree, and have completed the prerequisites to enter the program.