Online Special Education, Deaf Education (Birth - Grade 12), Graduate Endorsement | University of Nebraska

Special Education, Deaf Education (Birth - Grade 12), Graduate Endorsement

Graduate Endorsement

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

  • Course Delivery
    Fully Online
  • Total Credits
  • In-State Tuition Per Credit
  • Out of State Tuition Per Credit

Earn your degree from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Get the same diploma as on campus students

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 NebraskaLincoln (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.

This program is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (a merger of TEAC and NCATE).
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 assessment of young and school-aged children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

  2. 2.50 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, please contact a program adviser before applying.

To apply to this program:

  • Apply and be admitted to Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Pay the non-refundable $50 application processing fee
  • Submit one set of official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to Office of Graduate Studies
  • Apply and be admitted to the department
Apply Now

Application Deadlines

Fall Semester
January 15

Core Courses

Course NumberCourse NameCredits
SLPA 101Beginning American Sign Language I4

Course Number: 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 102Beginning American Sign Language II4

Course Number: SLPA 102

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 201Second Year American Sign Language I4

Course Number: SLPA 201

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.

SLPA 202Second Year American Sign Language II4

Course Number: SLPA 202

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 850Audiology for Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing3

Course Number: SLPA 850

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 884Speech & Language Development of the DHH3

Course Number: SLPA 884

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 956Language Study: Teachers of the DHH3

Course Number: SLPA 956

(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 800Characteristics of Exceptional Persons3

Course Number: SPED 800

Etiology, growth and development, and characteristics of persons who differ from the norm.

SPED 804Managing Challenging Behavior3

Course Number: SPED 804

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.

SPED 812Assessment Techniques for Diverse Learners3

Course Number: SPED 812

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.

SPED 814Instructional Methods for Students with Diverse Needs3

Course Number: SPED 814

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.

SPED 872Psychology and Sociology of Deafness3

Course Number: SPED 872

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 873Teaching the Content Areas to the Hearing Impaired3

Course Number: SPED 873

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 874Language Arts and Literacy for the Hearing Impaired3

Course Number: SPED 874

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

Course Number: SPED 875

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 890Workshop Seminars in Education1-12

Course Number: SPED 890

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 896DDirected Field Experience Deaf and Hard of Hearing1-6 cr, max 12

Course Number: SPED 896D

Prereq: Permission

SPED 897DStudent Teaching: Exceptional Learners - Deaf and Hard of Hearing1-9 cr, max 15

Course Number: SPED 897D

Prereq: Permission Laboratory and teaching experience in the area(s) of specialization.

SPED 960Family and School Collaboration3

Course Number: SPED 960

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.

Cost for Nebraska Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $356.50
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $408.75
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1069.50
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $1226.25

Cost for Out of State Residents

  • Per Credit Hour

  • Tuition: $652.00
  • Fees: $52.25
  • Total: $704.25
  • 3 Credit Hours

  • Tuition: $1956.00
  • Fees: $156.75
  • Total: $2112.75

Questions about tuition? We can help.

What's it like to take a program online?

  • Quality learning experience

    The University of Nebraska has offered distance education courses for more than 100 years so you can expect a quality, rigorous experience. Online courses are often highly interactive with faculty and students communicating through e-mail, discussion forums and chat groups. You’ll have direct access to world-class faculty – researchers who are experts in their fields or practitioners with real-world experience. Also, you’ll be part of a community of learners and can benefit from the perspectives of students from across the globe.

  • Flexibility

    Online learning gives you the flexibility and freedom to attend your classes wherever is convenient to you. You can save time and money by being able to continue to work and by avoiding relocation or travel costs. You will be required to complete assignments in a certain timeframe, but in most instances, you can log in and complete coursework during the time of day that works best for you. You aren’t tied to a specific class time.

  • Service you expect from a leading University

    Online learners at the University of Nebraska have access to the same student services available to on-campus students. An academic adviser will guide you along your journey, library services are available to help you excel in your program and career services are available when you are ready to take your next step. These are just a few of the services in place to help you succeed.

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