The Master of Science in Deaf Education (MSDE) program prepares students as teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing. With its origins going back to 1914, the program is recognized internationally as one of the most prestigious of its kind in the world. The program's intensive curriculum, emphasis on immersion in practice teaching, and experienced faculty attract students nationally from a wide variety of backgrounds.
Deaf Education: A Listening and Spoken Language Approach
Auditory-oral deaf education supports the philosophy that children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen and talk. Its teachers help children develop their spoken and written language skills through current teaching strategies and auditory technologies, such as cochlear implants and digital hearing aids.
The two-year curriculum is rooted in learning the development of speech, language and social skills in children, early intervention, and audiology. With that as a foundation, students study the factors necessary for high-quality education of hearing-impaired children from birth to grade 12. They learn about and participate in the teaching process, from the first diagnosis and early intervention through family-centered counseling and educational options for the child. Students also learn about assistive listening devices, including digital hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM systems and sound field systems. A one-year curriculum option is available for select students with a degree and significant teaching experience in deaf education. All students must complete a comprehensive examination in the final semester.
Student Teaching Experiences
Our students build their knowledge and skills through classroom instruction and immersive, hands-on student teaching experiences. Teaching experiences are available at approximately 10 local sites, which include both public schools and private deaf education schools serving mroe than 500 children with hearing loss. A month-long student teaching rotation outside of St. Louis is an option. In addition, our world-class medical school and hospitals provide unique opportunities, such as observing cochlear implant surgeries and touring a hospital neonatal intensive care unit.
The integration of current research into the curriculum is a unique feature of the program. Through coursework and completion of an Independent Study, students learn how to be consumers of research and to apply the knowledge gained to their own teaching.
Accreditation and Certification
The program is accredited by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Council on Education of the Deaf (CED). All graduates of the two-year program will meet the academic, practical and research requirements for initial certification in MIssouri (Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Birth-Grade 12) and by CED (Early Childhood and Elementary).