Special Education Licensure Visual Impairment

A licensure Program for Training New Teachers of the Blind & Visually Impaired

Silver Lake College and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in collaboration with the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired are providing Wisconsin teachers an opportunity to obtain licensure in the area of visual impairment within the state.  The program will meet all requirements for licensure.

The program for licensed special education teachers consists of seven graduate courses (19 credits) plus student teaching and field experience (4 credits) for a total of 23 credits. Prerequisite courses are required for non special education licensed teachers.  The VI course work will extend over two years plus an additional summer.

Questions and Answers

How and where will the courses be delivered?

Each semester-long course will have a minimum of three onsite meetings, usually three weekends, with the exception of SED 519, which will require a week of attendance during the Summer of 2013.  In addition to onsite meetings, home study and online submission of assignments are required.  The courses need to be completed in sequence.  If anyone drops out of the sequence, they will need to wait until the next cohort to continue the licensure course sequence from where they discontinued.  Occasionally students may be required to attend a specific statewide institute, event or conference that relates to coursework.

The locations for each course will vary depending on course needs and the location of participants.

What prerequisites are required?

Applicants will be individually evaluated and must have:

  1. special education license, or
  2. general education license, and willingness to acquire core special education coursework concurrently, or
  3. a 4-year college degree, with willingness to acquire pre-requisite teacher education program first licensure requirements and the core special education coursework prior to beginning the VI course sequence.
What is the registration procedure?

Complete an online application for VI licensure.  Contact Sister Mary Karen Oudeans at 920-686-6157 or marykaren.oudeans@sl.edu with questions.

How long will it take to complete the VI licensure program?

For persons having a special education license, it will take a minimum of two years and perhaps an additional summer.  For persons without a special education license, time will vary.  Students can register for SED 668 (Student Teaching), only when all coursework and other requirements are completed.

How much will it cost?

The 2012-2014 tuition for VI courses is 50% of the Teacher Licensure tuition. Pre-requisite courses are charged at SLC tuition costs. A special state loan program is available that does not have to be paid back if the borrower meets certain future work commitments. Loans range from $250-$10,000 annually, up to $40,000 maximum. To be eligible, you must be a WI resident, be accepted for Admission and enrolled during a semester in the SLC Visual Impaired Licensure Program and file a FAFSA annually (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). For loan information from the Office of Financial Aid, go to http://www.sl.edu/finaid/TLLoans.asp and from the State, go to http://heab.wi.gov/programs.html.

Can I obtain a Master's degree?

Yes.  A Master of Arts in Special Education degree can be obtained from Silver Lake College through acceptance into the Master of Arts in Special Education program and additional coursework.

Course Sequence

Year One

SED 513 Visual Impairment (Summer 2012)


SED 514 Braille (Fall 2012)


SED 516 Movement Development and O&M (Spring 2013)


Year Two

SED 515 Visual Impairment and Communication (Fall 2013)


SED 519 Braille Technology (Summer 2013)


SED 517 Reading and Low Vision (Summer 2013)


SED 518 Education and Assessment VI (Spring 2014)


SED 550 Field Experiences VI *


SED 668 Student Teaching (Performance Evaluation) **


* Any term with the permission of the VI Coordinator.

** Requires permission of the VI Coordinator: Concurrent with SED 518 - Spring 2014 OR Fall 2014 upon completion of competencies.