Written by Beatrice Bachleda
There is an array of higher education options to choose from and it can become overwhelming. Many schools offer programs and assistance for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, but here are four specialized schools with large Deaf programs.
Gallaudet University, Washington D.C. Gallaudet is the first and only liberal arts school for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing. It is a predominately Deaf campus with nearly half the faculty being Deaf as well. Ease of communication with a strong Deaf identity and culture is a major attraction for many students. With an extensive Deaf history research, public services, and ever-changing technology, Gallaudet understands the needs of its community. Gallaudet also offers “self-directed majors” where majors are designed to suit an undergraduate’s needs and goals. A study has shown that 98% of undergraduates have gone on to find jobs or to further their education. Students can transfer credits from Gallaudet partner schools listed onlinertner schools listed online. gallaudet.edu
National Technical Institute for the Deaf/Rochester Institute of Technology (NTID/RIT,) Rochester, New York, NTID offers Deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduates degrees from the first and largest technological college with a Deaf division. With 12,000+ Deaf and hard-of-hearing students per year, they have special assistance and support for any mode of communication: sign language, note-taking and web-based instructional material and more. Deaf and hearing students take classes together, and there are many Deaf clubs and organizations available. NTID/RIT prides themselves in creating programs that match the needs of current employers and job placement rates are favorable with 93% of students seeking jobs having succeeded within a year of graduation. NTID/RIT has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s “Best College Values,” and by The Princeton Review as one of the top 20 colleges for “Best Career Services.” ntid.rit.edu
California State University, Northridge (CSUN,) Northridge, Southern California. CSUN works with The National Center on Deafness (NCOD) to provide services to their Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. With about 200 students enrolling at the sunny, warm CSUN campus each semester, they find a cultural, social, and political awareness of their culture that extends beyond their campus to their community. They host a large sign language user population of nearly 1,000 students, staff and faculty members and offer many Deaf-related courses in education and history. The NCOD is home to The Research Center, one of the largest libraries dedicated to Deaf issues- cataloguing over 8,500 books, periodicals, videos, and more.
NCOD’s model of bringing Deaf and hard-of-hearing students into general university classes successfully with assistive services has been duplicated by many other schools nationally and internationally. csun.edu/ncod
SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID,) Big Spring, Texas. SWCID is a program for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing within Howard College. Slightly different from the above three schools, this school offers Associate degrees and certificates. Credits earned here can be transferred to Gallaudet University towards a Bachelor’s degree. Here, students find courses in the Arts, Sciences, Healthcare Field, Business, and in general trades like Cosmetology, Welding, and Agriculture. This school is for those who may not want to spend years earning a degree and prefer to enter a career field quickly. Additionally, SWCID offers the same leadership, political, and social opportunities as the other schools listed above. howardcollege.edu/swcid/