Special Education, Graduate Endorsement (Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education)

Graduate Endorsement in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education (Birth to Grade 12)

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Fully Online
  • 30
  • $357.00
  • $750.00

Program Overview

The online Graduate Endorsement in Deaf Education (Birth - Grade 12) is designed to prepare high-quality Teachers of the Deaf (TODs) to meet the linguistic, cultural, social and cognitive needs of students' who are deaf or hard of hearing, ages birth through 21.

Students choose this program because: 

  • They want to advance their knowledge and skills in serving students who are deaf and hard of hearing
  • The coursework is relevant and based on current, quality research. 
  • The collaborative learning experience allows students to gain insight from colleagues across the country. 

Proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) is required prior to beginning the student teaching portion of this endorsement. This requirement can be met by taking 16 credits (ASL I-IV) of ASL from either UNL (on-campus; two courses for two summers), at your local college/university, online through Gallaudet or another program that offers online ASL courses, or by achieving a score of proficient or better on the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) or EIPA assessment.

Career Outlook: In the United States, there is a growing shortage of qualified personnel to serve students who are DHH and their families (U.S. Department of Education, 2016). According to the 2018-2019 U.S. Department of Educations annual listing of Teacher Shortage Areas, 41 states reported a critical shortage of special education teachers, which include teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing.

More about the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders:

The Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders (SECD) is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with special needs, their families, schools, and communities. 

The vision is that every individual with special needs will:

  • Achieve maximum potential for learning.
  • Communicate autonomously.
  • Enjoy optimum health and well-being throughout the lifespan.

Students have the ability to choose to:   

  • Take one or a few classes of interest.
  • Pursue the teaching endorsement or graduate certificate.
  • Complete a graduate degree.

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A Bachelor's degree

  2. 2.5 GPA or above on a 4.0 scale

  3. Taken the TOEFL or IELTS

    (Only required if English is not your native language)

  4. A written personal statement

  5. 3 letters of recommendation

  6. Official transcripts from all previous schools

NOTE: If you reside in state(s) KY contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete and submit the online application for Graduate Studies
  2. Pay $50 application fees
  3. Submit separate application to academic department

Courses You’ll Take

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
SPED 897DStudent Teaching: Exceptional Learners - Deaf and Hard of Hearing1 - 9
Prereq: Permission Laboratory and teaching experience in the area(s) of specialization.
SPED 804Managing Challenging Behavior3
Prereq: SPED 800, *802, *803; or permission. Functional approaches that can be used by teachers and mental health practitioners for assessing, preventing, and managing children’s challenging behavior. Basics of applied behavior analysis, functional analyses of behavior, individual- and group-oriented interventions, self-management training, and strategies for promoting generalization.
SLPA 102Beginning American Sign Language II4
Prereq: SLPA 101. Beginning course in American Sign Language (ASL). Development of vocabulary and grammatical structures of ASL. Receptive and expressive skill development. Easy ASL video literature.
SLPA 850Audiology for Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing3
Anatomy and physiology of hearing, components of adequate evaluation for placement and educational planning; diagnosis using audiogram, functional and communication assessment; stimulation and utilization of residual hearing; and management of assistive/augmentative devices.
SLPA 101Beginning American Sign Language I4
Beginning course in American Sign Language (ASL). Development of vocabulary and grammatical structures of ASL. Receptive and expressive skill development. Easy ASL video literature.
SPED 800Characteristics of Exceptional Persons3
Etiology, growth and development, and characteristics of persons who differ from the norm.
SPED 812Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners3
Prereq: SPED 201 and 303 The role of general education teachers in the primary purposes of assessment of learners with diverse needs. Knowledge and experience with interpreting norm-referenced test information as related to planning educational programs. Use of assessment information for instructional planning and evaluation. Testing accommodations and classroom grading.
SLPA 956Language Study: Teachers of the DHH3
(DHH) Lec 3. (3 cr) Theoretical and practical aspects of American Sign Language (ASL) structure. Issues relevant to the use of sign language in education, written English as a second language, classroom discourse, and educational interpreting. Sociolinguistic aspects of sign language among deaf and hearing individuals.
SPED 890Workshop Seminars in Education1 - 12
The purpose of the Workshop Seminars (890, 893, 990 or 993) is to give students in the departments of education an opportunity to work singly or in groups on practical educational problems which are of special focused interest but which are not included in other professional education courses. Workshops are offered on a variety of topics by College faculty and selected educational consultants. As a rule, the individual or group is expected to produce some kind of a product as a part of the workshop experience. The amount of credit in a Workshop Seminar at either the 800 or 900 level may not exceed 12 semester hours in meeting requirements for the masters degree. Upon approval, a maximum of 12 additional semester hours may be included in the program for the doctoral degree.
SPED 872Psychology and Sociology of Deafness3
Brief overview of education of the hearing impaired including history of, professional roles in, and educational programming within this field. Overview of social/psychological theories as related to the hearing impaired. Patterns of social/emotional development, psychological characteristics, issues of the family stress and social adaptation and discussion of counseling techniques.
SPED 960Family and School Collaboration in Special Education3
Prereq: Professional experience or completion of one practicum and/or field experience with young children (birth to age 5) or other individuals ages 5 to 21 years who have disabilities. Functions and interactions of both family and education systems. Impact of having a child with a disability on the normal and stressed family system. Promote family-professional partnerships in assessment and intervention for the child and/or student with an IFSP/IEP. Communication skills are reviewed and practiced for effective teaming among educators and for interviewing, consulting, collaborating and coaching with family members and other community team members.
SPED 896DDirected Field Experience Deaf and Hard of Hearing1 - 6
Prereq: Permission
SLPA 202Second Year American Sign Language II4
Prereq: SLPA 201. Conversational American Sign Language (ASL). Idiomatic uses of ASL. Use of ASL for creative expression. Extensive viewing, translation and discussion of videotaped ASL conversations and literature.
SLPA 884Speech & Language Development of the DHH3
Theories of speech and language development as they apply to hearing impaired children. Evaluation and intervention of speech and language with emphasis on maintenance of communicative skills.
SLPA 201Second Year American Sign Language I4
Prereq: SLPA 101 and 102. Conversational American Sign Language (ASL). Idiomatic uses of ASL. Use of ASL for creative expression. Extensive viewing, translation and discussion of videotaped ASL conversations and literature.
SPED 874Language Arts and Literacy for the Hearing Impaired3
Assessment instruments, curricula and instructional methods for developing language and literacy in classrooms for hearing impaired children, preschool through grade 12. Methods for coordinating speech and/or language and/or auditory training program in the classroom with that in the speech and/or language therapy program.
SPED 875Itinerant Teaching Methods for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing3
Methods for providing services for students with hearing loss, using itinerant and consultative models. Professional and parent in-service development, team-based problem solving, curriculum based pull-out services. Ecological assessment and management of deafness related technology in inclusive settings. Supervision of interpreters and paraprofessionals.
SPED 873Teaching the Content Areas to the Hearing Impaired3
SPED 873 is for all students in the hearing impaired program.Methods for teaching content areas (science, math, and social studies) to hearing impaired students from preschool through grade12. Adapting curricula and materials from these areas for the hearing impaired students.
SPED 814Instructional Methods for Students with Diverse Needs3
Prereq: SPED 201 and 303. Instructional methods and accommodations for special education and general education teachers necessary to work successfully with students with disabilities or who are at-risk for academic failure. Curriculum modification, classroom management, strategy instruction, and instructional modifications for content areas.

Tuition & Fees

Nebraska Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours


Out of State Residents

Per Credit Hour


3 Credit Hours

Anne Thomas, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Practice, Coordinator of the Deaf Education

Anne Thomas, Ph.D. teaches academic courses and supervises field experience, research and student teaching. Her primary area of interest is the assessment of young and school-aged children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Application Deadlines
  • Fall SemesterJan 15