Visually Impaired Learner

Degree Details


LOCATION90% Online



Earn a licensure online to prepare for a career teaching students with visual impairment.

Portland State University offers the Pacific Northwest's only licensure preparation program for teachers of students with visual impairment.

Recognized by the Pacific and Northwest Consortium for Vision Education (PNWCVE), this two-year master's degree program fills a critical need. The United States faces a severe shortage of teachers for visually impaired learners.


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Our master's degree program gives priority admission to applicants in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Hawaii, but all students are welcome.

Our online platform enables students throughout the Northwest region to earn course credits toward licensure as a teacher of students with visual impairments. Students can pursue a master's or endorsement program of study. Students enjoy the convenience of taking courses from home, while working in a supportive, highly personalized environment that's hard to find in an online master's degree program.

Earn an online master's degree from a nationally ranked education school.

Why Choose PSU

Benefits of our online master's degree for teachers of visually impaired learners?

  • The program begins with an in-person summer session at Portland State. You'll spend three weeks on campus, establishing friendships with classmates and faculty. Cohorts begin in even numbered years.
  • Our cohort-based model promotes community. You'll go through the whole program with one set of classmates, developing supportive relationships along the way.
  • Portland State's user-friendly online platform supports real-time interaction. You'll engage in conversations with your classmates, collaborate on assignments, study together, and share the camaraderie you would find in a fully on-campus program.
  • Our faculty members are committed to online education. You'll have regular contact with course instructors. If you need help, guidance or support, our faculty will be there for you.

After completing this online master's degree program, you'll have an excellent chance of finding employment. Teachers who work with visually impaired learners are in high demand across the nation, and Portland State offers help with job placement.

Program Start: Summer Term

Visually Impaired Learner Licensure Curriculum

Take the following courses (56 credits):

Explore: Visually Impaired Learner FAQs

  • SPED 509 STE I Visually Impaired (3 credits)
  • SPED 509 STE II Visually Impaired (3 credits)
  • SPED 514 Legal and Ethical Foundations (3 credits)
  • SPED 520 Collaboration I: Families and Community - EL and EI/SE (3 credits)
  • SPED 525 Student Teaching (6-15 credits)
  • SPED 540 Education of the Visually Impaired Learner (3 credits)
  • SPED 541 Implications of Vision Problems of Children/Youth (3 credits)
  • SPED 542 Assessment of the Visually Impaired (3 credits)
  • SPED 543 Reading and Literacy - Visually Impaired Learners (3 credits)
  • SPED 544 Methods of Teaching Academics: Visually Impaired Learner (3 credits)
  • SPED 545 Orientation and Mobility/Life Skills (3 credits)
  • SPED 546 Braille I (3 credits)
  • SPED 547 Braille II (2 credits)
  • SPED 548 Positive Behavior Support in the Classroom (3 credits)
  • SPED 575 Braille III/Technology for the Visually Impaired (3 credits)
  • SPED 576 Visually Impaired Learner with Additional Disabilities (3 credits)

Scholarships and Financial Aid

There are several grants and scholarship programs for students in the Visually Impaired Learner program available:

More Information: VIL Financial Supports

  • Federal Grant Funding through Vision Professionals for Under Served Areas (VIP-USA)
  • Federal Grant Funding through Certified Orientation and Mobility Educators in Training (Project COMET)
  • GSE Scholarships
  • TEACH Grants
  • Washington State Educator Retooling Conditional Scholarship Program
  • In-State Tuition through the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education
  • Funding through local school districts


Portland State's College of Education is the first educator preparation program in Oregon, the first on the West Coast, and one of the first 10 in the nation, to be fully accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)

Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

For more information visit the Visually Impaired Learner program website.  


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Other Programs You Might Be Interested In

Visually Impaired Learner   Master's Degree

PSU offers the Pacific Northwest's only master's degree with an initial licensure preparation program for teachers of students with visual impairment.

Visually Impaired Learner Endorsement

Our Visually Impaired Learner (VIL) endorsement program is for students who have completed a general or special education licensure program.