Deaf/Hard of Hearing Specialist, Master of Arts

Purpose

The Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program is a comprehensive, experientially based graduate level teacher preparation program. Individuals completing the program will have a Master of Arts degree in Special Education with an endorsement in Deaf/Hard of Hearing. If you plan to apply for a license in the state of Colorado the license will permit you to work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing ages 0-21. Therefore, when you graduate you are able to work with families as a home-intervention specialists, teach children and youth in preschool, elementary, or secondary programs.

We are dedicated to developing teachers who are knowledgeable and skilled at meeting the communication, academic, social, and emotional needs of students who are deaf or hard of hearing and able to work collaboratively with school professionals, families and community agencies. Our program includes extensive field-based experiences working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Active learning, reflection, and on-going personal and professional development are the cornerstones of our program philosophy. At the same time, we believe that the population of children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing is very diverse. Consequently, we support the development of all modes of communication – speech, American Sign Language (ASL), and sign systems and a belief that an appropriate education can be provided in a variety of educational settings.

Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of academic work.
  • Pass the Elementary Content PLACE or Praxis II, or have an approved elementary teaching license. You can gather information about the PLACE test by going to the PLACE website. You can access information about the Praxis II by going to the Praxis website.

Length of program and program requirements; course structure and delivery

Individuals entering the program with an undergraduate degree in education should be able to complete the program in two years.  Those individuals who do not have an undergraduate degree in education will need to take some additional courses, which will extend the length of the program. An individual “Plan of Study” is developed for each person based on his or her undergraduate and/or graduate coursework.

The Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program is offered via Internet distance education.

Licensure

How you obtain a license to teach students who are deaf or hard of hearing varies from state to state.  Contact the Department of Education in your state to find out the specific steps needed to become endorsed in deaf education. In Colorado, individuals must:

  1. Complete an approved program in Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing.
  2. Obtain an institutional recommendation.
  3. Pass the Program for Licensing Assessments for Colorado Educators – Deaf/Hard of Hearing (PLACE) test. You can gather information about the PLACE test by going to the PLACE website.

Program Requirements

Visit our UNC catalog program requirements for admissions and other information.

Here is an overview of courses from the UNC catalog that are specific to this exceptionality area:.

  • Please note the mandatory Introduction to Graduate Research (SRM 600) for masters students in special education.
  • Advanced and core courses that are specific to this program.
  • If you entered the program without a Colorado Teacher License, you may need one or more Prerequisite Licensure courses. These courses are not required if you are already a teacher in Colorado. View the Prerequisite Licensure Requirements for more details, or contact your program advisor.

Quicklinks:

News and highlights

  • View Deadlines
  • View Forms
  • Registrar Information
  • A national, regional and state level need for teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing currently exists as documented in The Job Search Handbook for Educators (2012).
  • The School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado has been preparing teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing for the past 50 years.
  • In 2001, the Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program along with the other low-incidence programs (Blindness and Severe Disabilities) received the “Program of Excellence” award from the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. The “Program of Excellence” award is Colorado’s higher education’s highest honor. It is awarded to academic programs that have demonstrated a long-term commitment to excellence and have achieved outstanding performance records.
  • The Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program is approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). WICHE’s 14-state region includes Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Under this approval, students from the other 13 states can attend UNC at the Colorado resident graduate tuition rate rather than the non-resident rate http://wrgp.wiche.edu/
  • The Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) was recently awarded a personnel preparation grant by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs to support preservice teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing. To be eligible for grant support individuals have to be admitted to the Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing program. Contact Dr. John Luckner for additional information about the grant.
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