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Visually Impaired Licensure Program

The Visually Impaired Licensure Program is no longer accepting applicants at this time.

Bemidji State University is collaborating with other Minnesota Institutions of Higher Education to provide the only Minnesota teacher preparation program in the area of visual impairment (VI or B/VI). The program is jointly developed and cooperatively delivered by the seven Minnesota institutions. It will be accessible to students throughout Minnesota. 

The Minnesota Collaborative Preparation Program for Teachers of the Blind or Visually Impaired has a program webpage on the Minnesota Low Incidence Projects section of the Metro ECSU website, which includes basic information about the program

In order to be recommended to the State of Minnesota for a VI license, an individual will need to complete both the Core Skills for Teachers of Special Education and the Subject Matter Skills for Visual Impairment.

BSU students would be required to complete the Core Skills for Teachers of Special Education through Bemidji State University. At BSU, the Core Skills are met through four courses. These are:

  • ED 3600/5600 Study of the Learner with Special Needs (3 credits)
    This course must be taken first. It is the prerequsite for all other special education classes.
  • ED 3640/5640 Due Process in Special Education (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: ED 3600/5600. Students may be enrolled concurrently with ED 3600/5600.
  • ED 3650/5650 Collaborative Techniques for Special Educators (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: ED 3600/5600.
  • ED 4715/5715 Curriculum Techniques with Special Populations (3 credits)
    Prerequisite: ED 3600/5600.

NOTE: Undergraduates may elect to take some courses while working on their undergraduate degree, which will will apply to their special education licensure after graduation; however, all course work taken at the undergraduate level will be ineligible for credit toward any graduate degree, including Master of Science in Special Education.

After completing the Core Skills for Teachers of Special Education, an individual must complete the Subject Matter Skills for Visually Impaired (B/VI) licensure requirements. These requirements are met through seven courses and a culminating practicum. These courses will be scheduled over a two-year time frame. As much as possible, they will be delivered through formats and in locations that facilitate accessibility for students throughout the state.

The seven courses are:

  • Topics in Special Education: Structure and Function of the Eye and Principles of Low Vision
  • Special Topics: Characteristics of Students with Visual Impairment and Multiple Disabilities
  • Literary Braille
  • Advanced Braille
  • Evaluation and Planning for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities
  • Instructional Methods for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities
  • Transition and Independence for Students with Visual Impairments and Multiple Disabilities
  • Final Practicum

For additional information concerning the VI license program, contact:
Dr. James Mastro
Office: EA 344 Box #35
Phone: (218) 755-3772