FAQs about Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

What is the program like?

Small class sizes ensure lots of individual attention as well as opportunity to know your professors personally and to form close bonds with other students. Barton’s Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program is one of the few undergraduate programs on the eastern seaboard between New Jersey and Florida. The program’s goal is to prepare the very best teachers possible for the constantly changing field of education of the deaf and hard of hearing.

What is the program philosophy?

The Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program subscribes to an eclectic philosophy – the idea that deaf and hard of hearing children can be educated in many ways. For some children, the oral approach, auditory-verbal therapy, or cued speech are appropriate. Others benefit more from an environment where American Sign Language or Pidgin Sign English are used. The program recognizes that not all deaf and hard of hearing children have the same learning needs. A method of teaching that may be effective with one child may not work with another. Similarly, the Barton College Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program has students with varying interests. Some are more interested in working with deaf or hard of hearing children in public school mainstream classes, while others prefer working in residential schools. The program prepares students to work in all of these settings.

What age groups does the Barton program prepare me to work with?

North Carolina licensure in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is kindergarten through 12th grade.

Will I get to work with deaf children or hard of hearing children before I begin my student teaching?

Yes. You will spend 15 hours in a classroom for deaf children soon after completing your first sign language class. You will have other experiences with deaf children along the way in order to feel comfortable and prepared as you begin your full-time student teaching experience the last semester of your senior year.

Where will I student teach?

Students do student teaching for a minimum of ten weeks. Barton is fortunate to have a residential school for deaf children, the Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, only two miles from campus, and you may choose to student teach there. In addition, you may student teach in an early intervention setting, with children with multiple disabilities, in public school inclusion classrooms, in self-contained classes for the deaf in Raleigh, and as resource or itinerant teachers in counties near Wilson. Some students have chosen to work in settings where sign language is used with voice or where American Sign Language is used exclusively, while others have opted to work in oral or cued speech environments. Students have the option of having either one or two student teaching placements.

Do I already need to know sign language before coming to Barton?

No. Barton offers three American Sign Language classes. Students who come to Barton with sign language skills will be placed at the appropriate level. Students are expected to begin student teaching with a level of sign proficiency sufficient for classroom communication. Students will be given opportunities throughout the program – through practicum opportunities and in-class signing – to continue developing sign language skills.

Are there many jobs available?

Yes. Barton graduates get jobs. Each year, there are more jobs available than there are program graduates.

Is the program accredited?

Yes. The program is accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) of the state of North Carolina.

What if I don’t want to work in North Carolina? Can I transfer my licensure to another state?

North Carolina has reciprocity with 39 states; in these states, the transfer process is almost automatic. For the other 11 states, it may be necessary to meet a specific requirement of that state (a constitution test or a state history course, for example). In general, it is a simple process to get licensure in another state once North Carolina licensure is obtained.

Can I get two licensures at the same time?

Yes. Currently, over half of our students get Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing licensure kindergarten-12th grade and an additional area of licensure, such as Elementary Education, Special Education, or Middle School Education in the areas of mathematics, science, social studies, or language arts. These additional licensure areas not only make students stronger teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing but also give students the additional option of working with hearing children in public school settings. It is possible to get two areas of licensure within a four year period, but careful planning is a must. Students who pursue this option must occasionally take a few courses in summer school, either at Barton or in their home communities.

If I’m currently in college and want to transfer to Barton, what should I be taking now?

Follow Barton’s curriculum guides carefully. The Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing curriculum guide [pdf] provides course information for students interested in licensure in education of the deaf and hard of hearing.