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B.A. in Deaf Studies

Summary of Requirements

General Studies 37
Pre-Major Courses 15
Major and Related Courses 39 to 42
Free Elective Courses 17 to 20

Required pre-major courses 15 hours

DST 101Introduction to Deaf Studies3
HIS 111American History I3
HIS 112American History II3
LIN 101Sign Language & Sign Systems3
SOC 101Introduction to Sociology3

Required Deaf Studies major courses 39 to 42 hours

DST 203Introduction to Cultural Studies3
DST 204Deaf Culture3
DST 305Deaf Space: Concepts & Methodologies3
DST 311Dynamics of Oppression3
DST 314Oral Traditions in the Deaf Community3
DST 316Disability Studies3
DST 320Internship I3-6
DST 401Black Deaf People's Studies3
DST 402Deaf Women's Studies3
DST 497Deaf Studies Senior Thesis I3
DST 498Deaf Studies Senior Thesis II3
HIS 331History of the American Deaf Community3
LIN 263Introduction to the Structure of American Sign Language3

Required related courses 9 hours

Choose three courses

ASL 270ASL and English: Comparative Analysis3
ASL 302Visual Language Resource Development3
ASL 314American Sign Language Literature: Narratives3
ASL 380ASL Elocution: Applications3
ASL 405Discourse Features in ASL3
COM 430Gender and Communication3
COM 440Intercultural Communication3
COM 450Political Communication3
DST 315Introduction to Deaf View/Image Art3
DST 410Multicultural Deaf Lives (Topic to be specified)3
EDU 250Introduction to Education and Teaching3
ENG 325Introduction to Deaf Literature3-4
GOV 360Public Policy3
GOV 370Human Rights3
GOV 387Nationalism and Developing Nations3
HIS 287Research Methods in History3
HIS 322Cultural Geography3
HIS 332History of Mass Media and the Deaf Community3
HIS 333History of Disability in the U.S.3
HIS 340Nineteenth Century American Deaf History3
HIS 378U.S. Women's History3
HIS 380The History of Sexuality3
HIS 381Gay & Lesbian History3
HIS 400Deaf Women's History3
PHI 450Bioethics and the Deaf Community3
PSY 270Psychology and Deaf People3
PSY 448Psycholinguistics3
SOC 211Race and Ethnic Relations3
SOC 225Sociology of Deafness and Deaf People3
SOC 250Gender and Society3
SOC 268Cultural Anthropology3
SOC 313Work and Globalization3
SOC 318Medical Sociology3
SOC 436Social Inequality: Race, Class and Gender3
SWK 318Human Diversity3

ASL 270 - ASL and English: Comparative Analysis (3)

This course covers areas of vocabulary, semantics, grammar and organization of ASL and English. Students look at the linguistic aspects of both languages and compare the two. The class also covers word classes and sentence structure of both languages. To assist students in understanding the structure of both languages, discussion of how languages work is included.

  • Prerequisites: LIN 101, GSR 102 and GSR 103 or equivalent

ASL 302 - Visual Language Resource Development (3)

Visual media has changed the way we work with American Sign Language. With the advent of new tools and platforms, possibilities of publishing have proliferated, allowing a wider discourse of ideas to be shared with a vast audience of people who work with ASL and ASL learners. This course explores these opportunities through a hands-on approach and introduces students to the tools and skills necessary to produce digital video, websites, interactive presentations and social media and integrate those with the field of ASL.

  • Prerequisites: ASL 270 and permission of instructor or program coordinator

ASL 314 - American Sign Language Literature: Narratives (3)

This course provides an overview of various genres in American Sign Language Narratives ranging from visual vernacular to fictional narratives. Students will analyze contents, themes and stylistic techniques of works done by various ASL literary artists. This course emphasizes practices in planning, developing, performing and critiquing various narrative genres.

  • Prerequisites: ASL 304

ASL 380 - ASL Elocution: Applications (3)

This course covers elocution, in other words, registers of ASL discourse -- frozen, formal, consultative, casual and intimate. Students will be able to discuss using ASL in the most common registers (formals, consultative and casual) in classrooms or at social events. They will also learn how to refine their skills in giving presentations using formal ASL.

  • Prerequisites: ASL 270 or permission of instructor

ASL 405 - Discourse Features in ASL (3)

This course demonstrates the use of space and eye gaze. It also demonstrates the use of role shifting to indicate speaker or locus of the subject/object in the ASL text. Organization of an ASL text and the function of these features will be covered. How they overlap with other features of the language will also be covered. Turn-taking regulators will be discussed within the conversation style of a discourse text.

  • Prerequisite: ASL 305

COM 430 - Gender and Communication (3)

This course is an examination of communication and gender, including sex role stereotypes. The course provides a survey of how communication of and about gender interacts with various contexts, including biology, culture, family, mass media, education, religion, and the workplace.

  • Prerequisites: junior or senior standing; and permission of the instructor

COM 440 - Intercultural Communication (3)

An examination of the role played by communication in the bridging and separating of cultures. How norms, values, and expectations concerning the communication act itself differ from culture to culture, and how these differences affect intercultural encounters.

  • Prerequisite: COM 150 or permission of the instructor

COM 450 - Political Communication (3)

An examination of the persuasive strategies used by mainstream politicians, social activists, and propagandists. Special emphasis is on the rituals and implicit rules of conducting public information campaigns and electoral campaigns, and the relationship among politicians, the voting public, and the mass media that link them.

  • Prerequisite: COM 150 or permission of the instructor

DST 101 - Introduction to Deaf Studies (3)

This is an introductory survey to the field of Deaf Studies that highlights cutting edge concepts and theories at use in this field. The course will show how deaf people and sign languages are integral aspects of human diversity and how societies have responded to this diversity across different social, temporal, and cultural moments and movements.

DST 203 - Introduction to Cultural Studies (3)

This course investigates how culture shapes the way people see the world. Students will explore cultural readings and examine various texts around us to understand how culture, identity and history frame experiences. Traditional courses in cultural studies assume that the meanings in this world are central in creating us -- individually and collectively. Students will examine how culture transmits a view of the world and power through critical analysis.

  • Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in DST 101.

DST 204 - Deaf Culture (3)

This course will begin with a macroscopic view of culture, and then will focus on the microscopic view of the Deaf experience. Multi-disciplinary approaches --- sociological, educational, linguistic, psychological and humanistic -- will be taken to study important persons, historical events and diversity within the global Deaf community.

  • Prerequisite: Grade of C or better in DST 203 or instructor’s permission.

DST 305 - Deaf Space: Concepts & Methodologies (3)

This course introduces students to Deaf Space concepts and research methodologies. Students will investigate the ways in which the unique sensory orientation of Deaf people shapes how they inhabit the world, as well as their relationships with people and space. This course will explore the ways of dwelling of Deaf people and engage in methodological exploration derived from proxemics and visual studies fields to gain a better understanding of the characteristics and principles of Deaf Space.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101 or permission of instructor

DST 311 - Dynamics of Oppression (3)

This course examines various forms of oppression by looking across different cultures and communities, then examines possible parallels occurring within the deaf community.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101 or GSR 103

DST 314 - Oral Traditions in the Deaf Community (3)

The dynamics of oral cultures and their traditions will be introduced in this course by studying the development of oral literature and literary artists in other cultures. Then using this as background, attempts will be made to study ASL literary tradition by looking at life histories, narratives, and poetry performances.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101

DST 315 - Introduction to Deaf View/Image Art (3)

This course introduces a humanistic perspective on De'VIA and Deaf artists. Deaf View/Image Art ( De'VIA ) refers to works by artists who express their Deaf experiences through visual art. Students will also explore how other minority groups ( such as feminists, African Americans, Native Americans, etc). Use art as an expression of resistance. this course involves slide presentations of minority arts and De'VIA and group discussions.

  • Prerequisites: DST 204

DST 316 - Disability Studies (3)

This course will introduce students to the field of Disability Studies. As an emerging interdisciplinary field of study, Disability Studies does not approach disability as a "medical condition, but as a human condition" (Charlton). Instead of studying the causes and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities, we will explore the historical, social, political, religious, philosophical, and cultural influences that "construct" the category of "disability." We will also examine how persons with disabilities construct their own meanings and identities.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101 or GSR 103

DST 320 - Internship I (3-6)

In this senior-level internship course, Deaf Studies majors will volunteer for a Deaf organization. Students can earn three or six credits depending on the hours worked at an internship site. Students will be supervised by a Field Supervisor at the organization and reviewed by a faculty member. The internship will serve as a field experience for students, allowing for the application of what has been learned in the academic setting. Students will develop skills working with individuals, groups, agencies, and communities. In addition, students must submit a journal logging their activities to the Internship coordinator. Internships can be either in the United States or abroad.

  • Prerequisites: Deaf Studies major and permission of the instructor.

DST 401 - Black Deaf People's Studies (3)

This course primarily examines black deaf people in America including the Caribbean Islands and Africa. The course is organized to focus on the history, education, community and culture, language, and psychosocial forces that influence black deaf people's experience. It will concentrate on the social, political, and cultural development of a unique group of people that is a part of the general deaf community and the black community.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101

DST 402 - Deaf Women's Studies (3)

This course will explore how the field of women's studies came into being by way of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. Issues faced by both hearing and deaf women will be investigated: career, educational opportunities, reproduction, and patriarchy, among others.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101

DST 410 - Multicultural Deaf Lives (Topic to be specified) (3)

This course will focus on cultural issues, values, behaviors, identities and language of Deaf people from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds. Students will examine autobiographies, documentaries, films, videos, and academic literature to help understand the contributions and historical development of the emerging majority of the Deaf community that is underrepresented in the United States and the world. Course may be repeated as topics change.

  • Prerequisite: DST 101

DST 497 - Deaf Studies Senior Thesis I (3)

This course will introduce students to several research methodologies, particularly ethnographic and historical, that are commonly used by Deaf Studies scholars. Students will begin their Senior Thesis projects in this course by producing a proposal and an annotated bibliography and completing an IRB Application if applicable. These projects will be continued to DST498 in the following semester.

  • Pre-requisite: Major in Deaf Studies status and permission of instructor

DST 498 - Deaf Studies Senior Thesis II (3)

This course is an extension of DST 497 (Senior Thesis I) where the majors have begun preliminary research steps towards their Senior Thesis. The preliminary steps include a Proposal, an Annotated Bibliography and an IRB application where applicable. In this course, the students will begin data collection and analysis to create a final research product.

  • Pre-requisite: Major in Deaf Studies status and DST497

EDU 250 - Introduction to Education and Teaching (3)

An overview and study of contemporary trends, problems, and issues in general education in terms of educational philosophies, types of educational programs, the relation of education to the individual and society, and curriculum and instruction. Some consideration of the relevance of regular education to special education and education of deaf and hard of hearing students. Discussion of organizations and agencies related to education.

ENG 325 - Introduction to Deaf Literature (3-4)

Study of important and representative works of literature written by D/deaf authors. When offered for 4 credits, this course will be cross-listed with GSR 210, 220, or 240 and will address the Student Learning Outcomes of these courses

  • Prerequisite: GSR 150

GOV 360 - Public Policy (3)

An intensive examination of relationships among policy goals, policy strategies, and policy outcomes that lead to the allocation of societal resources (who gets what, when, where, and how). This course will identify the relationship between policy outcomes and the political institutions, political parties, interest groups, lobbyists, and the political environment.

GOV 370 - Human Rights (3)

The diverse beliefs of nations and classes, world divisions, and the racial rivalry reflected in various systems of law and politics all give changing meaning to such phrases as human rights and fundamental freedoms. This course will look at these rights and freedoms within the different belief systems, world divisions, and racial rivalries. Special attention will be given to the deaf communities in United States and their struggle to achieve full human rights and freedom.

GOV 387 - Nationalism and Developing Nations (3)

A study of the historical development and present role of nationalism and nation-state in both theory and practice. The course deals with the growth of nationalist conceptions and movements in the 19th century, the transition from liberal to totalitarian nationalism, the principle of self-determination, and Marxist treatment of the national problem.

HIS 111 - American History I (3)

This general survey of American history examines the colonial period through the end of the Civil War. Issues covered include: slavery, Native American experiences, women's history, and westward expansion. Students will examine America's change from a colony into an independent nation and the factors leading to America's Civil War.

HIS 112 - American History II (3)

This is a general survey of American history since the Civil War. Topics in this course include; Reconstruction, foreign policy, political reforms, women's history, technological and economic growth, immigration, civil rights, and America's complex identity in the 20th century.

  • Prerequisite: HIS 111 or permission of the instructor.

HIS 287 - Research Methods in History (3)

An introduction to the principles of historical research, with an emphasis on the use of research tools and source materials. Several supervised written assignments will be required; most will be based on American source materials.

HIS 322 - Cultural Geography (3)

A survey of the way in which the physical environment influenced the development of cultures in the major regions of the world. Special stress will be given to the varieties of land use, current environmental threats, and cultural adaptations to modern world problems.

HIS 331 - History of the American Deaf Community (3)

An examination of the people and the historical processes that brought together deaf individuals to form a cohesive community in the United States.

  • Prerequisite: HIS 112; or permission of the instructor.

HIS 332 - History of Mass Media and the Deaf Community (3)

A survey of the mass media (print, film, and television) as sources and interpreters of deafness and deaf people within the context of U.S. social and cultural history. The class will also examine historical changes in the products of mass media within the deaf community.

  • Prerequisite: HIS 112; or permission of the instructor.

HIS 333 - History of Disability in the U.S. (3)

This course will cover the history of disability in the United States from the early nineteenth century to the present, focusing on two important eras. The period of industrialization, from the late nineteenth century through the 1920s, will receive the most attention, as the status of people with disabilities changed most dramatically and having a disability led to stigmatization. This course will examine closely the disability civil rights era from the 1960s to the 1990s when disability rights advocates gained more visibility and federal laws and programs began to focus on disability civil rights issues. The course content will focus on three themes: Perceptions of disability and how those perceptions of disability change over time, as well as the socioeconomic status of people with disabilities; the role that people with disabilities have played in American history and the actions they have taken to affect their position in society; and Federal policies and laws related to disability issues, and how they have changed over time.

HIS 340 - Nineteenth Century American Deaf History (3)

This course offers a close study of the birth and early evolution of America's Deaf community, with particular attention to historical context. Incorporating recent scholarship in the field, this course will examine central topics, including education, organizations, regional identities, class, and eugenics. This class also will closely study several subcultures in addition to general American Deaf history, including African American, European American, and Native American experiences. Economic, social, religious, and cultural factors also will be addressed.

  • Prerequisites: HIS 331; or permission of the instructor

HIS 378 - U.S. Women's History (3)

An examination of the role of women in American history from colonial times to the present. Emphasis will be placed on the role of race, gender, class, disability, and deafness in the historical experiences of American women.

HIS 380 - The History of Sexuality (3)

This course will explore the history of sexuality in Europe and America in the modern era. Topics may include: essentialist and constructionist views of sexuality and sexual identity, changing social norms of sexuality, changing patterns of courtship and marriage, the development of homosexuality and heterosexuality, prostitution, transvestism, hermaphrodism, pornography, the sexual revolutions of the 20th century.

HIS 381 - Gay & Lesbian History (3)

This course will cover some important aspects of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History. The geographical focus will be principally the United States with some attention to Europe and other parts of the world. Major topics in this course will include the history and evolution of sexual identities, same-sex relations and communities, the political movement for GLBT rights, HIV-AIDS, and post-gay Queer identities. The ancient world will be used as a starting point, touching on the early-modern development of a gay identity; then turning to the development of 20th and 21st century GLBT identity, community, and movements. The course will consist principally of discussion of readings and videos and films.

HIS 400 - Deaf Women's History (3)

By studying Deaf women's history, students will enhance their understanding of this minority group, as well as the broader fields of Deaf history and women's history. Students will be introduced to recent scholarship that directly examines this topic. In order t place such works in a broader context, students also will be exposed to vital works in related historical fields. This class will include close study of multiple minority groups, including Deaf Americans, European Americans, African Americans, and Native Americans. The important role of economic, social, religious, and cultural factors be considered throughout this course. This class emphasizes various historical methods of study, building analytical skills and critical thinking. Exploring the changing meaning of gender and deafness in history will provide students with tools for independent research. Ultimately, this focused study of identity challenges students to reconsider traditional notions of gender, disability, cultural Deaf identity, beauty, normalcy, citizenship, and status.

  • Prerequisites: DST 402, HIS 378, WMS 101; or permission of instructor

LIN 101 - Sign Language & Sign Systems (3)

An introduction to the major features of languages and to the structure, use, and variation in the sign languages and sign systems commonly used in the United States. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Language: The nature and definition of languages, the uniqueness of language, and contrasts between language and other forms of communication; (2) Language and Culture: The role of language in human society, with special focus on language acquisition, language identity, and bilingualism; (3) American Sign Language Structure: A survey of the major features of the linguistic structure of ASL. Topics are: Phonology: the structure of the physical signals; Morphology: the basic structure and composition of meaningful units of ASL; Syntax: word order and nonmanual syntactic signals in ASL sentences; (4) Language Variation: Language variation and language contact in the deaf community, including discussions of contact varieties of signing and systems for representing English.

  • Prerequisites: Qualifying performance on the English assessment or screening and passing ASL screening.

LIN 263 - Introduction to the Structure of American Sign Language (3)

This course provides an introductory overview of the major linguistic structures of American Sign Language. Major topics are: phonology, morphology, syntax, language use, and linguistic applications. Some comparisons with English and other spoken and signed languages will be examined.

  • Prerequisites: LIN 101, or permission of the instructor

PHI 450 - Bioethics and the Deaf Community (3)

Bioethics is a branch of applied ethics, which in turn is a part of the philosophical field of ethics. Bioethics applies ethical theory to issues in the biological sciences, including scientific research and healthcare. This course introduces major theoretical approaches to bioethics and applies them to topics of interest to the deaf community, including (but not limited to) eugenics, cochlear implant surgery, and genetic technology. Bioethics theories and concepts covered will include informed consent, research ethics, individual and group rights, surrogate decision-making, quality of life, genetic enhancement versus gene therapy, and wrongful life. The potential impact of new and emerging technologies on the deaf community will also be discussed.

  • Prerequisites: GSR 150 or the equivalent; one course in philosophy.

PSY 270 - Psychology and Deaf People (3)

The course will consider the psychological development and psychosocial issues of Deaf people. Topics covered will include cognitive, linguistic, and personality development, mental health, and interpersonal behavior.

  • Prerequisite: A minimum grade of C in PSY 101.

PSY 448 - Psycholinguistics (3)

The psychological aspects of speech and language. An attempt to clarify the role of speech and language in human behavior, and how speech differs from language. The acquisition of language by children, the relationship between language and thought, and the biological basis of language. A linguistic introduction to sign language.

  • Prerequisite: PSY 101

SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology (3)

Sociology attempts to understand how societies function. The course explores how social forces influence our lives and our chances for success. It also examines social groups, the relationships among social groups, and the ways groups get and maintain power.

  • Prerequisite: GSR 102 or the equivalent

SOC 211 - Race and Ethnic Relations (3)

A study of racial and ethnic relations in the United States. The course focuses on the characteristics of various American racial and ethnic groups, some of the causes of racial/ethnic group oppression, and racial/ethnic group responses to oppression.

SOC 225 - Sociology of Deafness and Deaf People (3)

A survey of selected sociological topics related to deafness and deaf people. Socialization, education, inequality, diversity, and disability-related issues are among the topics discussed in this course.

SOC 250 - Gender and Society (3)

This introductory course explains sociological perspectives on gender. Focusing on American experiences with gender, the course covers gender socialization, gender roles, and gender inequality. This course also addresses "nature vs. nurture" debates, which seek to understand to what extend gender roles are formed by biology or society.

  • Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor.

SOC 268 - Cultural Anthropology (3)

A study of the problems of human origin, the nature of race, the social structure of preliterate societies, and the development of social institutions.

SOC 313 - Work and Globalization (3)

This course examines how work is related to societal and technological changes. Topics include long-term trends in the nature of work and the differences in work among major segments of the labor force, including differences by race, gender and disability. The course also examines how globalization is affecting work and workers in the United States as well as in selected other countries.

SOC 318 - Medical Sociology (3)

The course considers social structure, cultural, and demographic components of physical and mental illness. Stages of illness behavior, from prevalence of symptoms and recognition of them to recovery or death, will be identified, and the social and cultural determinants of each stage will be discussed. The health care system and problems in health care delivery will be considered.

  • Prerequisite: SOC101

SOC 436 - Social Inequality: Race, Class and Gender (3)

A study of gender and social class inequality. The course emphasizes theoretical and conceptual issues related to inequality, characteristics of various social stratification systems, and minority group responses to social inequality.

  • Prerequisite: SOC101

SWK 318 - Human Diversity (3)

This course provides students an opportunity for examination of personal attitudes, stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions that affect ethnic-competent professional practice. Attention is given to increasing students' knowledge, understanding, appreciation, and sensitivity to diversity, oppression, and racism, and the implications of each for social work and other human services. While the course addresses the cognitive and conceptual aspects of learning, primary emphasis is on the affective process. In addition to learning about racism, discrimination, power/powerlessness, and ethnocentrism, students participate in experiential groups and role play. These exercises provide opportunities to explore new ways of thinking, feeling, and responding to people who experience discrimination or oppression because of their race, ethnic background, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation, or because they are deaf or hard of hearing.

  • Prerequisite: Junior standing.
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