Extensive Field Experiences, Flexible Learning
Offered online to meet the needs of busy professionals, the Special Education: Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing degree prepares you to work with students from early childhood through high school and post-secondary education. You’ll work extensively with students, families and teachers through more than 800 hours of supervised field experiences. You’ll also teach diverse students who use a variety of modes of communication including listening and speaking, signing and speaking and American Sign Language. The program is fully accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and approved by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE) and the Colorado State Board of Education.
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Designated Colorado’s primary institution for teacher education, UNC is also the top-ranked university in the state for online graduate programs in education. You’ll interact with instructors, collaborate on assignments and discuss course topics one-on-one or with the whole class--in a classroom that's accessible 24/7.
Related Special Education Programs
There is an urgent need, nationally and regionally, for teachers of students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. When you graduate from our program, you’ll have the knowledge, skills and preparation to make a positive impact in the lives of students, their families and their communities.
Consider UNC's Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program if you're:
- Dedicated to helping deaf or hard-of-hearing students succeed
- Looking for a flexible, online graduate program you can complete while continuing to work
- Interested in making a difference in the lives of others
- How to use evidence-based practices to teach students with hearing loss to communicate and read
- How to help families learn to interact with their child
- How to teach students to speak and/or use sign language
- To develop and deliver lessons in content subjects
- To work with general education teachers to include students with hearing loss in their classes
- Foundations of Deaf Education
- Collaboration: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Auditory Skill Development: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Speech: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Language: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Literacy: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Curriculum and Instruction: Deaf/Hard of Hearing
With a master’s degree in our Special Education: Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing program, you’ll be prepared to teach children and youth from birth through high school. Professional options include:
- Classroom teacher in a residential school or general education setting
- Team-teaching with a general education teacher
- Itinerant teacher who travels to several different schools
- Parent-infant facilitator or home interventionist working in the family’s home
John Luckner, Ed.D.
Professor of Special Education
John Luckner, Ed.D., has dedicated his career to understanding and advancing effective educational services for students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. His research interests include literacy, assessment and designing services for students with hearing loss, and he is the author of numerous published works on the topic, including: “The Itinerant Teacher’s Handbook,” "Facilitating the Transition of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing," "Processing the Experience: Strategies to Enhance and Generalize Learning," "Effectively Educating Students with Hearing Impairments," and "Teach Well, Live Well: Strategies for Success." With a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Luckner also directed the project "ACCESS4ALL: A Western Regional Training Program to Prepare Teachers of Students who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing," with the goal of increasing the quality and quantity of teachers in the field.
Sandy Bowen, Ph.D.
Professor of Special Education
Sandy Bowen, Ph.D., has expertise in working with infants and toddlers who are deaf and families from multicultural backgrounds. Her research interests include literacy, deaf-blindness, early intervention, multicultural education and mentoring and coaching. Bowen has worked with infants, youth and adults who are deaf or hard-of-hearing from a variety of cultures and in a variety of settings. In addition to her university work, she's involved in early intervention programming for infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Our professors share two equal passions: excellence in both research and teaching. Two of our department’s current research undertakings include:
John Luckner, Ph.D.
Teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing experience a variety of workforce challenges. We're currently conducting a study on the perceptions of teachers of students who are deaf or hard of hearing to determine the factors that positively and negatively affect their ability to do their jobs well. The objective of the study is to identify the aspects of the job that are enjoyable, as well as the barriers that hinder teachers from being able to deliver high-quality services.
Sandy Bowen, Ph.D.
There is a shortage of information on the pre-service training teachers receive on working with students who are deafblind. Given the unique needs of this population, we are conducting a study to determine the training needs of teachers when working with students who are deafblind, and to identify the professional competencies these educators view as necessary to provide appropriate educational services.