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Elementary Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

The teacher preparation program in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is a five-year integrated bachelor’s and master’s program that culminates in several teaching certifications: Education of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing oral/aural, Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing/Sign Communication (a passing score on a State-mandated sign communication interview is required for this), and Elementary Education K-6. The program is designed for students who have completed high school and are first-time freshmen and for transfer students from community colleges or other four-year institutions.

» Advisement and Resources for Current TCNJ Students

Additional Program Information

Previous coursework or knowledge of sign language is not necessary for acceptance into the program. Students who have either taken American Sign Language (ASL) courses or who have heritage knowledge of ASL will be required to take an ASL placement test to determine their communicative competency in the language. Information about the placement test is sent to students after they are admitted to the college.

Students are given credit for Advanced Placement tests, as appropriate. Please check the TCNJ website for transferable AP scores and TCNJ course equivalents.

At the undergraduate level, students have a dual major: Education of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing and one of 11 subject matter areas selected from art, English, mathematics, history, biology, Spanish, music, psychology, sociology, women and gender studies, or iSTEM. Students whose dual major is in a teachable subject area (i.e., not psychology or sociology) will have the opportunity to seek a subject matter specialization to teach that subject in grades 6-8 and 9-12. Having completed a dual major in a liberal arts area and in deaf education, students will earn a bachelor’s degree without teacher certification at the end of their fourth year. The course of study continues through the following summer and academic year and culminates with the student’s earning a master’s degree and all applicable certifications. Students will need to meet all requirements of The College of New Jersey, of the School of Education, and of the program at the end of the fourth year in order to be admitted to the fifth year. For admission to the program, students must apply to The College of New Jersey and select Deaf Education as their major. They must also select a second major.

» Deaf Studies Minor
» American Sign Language

Second Major Options

Students may choose a second major from one of the following disciplines:

  • Art
  • Biology
  • English
  • History
  • Psychology
  • Math
  • iSTEM
  • Music
  • Sociology
  • Spanish
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Frequently Asked Questions for Future Students

When I graduate, what will I be qualified to teach?

Graduates are highly qualified to teach Deaf or Hard of Hearing students:

  • in grades K-6
  • in middle and high school classes when providing in-class support
  • if highly qualified in a specific content area, grades 6-12 subject matter classes

Graduates are highly qualified to teach typical learners:

  • elementary education K-6
  • if highly qualified in a specific content area, grades 6-12 subject matter areas

I am currently enrolled in another program at TCNJ; how can I transfer?

Set up a meeting with the Deaf Education Coordinator. Be sure to bring an unofficial copy of your transcript and the “Change of Major Form” downloadable from the Office of Records and Registration website.

Complete a transfer application

Why should I choose an accelerated five-year BS/MAT program rather than graduate in four?

You will graduate with two degrees: Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Teaching. You will also hold three NJ teaching certifications. Separately, such achievement would take almost 7 years. Furthermore, spreading coursework over 5 years allows more flexibility in scheduling and allows you to study abroad and be active in campus life.

What is the job market like for deaf education teachers?

Highly qualified Teachers of d/Deaf children are in high demand. The department boasts a 100% placement rate for those seeking employment in d/Deaf education.

What is your average cohort size?

12 to 15 students.

How do I arrange a visit?

Visit the College’s website for prospective students.

Who should apply?

The accelerated five-year program in Deaf Education is designed for first-time students who have completed high school and for transfer students from community colleges or other four-year programs who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree will be required to earn a second undergraduate degree at TCNJ. Applicable courses from the first bachelor’s degree may transfer to TCNJ.

Does this program enable me to teach special education?

No. If you want to teach individuals with disabilities, the department offers a separate accelerated bachelor’s and master’s program culminating in two certifications: one as a Teacher of Individuals with Disabilities and one in Elementary Education.

Can I study abroad?

Yes, the department supports the College’s International Student Teaching program. There is room in the five-year program to study abroad. Visit for details.

I am excited about student teaching. When will I have experience in the classroom?

You will have several part-time field experiences in your sophomore, junior, and senior years. You will student teach full-time during your fifth year.

Deaf Education Program Standards

The program meets the standards and requirements of:

  • Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
  • State of New Jersey Teacher Education Standards
  • Council on Education for the Deaf (CED)

The coursework to qualify for education certification consists of:

Professional Education (12 course units)

  • SPE 099: College Seminar
  • ASL101: American Sign Language I
  • ASL102: American Sign Language II
  • ASL103: American Sign Language III
  • DHH 105: Programs and Services for Individuals who are D/HH
  • SLP 304: Audiological Assessment
  • MST 202: Methods of Teaching Science, Health, and Technology
  • MTT 202: Methods of Teaching Mathematics
  • RAL 220: Literacy, Strategies, Assessment, and Instruction
  • DHH 303: Language Development in Individuals who are Deaf/HH
  • DHH 350: Communication in Classrooms with Deaf/HH Students
  • RAL 320: Literacy Learning Across the Curriculum
  • DHH 423: Deaf Education Methods Across Educational Settings


SPE 099: College Seminar introduces the requirements for the teaching profession and education program. This pass/fail seminar has no course units.

Graduate Education (10 course units)

  • EDUC 513: Collaboration, Consultation, and Partnerships
  • DFHH 522: Assistive Listening Devices and Auditory Management
  • DFHH 530: Speech Development in Deaf or Hard of Hearing Individuals
  • RDLG 579: Reading in the Content Areas
  • ELEM 520: Multicultural Social Studies
  • SPED 535: Special Topics in Special Education
  • DFHH 690: Culminating Field Experience
  • EDUC 614: Creating and Sustaining Classroom Communities
  • ELEM 695: Culminating Field Experience Elementary Education
  • DFHH 700: Comprehensive Exam
  • Teaching English as a Second Language Elective Course