Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

The Interdisciplinary Studies: Infants, Toddlers and their Families Masters of Arts Program (ITF)  provides professionals from a wide range of disciplines with current evidence-based knowledge and skills for working with families and their very young children from birth to 3 years old who are deaf or hard of hearing. This interdisciplinary program provides preparation in professional and ethical practices, communication and language(s), families, and developmental assessment and programming. Candidates will acquire leadership, advocacy, and collaboration skills that promote age and developmentally appropriate outcomes for infants and toddlers. All coursework and field experiences reflect principles of diversity and social justice including understanding and appreciation of language diversity (ASL and English, as well as other home languages).

Admission Requirements

  • B.A. or B.S. degree with a minimum of a 3.0 GPA
  • Evidence of ONE or more of the following:
    • a professional discipline degree in one of the following areas or related areas: Counseling, Education, Social Work, Speech and Spoken Language, Audiology, American Sign Language, Public Health, Deaf Studies, Interpreting, or Psychology;
    • Evidence of admission to a program that results in one of the above-mentioned academic areas;
    • Evidence of current employment related to providing services to birth-to-three-year olds and their families (e.g., ASL Teachers, Deaf Mentors, Paraprofessionals).
  • Completed application form requesting admission to the MA program
  • ASLPI 2 (Conditional acceptance for students with 1+ must receive a minimum score of 2 to receive the master’s degree)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay (in written English or ASL) describing candidate’s professional goals and rationale for applying to the ITF master’s degree program.

Note: Students who have completed the ITF graduate certificate within five years prior to admission are admitted to the M.A. program with advanced standing. Additionally, ITF 700, 701, 702, 703, 704 are not required if completed with grades of B or above within five years prior to admission into the program.

Graduation Requirements

  • Successfully completed the program with 3.0 or above
  • Successfully completed field experience and internships; passed disposition assessment, and field experience evaluations
  • Successfully completed an independent research project

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

Required Courses

This course is the third course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires on-line participation. This course examines family systems' perspectives and the interrelationships among the young child who is deaf or hard of hearing, family and communities. Family and community cultures, values and beliefs will be explored. Participants will understand the importance of building relationships and the research underlying the importance of family support systems, acceptance and accommodation. Emphasis will be on collaboration with professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds, leadership and advocacy. The course will address strategies and resources that promote family and professional collaboration, family-to-family support networks, and family involvement.

This course is the fifth course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires both on-line and on-campus participation. The course will focus on both content and skill development in the areas of assessment and programming. Collaboration will be emphasized in the assessment and implementation of goals and services for young children and their families. The processes underlying the development of IFSPs and IEP's and transitions from early intervention to preschools will be explored. Strategies and resources will emphasize best practice in interdisciplinary, developmentally and individually appropriate and culturally responsive programming. Candidates for the certificate will present their capstone projects and final portfolios to provide evidence of their knowledge, skills and professional dispositions for working with infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing, birth-to-three and their families.

This course explores the concepts of race, gender, ability, culture, and intersecting identities shape our thoughts as they pertain to the study of early intervention justice and equity for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and their families. We will make use of social, cognitive, and developmental theories to explore what it means to be providers in a multicultural society. We will evaluate the construct of race, how babies, young children and adults come to make sense of race, and what utility it has for early intervention providers. We will examine how culture shapes our values, worldviews, and the ways we communicate with one another. We will define and examine implicit and explicit bias, how stereotypes affect behavior, and how privilege and discrimination shape the lived experiences of members of society as those experiences directly affect the families in our field. We will also examine the intersection of multiple social identities with an orientation towards providing equitable services with limited barriers. This course has a heavy emphasis on adults to think about the parents and caregivers with whom early intervention providers work, making way for a family-centered approach. Students of this course will take a reflective journey to reveal and begin to process their internal biases.

This course provides opportunities to observe and participate in early care and education programs for deaf and hard of hearing infants, toddlers and their families across cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. This course provides a context for developing and enacting content, strategies, and pedagogical knowledge under the supervision of University Supervisor (US) and Mentor professionals (MP). Additionally, this course provides opportunities for development through self-reflection. The seminar will include opportunities for reflective group sessions.


 

This course provides an introduction to working with and educating young Deaf infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families from a disability critical theory studies approach that incorporates the intersectionality of people with disabilities and racialized bodies. The course covers an overview on the factors including etiology and symptomatology that impact developmental disabilities aspects of Deaf infants and toddlers. This course also addresses evidence-based practices in assessing and interacting working with deaf infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. 

 

This course will focus on various techniques and methods of sociological research with an emphasis on selection, formulation, and execution of research projects in an applied early care and early education setting. Students will demonstrate an understanding of early interventionist’s relationship with statistics and research considering research and researcher biases as they pertain to evaluation and assessment. The primary objective of this course is to familiarize the student with important concepts of and stages in social scientific research. The course will begin with many different ways of acquiring knowledge, and then consider such concepts as hypotheses, theories, research designs, measurements, methods of data gathering, and analysis and culminate in the development and completion of an IRB approved research proposal by the student in their area of interest. Students will complete the CITI Trainings for Human Subject’s Research by the end of the course. Students’ critical thinking skills will be challenged and their points of view will be supported by evidence and theory.

This course will focus on various techniques and methods of sociological research with an emphasis on selection, formulation, and execution of research projects in an applied early care and early education setting. Students will demonstrate an understanding of early interventionist’s relationship with statistics, qualitative analyses, and research considering research and researcher biases as they pertain to evaluation and assessment. The primary objective of this course is to familiarize the student with important concepts of and stages in social scientific research. This course will be a continuation of Research Seminar I  to proceed on the next steps in the research process including collecting and analyzing data and reporting the findings. Students’ critical thinking skills will be challenged and their points of view will be supported by evidence and theory

This course supports candidates to participate full time in an internship to work with deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers, and their families in early care and education settings e.g.  early intervention programs, parent infants programs, and daycares. This course provides opportunities to synthesize learning across coursework and field experiences and apply content and pedagogical knowledge with culturally, linguistically, ability, and socioeconomically diverse  deaf and hard of hearing young infants, toddlers and their families under the supervision of a university supervisor (US) and a mentor professional (MP). 


 

This class will explore the historical, medical, social, political, philosophical, and cultural influences that have constructed the categories of ''normalcy'', ''disability'' and ''deafness''. Building on the writing of Michel Foucault and critical work in the field of disability studies, this course will inquire into the institutions that have enforced standards of normalcy, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the present. Primary attention will be paid to the rise of medical authority in the West, the history of eugenics, and contemporary bioethical issues confronting disability and deaf communities.

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.

This online course is designed for students who are preparing for Service Providers and careers working with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Based upon the World Health Organization International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), this course explores the biopsychosocial implications of both congenital and acquired hearing differences and their possible impacts on communication, education, participation, and quality of life. A special emphasis is placed on the diversity of communication needs and choices among deaf and hard of hearing people. Areas examined include interprofessional practice among counselors and audiologists, sound and hearing, the anatomy and physiology of the hearing mechanism, etiologies of hearing difference, hearing measurement, audiometric interpretation, auditory (re)habilitation, and multisensory communication technologies including hearing aids, cochlear implants, group listening systems, telecommunication devices, captioning and alerting systems. Practical applications of these topics for service providers and professionals are emphasized.

Program Outcomes

1.     Demonstrate leadership and advocacy skills needed for meaningful participation leading to improvement in policies and programs serving deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers at the local, regional and national levels.

2.     Apply knowledge of basic research to the development of a research proposal focused on factors that result in positive outcomes for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

3.     Identify the strengths and challenges that families from a wide range  of  backgrounds and experiences face from the time of newborn hearing screening/referral through early intervention and transition to preschool.

4.     Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills and appropriate professional and ethical interactions with families and other professionals

a)    Demonstrate effective and appropriate skills for listening and responding to families.

b)    Implement strategies to assist families in complex decision-making regarding language and communication opportunities, technologies and services.

5.    Demonstrate ability to work collaboratively with professionals  from different disciplinary backgrounds to provide services to children birth to 3 and their families: 

a) Collaborate with mental health professionals and others to support families who show signs of needing specialized support services such as counseling or other emotional support.

b) Collaborate with audiologists, speech language pathologists, and other hearing specialists to help families understand their child’s hearing levels and appropriate technologies and services.

c) Collaborate with ASL specialists and Deaf Mentors to provide young children and their families with visual language models and strategies for early language acquisition.

d) Collaborate with families and other specialists to develop an appropriate IFSP

6.     Demonstrate ability to gather child language, communication, cultural, sociodemographic, and other developmental information through appropriate assessment tools and strategies.

7.     Recognize differences in child growth and development that require collaboration with medical and developmental specialists

8.     Demonstrate appropriate interactions, services and resources for children with complex developmental needs.

9.     Apply evidence-based practices (including research and best practice guidelines) in their interactions with children who are D/HH and their families  to achieve optimal outcomes for children and their families including the ability to:

a) Implement services that support family health and emotional well-being such as family-to-family support networks and deaf adult mentoring programs 

b) Promote the acquisition of language for children birth to 3 (and their families) through visual learning and ASL including bimodal bilingual language acquisition strategies.

c) Promote the acquisition of language for children birth to 3 (and their families) through auditory learning and spoken English.

d) Promote the acquisition of language for children birth to 3 (and their families) using visual, auditory, tactile strategies as needed.

e) Support the communication development of young children who utilize hearing, visual and tactile technologies as needed.

f) Demonstrate strategies for implementing culturally responsive, developmentally and individually appropriate interactions with children and families that support infant/toddler development in all domains.

g) Implement evidence-based strategies to guide families through the transition from Part C to Part B services

h) Collaborate with family members to develop IFSP goals based on appropriate assessments

10.  Implement developmentally and individually appropriate programming and services for infants and toddlers with different abilities and needs.

11.  Demonstrate professional dispositions for working with children birth to 3 and their families.

12. Describe the principles of family-centered practice including appreciation of the expertise of families and their impact on children’s growth and development.

13. Analyze personal implicit and explicit biases related to race, culture, and other sociodemographic areas and identities as they relate to working with children and families.

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