Areas of Study



You may apply for this program if your Bachelors degree is in education and you are eligible for general education licensure. If not, please contact Dr. Julie Mitchiner at

Program of Study

Program Requirements

To complete the Master of Arts in Deaf Education and be recommended for a licensure in the District of Columbia, candidates must satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Completion of graduate degree requirements.
  2. Successful completion (grade of B or better) of all academic and practicum requirements specified by the Department of Education.
  3. Successful completion of all field experiences and student teaching.
  4. Successful completion of all appropriate Praxis II examinations, and of program performance assessments aligned with courses, field experiences, and student teaching. [Candidates who successfully complete the degree program (i.e., grades of B or better in all coursework) but not the performance assessments may graduate from the program but are not recommended for licensure.]
  5. American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) rating of 2+.

This program leads to DC Licensure. If you are seeking licensure in another state you are responsible for checking into their reciprocity policy.

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

Fall 1

This course will familiarize students with the nature and importance of curriculum in education for diverse students from K-12. The course also provides an initial experience in integrated curriculum planning that incorporates the use of current technologies with respect for diversity. Current theories of assessment, curriculum, instruction and learning across diverse educational settings and cultures are applied in the classroom laboratory settings. Content assessments and evaluation that reflect individual differences in the candidate areas(s) of study are emphasized.

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.

This course is designed to provide the students with the knowledge of the specific linguistic structures and introduce them to basic similarities and differences in the linguistic structures and uses of American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Examining categories from a universal perspective, the linguistic contrastive analysis is accomplished by focusing on: phonological and morphological processes, syntactic properties, discourse types, word classes, and linguistic variation in Deaf and Hearing communities in the United States. Also, the students will examine the basic phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic features of ASL and English. Application of the instructional ASL/English linguistics and structures in the classroom and activities will be presented. Students will develop activity plans, and adapt and implement the methodologies and materials used in ASL/English learning to the needs of the individual Deaf/Hard of Hearing child.

This course is designed to familiarize students with legislation in special education (past and present) and the IEP process.

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.

Spring 1

Literacy Course: EDU 621 or EDU 631 or EDU 641

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Summer 1

An in-depth study of children's literature primarily for early childhood and secondary education majors. Focuses on the evaluation, selection, and sharing of children's and young adult books in instructional settings. Participants will read, respond to, and evaluate picture books and chapter books of various genres. Emphasizes the identification and teaching of literary elements in context, strategies for sharing books with children, and the importance of using authentic children's and young's adult literature in schools.

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.

Theories, research, methods, and perspectives pertaining to the development of auditory/oral skills in deaf and hard of hearing children and youth. Knowledge of the development, improvement, and /or maintenance of auditory/oral skills in an interdisciplinary bilingual educational environment.

Fall 2

This course is the pre-professional capstone experience of the MA Programs in deaf education, and is comprised of full-time supervised student teaching for a minimum forty (50) clock hours per credit, typically completed within a ten (10) week period. During this experience, the student teacher is mentored by an on-site classroom cooperating teacher and supervised by a Department of Education university supervisor.

Program Outcomes

Based on the Council of Exceptional Children (CEC) Standards and Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC) Principles


Standard 1: Learner Development:The teacher candidate understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and values the perspectives of the child, their family, and the community.


Standard 2: Learning Differences: The teacher candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures, languages, and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that are developmentally appropriate and provide challenging learning experiences for each and every learner to achieve their highest potential.


Standard 3: Learning Environments: The teacher candidate works independently and with others to create environments that support individual and group learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement, and self-motivation.


Standard 4: Content Knowledge:The teacher candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the disciplines he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for each and every learner.


Standard 5: Application of Content: The teacher candidate understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, evaluation, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.


Standard 6: Assessment: The teacher understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, monitor learner progress, and guide the teacher's and learner's decision-making.


Standard 7: Planning for Instruction:The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports each and every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.


Standard 8: Instructional Strategies: The teacher candidate uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop a deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.


Standard 9: Reflection, Professional Learning, and Ethical Practice: The teacher candidate engages in ongoing reflection and professional learning and uses evidence to evaluate practice, particularly the effects of the teacher candidate's choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community, and adapts practice to meet the needs of the learner.


Standard 10: Leadership, Advocacy, and Collaboration:The teacher candidate seeks appropriate advocacy and leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth.


Standard 11: Technology:The teacher candidate uses knowledge of effective multimedia communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and accessibility to support interaction in the classroom.

Standard 12: Literacy and Numeracy: The teacher candidate applies a variety of instructional strategies to develop and enhance the literacy and numeracy skills of each and every learner including the use of multiple representations and explanations to present ideas and concepts.


Gallaudet University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE) and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Title IV approved institution. The Gallaudet University M.A. Education: Teacher Preparation (Deaf Education, Early Childhood Education & Deaf Education, Elementary Education & Deaf Education, and Secondary Education & Deaf Education) program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation (CAEP) organization. The program is also approved by the District of Columbia State Education Agency (SEA) and licensed by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC). In compliance with the U.S. Department of Education and the District of Columbia Higher Education Licensure Commission (HELC) requirements for participation in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA), Gallaudet University provides information pertaining to this program and teacher educator licensure within each of the U.S. states and territories. This program is designed to meet the educational requirements for teacher educator licensure in the District of Columbia. If your intent is to secure licensure outside of Washington, D.C., then BEFORE beginning Gallaudet University's program, use the drop-down list below and select the state or territory in which licensure is intended. This will help you determine whether Gallaudet has obtained confirmation from the state or territory to formally identify whether the Gallaudet M.A. Education: Teacher Preparation (Deaf Education, Early Childhood Education & Deaf Education, Elementary Education & Deaf Education, and Secondary Education & Deaf Education) program meets, does not meet or cannot be confirmed as meeting the educational requirements for licensure.


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M.A. in Deaf Education

Julie Mitchiner

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