Division Policy 2.09


Post Secondary Education


July 11, 2003


October 2, 2018


This policy will be reviewed and updated as needed.


To establish guidelines for the provision of post-secondary education and training services for DBS consumers.


FS 413; Rehabilitation Act of 1973, As Amended; 34 CFR part 361


Post-Secondary Training

Post-secondary education and training may be sponsored by DBS if the individual requires such training in order to prepare for, secure, maintain, advance in or regain an employment outcome. The goal is to provide the client with skills necessary to obtain employment consistent with his/her unique strengths, resources, priorities, concerns, abilities, capabilities, career interests, and informed choice. The following guidelines must be followed when determining the level of DBS sponsorship for post-secondary education and training (also see College Handbook):

  1. DBS will only sponsor the cost that would be required if the individual attended an in-state institution of higher education, including universities, colleges, community or junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes, or hospital schools of nursing or any other postsecondary education institution, as a Florida resident. For any student who is not a Florida resident, DBS will pay the non-resident rate until the client becomes a resident. Residency must be obtained in a reasonable time, suggested within a year of the individual’s acceptance to the institution. The individual will be responsible for all fees in excess of the cost of the in-state fees.  Clients who choose out-of-state institutions will be responsible to pay for all trips to and from the institution and their homes in Florida. Unique circumstances may be reviewed by DA for approval on a case by case basis.
  2. DBS will sponsor individuals to attend private or out-of-state institutions of higher education at the Florida in-state residency rate.  DBS may sponsor individuals to attend field trips or international experiences when it is required as part of their degree or credential program; these shall be approved by the Bureau Chief.
  3. Clients attending in-state or out-of-state institutions of higher education will attend the educational institution on a full-time basis. Full-time is considered 12 credit hours per semester, unless the institution’s definition of “full-time” is different. The District Administrator may grant an exception to full time status on a case by case basis per semester. 
  4. DBS will only sponsor individuals at institutions that are fully accredited according to the list of nationally recognized accrediting agencies provided by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
  5. DBS may sponsor individuals beyond an undergraduate degree program (i.e., Master’s Degree) if the client’s vocational goal requires a graduate degree to obtain an entry level position in that field and/or for the purposes of career advancement.    
  6. DBS will only sponsor a course one time. If a student has to retake a course due to a failing grade or fails to attend the appropriate number of classes and the failure to attend was within the individual’s control, he or she will be responsible for paying to retake the course(s). If a student receives an incomplete or withdraws from a course after the designated drop period, he or she will be responsible for paying to retake the course. Exceptions may be made for extenuating circumstance, including medical reasons of student and/or family and bereavement.
  7. DBS may sponsor distance learning or online courses and degree programs.  These will be paid at the Florida in-state residency rate.  Online courses or programs must be approved by DBS prior to enrollment.  Students participating in online degree programs must comply with the requirements stated in the college handbook.  
  8. Students must apply for Federal Financial aid including the Pell Grant.  Students are also encouraged to apply for other grants and scholarships.  Students are required to utilize their federal aid towards the cost and expenses of attending college before DBS sponsorship.
  9. An individual must maintain the minimum academic standards established by the post-secondary institution and must provide grade/ records to DBS after each academic term throughout the program.

Signed by director Robert L. Doyle, III on October 2, 2018.

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DISCLAIMER: Links on the Florida Division of Blind Services (DBS) website that are directed toward websites outside the DBS, provide additional information that may be useful or interesting and are being provided consistent with the intended purpose of the DBS website. DBS cannot attest to the accuracy of information provided by non-DBS websites. Further, providing links to a non-DBS website does not constitute an endorsement by DBS, the Florida Department of Education or any of its employees, of the sponsors of the non-DBS website or of the information or products presented on the non-DBS website.