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Educating Deaf Students with Disabilities Graduate Certificate Program

Dr. Christina Yuknis, Program Director
Fowler Hall, Room 409A

The online certificate program in educating deaf students with disabilities prepares current educators, other educational professionals, and second year graduate students seeking to develop critical knowledge and skills in the area of special education. The certificate program emphasizes culturally relevant critical pedagogy as a foundation for preparing highly qualified special education teachers. The program focuses on working with the whole child, the family, and other professionals while merging content standards and CEC standards, in addition to general, bilingual, special, and deaf education pedagogy through coursework to prepare teacher candidates to work with a diverse group of children within a range of educational settings.


Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the Graduate Certificate in Educating Deaf Students with Disabilities must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the 'Overview' and 'Courses' tabs.

This certificate can also be taken for Professional Studies (PST) credits.



Applications Accepted Year-Round Rolling

Program Specific Requirements

• A minimum 3.0 grade point average (on a four-point scale) in all previous study. (Occasionally, applicants with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally upon the recommendation of the department.)
• Access to working with children in an academic environment during program.
• An introductory course about special education (equivalent to EDU 670 in the GU Department of Education).

To complete the on-line certificate program, students must successfully complete all seven program courses with a grade of B or better.


EDU 771Trends in Special Education3
EDU 775Language and Literacy Development for Deaf Students with Disabilities3
EDU 777Differentiating Instruction in the Content Areas3

Fall 1

EDU 776Teaching Functional Curriculum3
EDU 779Assessment of Deaf Students with Disabilities3

Spring 1

EDU 772Classroom Management3
EDU 773Home-School Continuum: Collaboration with Families, Paraeducators, and Professionals3

EDU 771 - Trends in Special Education (3)

This course uses a disability studies approach to familiarize students with major trends and issues in special education, including: historical roots, perception of disability, policies impacting students with disabilities, labeling, overrepresentation, and discipline. Other topics in the course include developing Individualized Education Plan (IEPs), examining instructional practices, and working with families. This course will prepare teacher candidates to work with children and youth with a broad range of disabilities and educational needs.

EDU 772 - Classroom Management (3)

This course introduces students to a variety of classroom management approaches and techniques, with an emphasis on working with students who have disabilities. Students are provided with a foundation and background in behavior management and discipline in special education. They will also consider theories and techniques that apply to individual students, classroom communities, and schoolwide communities.

EDU 773 - Home-School Continuum: Collaboration with Families, Paraeducators, and Professionals (3)

In this course students will examine current trends and concerns which characterize the changing American family and draw implications for education, students with disabilities and their families. They will examine family, community and school structures, patterns and relationships. Students will explore a variety of theories, concepts, principles, and models utilized when implementing effective family, school, and community partnership, in addition to collaboration among IEP team members and when working with other professionals, in regard to students and families with special and diverse needs. Students will identify and discuss the uses and applications of community and school resources in supporting families and students with disabilities. They will also learn and stimulate techniques for interacting with parents and examine collaboration strategies for interdisciplinary team efforts. In addition, students will focus on topic/challenges that face families with children with disabilities such as: sibling support, respite care, financial planning, transition planning, independent living and IEP meetings.

EDU 775 - Language and Literacy Development for Deaf Students with Disabilities (3)

This course is designed to prepare graduate students to address issues related to language and literacy development for deaf students with disabilities. Topics include language and communication disorders, augmentative and alternative communication systems, cultural influence on language and literacy development, and how language and communication impact classroom performance. The course will also provide strategies to promote metacognitive skills and literacy development.

EDU 776 - Teaching Functional Curriculum (3)

This course provides an overview of functional academics for deaf students with disabilities. Topics include teaching vocational skills, teaching life skills, supporting motor development, supporting social-emotional development, developing transition plans, and selecting assistive technology devices. Course assignments are designed to allow students to apply these concepts in their current teaching setting.

EDU 777 - Differentiating Instruction in the Content Areas (3)

The course reviews what it means to be an effective teacher and introduces the concepts of universal design for learning (UDL) as well as differentiation to meet the needs of deaf students who have disabilities. Further studied is the concept of multiple literacies and access to content and opportunity for the development of literate and metacognitive thought. The lesson plan format is augmented with the development of tiered lessons by addressing three levels of content, process and/or product expectations as determined by interest level, learning style or readiness. In addition, candidates will become familiar with a variety of instructional strategies based on evidence-based practice in general and special education, the hierarchy of cognitive applications in Bloom's Taxonomy, Barbara Given's 5 natural learning systems, Robert Sternberg's Triarchic Intelligence model, as well as Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. Evidence of learning focuses on the student's ability to prepare and teach developed lesson plans, and document student learning in clear and concise manner using visual documentation strategies. Candidates are taught to encourage a) self-regulation and other self-determination skills in their students; b) social interaction and true discussion as a method for developing metacognition; and c) developing receptive and expressive learning pathways for academic discourse.

  • Prerequisites: permission of the instructor

EDU 779 - Assessment of Deaf Students with Disabilities (3)

Students in the class will focus on concepts and methods of assessment in special education with an emphasis on administering, scoring, interpreting, and reporting on standardized educational tests. In addition, emphasis will be placed on administration and interpretation of formal and informal diagnostic procedures, diagnostic reports, IEP development, and professional ethics.

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