Elizabeth Yaros had spent her whole life with limited vision.
Then, with the help of vision therapy, a world of new opportunities opened up to her. She gained the ability to see in 3-D, read without using text-to-speech software, and drive a car. Having experienced this vision breakthrough, Elizabeth wanted to help others improve their vision too. Her first step would be optometry school.
Before she could apply to optometry school, however, she needed to update her coursework. It had been more than 10 years since her last undergraduate class, and her records were too old to use in her application. She’d need to retake some courses to fulfill the prereqs for optometry school.
Going to school full time wasn’t a possibility. Elizabeth needed an online option so she could complete her coursework and still work full time. She learned about the opportunities available through BYU Independent Study after talking with a professor. As she explored the IS catalog, she found the classes she needed.
“I was looking for courses that were from a reputable institution, cost effective, and self-paced since I work full-time,” Elizabeth said. “From the syllabi and course design, I could tell what I would learn in the courses would give me a solid foundation for optometry school.”
BYU IS checked all the boxes. It was the right option for her to complete the prereqs for optometry school. Along with the other benefits IS offered, she also loved the accessibility of the courses.
“I loved how universal design was used in the Independent Study courses,” Elizabeth said. “If I was experiencing eye fatigue, I could still use a screen reader to read the course material to me. It allowed me to complete my coursework on my schedule, no matter the time of day. Also, because the course information is outlined in the online portal, all my courses felt very straightforward.”
Elizabeth’s determination to help others is pushing her forward to accomplish something extraordinary. Seeing Elizabeth overcome vision impairment and challenges to become an optometrist makes us proud to be part of the education community.