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M.A. in Deaf Education: Special Program

Web: Department of Education

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

The Master of Arts in Deaf Education: Special Program is especially designed for international students who already have a bachelor's degree in education or equivalent, plan to study deaf education, and return to their home countries to teach deaf students in educational settings. The core courses provide a foundation in the theory and pedagogy required to teach deaf students. This program does not lead to teacher certification or licensure.


Admissions Procedures

Applicants for the M.A. in Deaf Education: Special Program 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.



First Date for Consideration of Application: February 15
Last Date for Completed Application: June 30

Program Specific Requirements

  • Bachelor Degree in Education (or equivalent degree)
  • Goal statements in American Sign Language on DVD (Applicants must have at least sufficient signing skills to be considered.)
  • GPA 3.0
  • Three Letters of Reference
  • TOEFL scores

Program of Study

Program Requirement

Candidates in the Special Program are required to complete a capstone project that will result in a product and presentation. Each candidate works with the advisor to establish a committee of three, including the advisor and two faculty members, and to develop a capstone proposal, due to the committee no later than November 1. The capstone proposal must include: (1) a justification for the project; (2) goals and learning outcomes that align with the program outcomes; (3) learning activities; and (4) assessments of the learning outcomes. The proposal must also specify the nature of the product and a plan for the presentation. The committee will meet with the candidate to review and approve the proposal within two weeks of the submission. An approved capstone proposal must be signed off by the MA program director no later than December 1. The capstone project, including the presentation, must be completed on or before April 15th.


Fall 1

EDU 600K-12 Curriculum and Instructional Technology3
EDU 701Deaf Learners and Education in Bilingual Communities3
EDU 720Introduction to Research3
EDU 785Field Experience and Seminar: Deaf Education1

Choose one:

EDU 621Literacy Teaching and Learning: Early Childhood3
EDU 631Literacy Teaching and Learning: Elementary Grades3
EDU 641Literacy Teaching and Learning: Secondary Grades3
  • Total: 14 hours

Spring 1

EDU 670Teaching Students with Disabilities3
EDU 711Literacy Applications in ASL/English Bilingual Classrooms K-123
EDU 713Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development3
EDU 719K-12 Classroom-Based Assessment3
EDU 731Home, School, and Community Collaboration for Diverse Learners3
EDU 789*Practicum II and Seminar: Deaf Education2
  • Total: 17 hours
  • *  Students must satisfy a background check prior to beginning EDU 789

EDU 600 - K-12 Curriculum and Instructional Technology (3)

This course will familiarize students with the nature and importance of curriculum in education from K-12. The course also provides an initial experience in integrated curriculum planning that incorporates the use of current technologies. Current theories of assessment, curriculum, instruction and learning across diverse educational settings are applied in classroom laboratory settings. Content assessments and evaluation in the candidate area(s) of study are emphasized. Field experience in a school setting is a required part of this course.

  • Prerequisites: Admission to the program or permission of the program director.
  • Course Fee: $75.00 (for purchase of Inspiration software to be used in the laboratory.)

EDU 621 - Literacy Teaching and Learning: Early Childhood (3)

This course for teacher candidates specializing in early childhood provides an integration of literacy theory and research, content-based instructional practices, and assessment and evaluation cycles for diverse learners including ASL-English bilingual learners, English language learners (ELL), struggling readers and writers, and students with disabilities. In this course, candidates explore in depth an integrated approach to the study of early childhood literacy, curriculum building, methods and materials for literacy instruction, including language development, reading and writing.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 600; EDU 311 or EDU 601; and admission to the education program, or permission of the program director.

EDU 631 - Literacy Teaching and Learning: Elementary Grades (3)

This course for teacher candidates specializing in elementary education provides an integration of literacy theory and research, content-based instructional practices, and assessment and evaluation cycles for diverse learners including ASL-English bilingual learners, English Language Learners (ELL), struggling readers and writers, and students with disabilities. In this course, candidates will expand knowledge and appreciation for literature, model communication in written, oral and/or through-the-air expression, comprehend, analyze, and evaluate a range of print and non-print media appropriate for use in elementary settings; and experience and reflect on effective practices in literacy teaching and learning in elementary settings.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 600 and EDU 311 or EDU 601 and admission to the program or permission of the program director.

EDU 641 - Literacy Teaching and Learning: Secondary Grades (3)

In this course, candidates examine the purposeful social and cognitive processes of adolescent literacy, address instructional issues related to teaching and learning reading and writing in the middle and secondary grades (6-12), practice effective ways to deliver literacy skills for adolescents across a range of domains, with consideration given to motivation, comprehension, critical thinking, and assessment. This course provides the basis in adolescent literacy teaching and learning for teacher candidates who are about to embark upon the student teaching practicum experience in middle and secondary school settings, and requires related field-work.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 600; EDU 311 or EDU 601; and admission to the education program, or permission of the program director.

EDU 670 - Teaching Students with Disabilities (3)

This course is designed to familiarize students with the identification of exceptional children in terms of developmental needs, interpretation of assessment data, development and evaluation of appropriate intervention strategies for the regular classroom teacher, and legislation in special education. This course will prepare teacher candidates to work with children and youth with a broad range of disabilities and educational needs. Topics will include understanding disability; understanding principles of legislation and curriculum and instruction; establishing positive learning environments; and working collaboratively.

  • Prerequisite: Admission to the program or permission of the program director

EDU 701 - Deaf Learners and Education in Bilingual Communities (3)

This course introduces the fundamentals of general, special, and bilingual education and how they are infused into deaf education. It will also acquaint candidates with current trends and issues, and research in the education of Deaf and hard of hearing learners of all ages, including historic and current objectives, techniques, and results. The cultural, historical, philosophical, psychological, linguistic and social aspects of the Deaf community will also be addressed from educational perspective. Candidates are challenged to rethink their conceptualization of "Deaf education" as well as "general education" based on their perceptions of their own cultural dimensions. The course typically is taken in the first semester of study.

EDU 711 - Literacy Applications in ASL/English Bilingual Classrooms K-12 (3)

This course addresses literacy instruction through a bilingual and ESL instructional methodology in general bilingual education and their application to a diverse group of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Students will apply the theories and instructional strategies they learn during their practicum experiences, and reflect on these applications through on-line, group activities, and assignments designed to promote the creation of optimal bilingual k-12 classrooms.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 707; 311 OR 601; and EDU 621, 631 OR 641; Admission to the program or permission of the program director
    Co-requisite: EDU 789 Practicum II

EDU 713 - Language Acquisition and Cognitive Development (3)

This course addresses several theories and theorists on language acquisition and cognitive development, with a focus on educational applications with deaf children. The instructor presents information, facilitates cooperative learning activities, and models educational strategies. Class participants fully participate in cooperative learning activities, complete required readings and journal response activities, and complete projects/assignments, individually or in teams.

  • Prerequisite: EDU 707
    Co-requisite: EDU 787

EDU 719 - K-12 Classroom-Based Assessment (3)

This course provides synthesis of professional, legal, and ethical practices related to the provision of meaningful learning experiences for deaf and hard of hearing learners in array of educational programs. Current theories of assessment and learning across diverse educational settings are studied with a focus on deaf children and youth. Assessment and standards-based programming and evaluation are emphasized. Reflection and application of effective assessment practices are demonstrated through classroom and field-based experiences. IN meeting the standards of the following District of Columbia's state learning standards, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), this course is designed to prepare candidates to teach K-12 learners.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 600; Admission to the MA program or permission of the program director.

EDU 720 - Introduction to Research (3)

The focus of this course is research as a strategy of inquiry for improving practice and advancing our professions. The general principles of qualitative, quantitative, and action research designs will be considered, along with related problems of measurement, statement and clarification of research problems, and basic statistical methods for describing data. The goal is to produce professionals who are consumers of research in their fields who can apply research for the improvement of their school or work settings.

EDU 731 - Home, School, and Community Collaboration for Diverse Learners (3)

This course focuses on developing knowledge, skills, and dispositions in creating and maintaining meaningful collaboration among home, school, and the community for diverse learners (from birth to 21 years old) and their families. The course prepares students to achieve collaborative and respectful relationships with student's family and community as valuable contributors to the educational process. The course also includes developing knowledge in multicultural education and culturally pluralistic educational practices for all students. 25 hours of related field experience is required.

  • Prerequisite: Admission to the Department of Education or the consent of program director.

EDU 785 - Field Experience and Seminar: Deaf Education (1)

This course provides directed observation and participation in various educational programs; directed visits to schools and classes; and seminars focusing on these experiences and on professional, instructional, and child-related topics. Experiences include visits to general education, deaf education, early education, or bilingual programs in the metropolitan area surrounding Gallaudet University.

  • Prerequisite: Matriculation into the program
    Co-requisite: EDU 601

EDU 789 - Practicum II and Seminar: Deaf Education (2)

This course is designed to build on the knowledge, skills, and experiences of previous and concurrent coursework and lead to the terminal and capstone student teaching internship. Special emphasis is placed on the candidates' developing skills in reflective observation of best instructional practices, assessment strategies as they align with instruction, multiculturalism, diversity among hearing, deaf, hard of hearing learners in a range of educational settings (general, special, deaf, and bilingual). Emphasis is also placed on the use of instructional technology to support learning, behavior management, working with families/caregivers, and working within professional teams.

  • Prerequisites: EDU 785 and EDU 787
    Co-requisite: EDU 711
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