Deaf Education (M.S.)
Degree: Master of Arts
Major: Deaf Studies
Total Hours: 51
The Lamar University deaf education program is certified by the national Council on Education of the Deaf (CED), and graduates are eligible for professional certification through that accrediting agency. In addition, a graduate may apply for state certification as a teacher of deaf students. The program welcomes deaf graduate students. The minimum number of 36 hours for the Master of Science degree is required; however, additional courses may be required for certification as per candidate specialization. Program graduates are expected to be skilled in American Sign Language and must complete a minimum of 450 hours of supervised practicum/internship in deaf education.
The Deaf Education Master's Program emphasizes an ASL/English Bilingual Education approach to pedagogy. This philosophy is evident throughout the curriculum by the course content and practical applications. the philosophy is one that views Deafness as a cultural and linguistic entity and employs a comprehensive approach to educational services for students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. American Sign Language (ASL) is utilized to promote the cognitive, linguistic and academic development of children through visual-gestural modalities, as well as the printed form of English.
The Master of Science in Deaf Education program at Lamar University is designed to provide the graduate student these competencies:
- To observe and work with Deaf children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, etiologies, types of hearing loss, the extent of hearing loss, ages, ability levels and intellectual abilities.
- To develop further expressive and receptive skills in ASL.
- To develop further skill in planning and using teaching methods
- To develop skills in managing the classroom.
- To gain insight in the operation of self-contained classes and mainstream/inclusion classes in public schools.
- To develop the ability to work with teachers, parents and administrators.
- To develop an understanding of how the curriculum is implemented in the schools.
- To develop leadership skills.
- To develop nurturing relationships with children and youths.
- To understand how assessments are carried out across the subject area.
- To understand how Deaf children use language with peers and adults.
- To understand how Deaf culture can be infused in the public schools.
For an area of specialization required by NCLB legislation for being certified as “Highly Qualified,” the following steps have been developed to assist students in the process.
Step 1: Requested “area” should be addressed with the deaf education faculty (requires that the student present a transcript for a review of the total courses that have been taken under the requested “area.”
Step 2: After approval from faculty, the student may take the Content Area Proficiency (diagnostic) test at Lamar (currently a cost of $10).
Step 3: Pedagogy faculty will create a deficiency plan.
Step 4: Take specific courses, depending on your area of specialization.
As a note, some students request to transfer courses or have courses waived for various reasons. For all course transfers, waivers, or substitutions, university policy applies. A written request must be made to the graduate faculty committee (departmental) prior to the G-3 Degree Candidacy form. At no time can waivers or substitution of courses result in students accumulating less than a minimum of 36 credit hours for the degree. Waivers, substitutions, and transfer courses are not automatically accepted. These courses must be reviewed and approved by the graduate faculty (departmental), department chair, and graduate dean. For waivers, transfers, and substitutions of pedagogy courses, the student must make the request with the Pedagogy Department in the College of Education and Human Development.
Admission to the Master's Degree Program
Applicants for admission to the master’s degree program in the Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (DSDE), except for students who are deaf (see below), are ranked for admission based on the following criteria:
- A formula established by the Graduate Council. The formula is calculated based on (GPA* x 50) + Verbal GRE + Quantitative GRE score. The formula score must be greater than or equal to 428.
- Evidence of American Sign Language competency as shown by the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) scores of a minimum of 2.5
- The relevance of the undergraduate training
- Three letters of support
- An essay including the applicant’s philosophy of education and professional goals.
- Admission interview with DSDE faculty