Caring, compassionate teachers inspire students
An instructor of students who are deaf or hard of hearing educates the whole child with individually tailored programs that best meet their unique needs educationally, socially and emotionally. Combining theory, practice and methodology, the deaf and hard of hearing program will prepare you to teach a diverse student group and address their specialized requirements with compassion and respect.
Start making a difference as a student
Field experiences are an integral part of the education process here at SFA. With a Bachelor of Science in the deaf and hard of hearing, you’ll find that some of your most valuable lessons come outside the SFA classroom. You’ll spend time actually working with elementary and secondary students within a local school district, in both a deaf education classroom and a typical classroom. Under the guidance of classroom mentor teachers and university mentors, you’ll learn what it really takes to manage a classroom and make the ultimate transition from student to teacher.
In addition, SFA's deaf and hard of hearing education students have a special opportunity to substitute-teach in the Nacogdoches Public School’s Regional Day School Program for the Deaf. Because of the unique need for their teachers and interpreters to know sign language, their substitute pool is very limited. We have a partnership with the program that allows our students who will become eligible to seek teacher certification to become substitutes for the district. You’ll not only increase your proficiency and confidence level in signing, you’ll also practice in real world deaf education settings to reinforce what you’re learning in the classroom.
Join a high-demand workforce
Education will always be a field in high demand and specializing in deaf education makes you even more marketable.
Our deaf and hard of hearing education students go on to teach in elementary and secondary schools but also take careers in orientation and mobility, rehabilitation and related human services occupations serving people with disabilities. Many continue on with graduate study in counseling, communication sciences and disorders, special education and school psychology.
Getting involved on campus
When you’re not studying for your courses or working with area youth, you’ll have plenty of opportunities at SFA to get involved in clubs with fellow Lumberjacks who share your passion for sign language and enhancing the experiences of the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Talking Hands is for anyone interested in sign language, for both new and fluent or native signers. In addition to regular meetings allowing for opportunities to “turn off” the voice and “turn on” the hands, Talking Hands is involved in a variety of special events. Silent weekends, variety shows and annually signing the Star Spangled Banner during the SFA Homecoming game are a few of the fun ways Talking Hands gets students involved.
The Deaf Education Club is a great way for our deaf education students (majors and minors alike) to connect. As a service-oriented club, we provide opportunities to apply what you’re learning to issues within the local deaf and hard of hearing education public school setting and deaf community. Special projects, fundraising for local deaf and hard of hearing education classrooms/programs and gathering together as a collaborative group to share ideas will enhance your time on campus.
BS in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Students wishing to work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing may obtain a Bachelor of Science in deaf and hard of hearing through the Perkins College of Education. This major is designed to prepare the you to teach pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 in programs for the deaf and hard of hearing.
Upon graduation, you will be eligible to apply for certification with the Texas Education Agency to teach students who are deaf or hard of hearing in Texas public schools from grades Pre-Kindergarten (Early Childhood and Early Intervention) through 12th grade.
Alternatively, you can choose to minor in deaf and hard of hearing as a strong supplement to any major. This minor especially complements majors in special education, general education and communication disorders.
Minor in deaf studies
All deaf studies minors must complete the required courses, plus educational interpreting/transliteration. This is a limited offering designed to develop your skills in expressive interpretation and transliteration. You will learn the processes of transmitting spoken English into manual communication between deaf and hearing people.
Minor in educational interpreting
Please note that our program focuses on deaf and hard of hearing education. This minor is for students interested in getting involved in sign language interpreting in the school setting. It was designed as a preparatory program to help interested students get a taste for what educational interpreting is all about. This will not fully prepare you for a career as a sign language interpreter in the public school setting. To become a fully certified sign language interpreter, you will need to seek an additional interpreter training program.