Frequently Asked Questions - Deaf Education

What degree will I have when I complete my course of study?

Individuals wishing to teach students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and who successfully complete their coursework after their applications are accepted, receive a Master of Arts or Master of Education in special education with a specialization in education of the Deaf or hard of hearing.

What if I already have a master's degree in education?

Individuals who have a master's degree in an education-related field, along with a current teaching credential, may apply for the graduate certificate in sensory disabilities. If accepted, the individual can then continue on and complete the endorsement coursework without completing a second master's degree.

Do I need to be fluent in American Sign Language before I apply to UNL?

An intermediate level of American Sign Language (ASL) proficiency is required by the time a student completes the program and applies for a teaching endorsement in Deaf education in his or her state. This is not a course requirement, but a proficiency requirement, which the individual would arrange for locally and submit documentation for approval. UNl does offer an on-campus series of 16 undergraduate credits in ASL, in the summer as well as during the fall and spring semesters.

I live in rural Nebraska or in another state. I am already teaching full-time. How do I manage to  complete my required fieldwork and practicum?

Most of the students completing their teacher preparation program in Deaf education are non-traditional, working full-time, with families, and limited access to Deaf children and youth. UNL students have a number of options for completing fieldwork locally, such as using adjunct supervisors and summer enrichment program opportunities in local school districts, depending on individual circumstances.

Can I complete the courses at my own pace?

No. The courses required for the master's and/or endorsement in Deaf education have weekly discussions, assigned activity deadlines and examinations. However, there is flexibility built into our online courses to allow students to balance their studies and their lives. Faculty also encourage students to engage with each other and with instructors in order to form a learning community.