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Top universities for deaf, hard-of-hearing students

Contributed by , staff writer

Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C.

Private, co-ed college

2013-2014 tuition and fees: $13,800

Student-Faculty ratio: 8:1

As the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the world, Gallaudet University has graduated more than 19,000 students and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The university offers a bilingual learning environment featuring American Sign Language and English with programs and services designed specifically to accommodate the deaf and hearing-impaired student.

Undergraduate students can choose from a wide range of undergraduate degree programs, including Arts and Media, Business, Human Services, Humanities, Language/Culture, and Science/Math/Technology. Graduate degrees include ASL and Deaf Studies; Counseling; Education; Government and Public Affairs; Hearing, Speech and Language Sciences; History, Philosophy, Religion and Sociology; Interpretation; Linguistics; Psychology, and Social Work.

Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University is a top school
for deaf and hard-of-hearing 
students. 

Close to 2,000 students are enrolled at Gallaudet, which boasts a robust campus life including a campus ministry and full athletic program. According to a recent alumni study, more than 98 percent of those who graduated December 2010 and August 2011 are employed; 99 percent of graduate students are employed or furthering their education.

Additionally, Gallaudet has credit transfer agreements with several junior colleges in the country, including Austin Community College, Austin, Texas; Kapi'olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii; Ohlone College, Fremont, California; John A Logan College, Carterville, Illinois; and Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, Massachussetts.

History: Gallaudet University realized its beginnings in 1850 when Amos Kendall donated land to establish an elementary school to educate deaf and blind students, originally named Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind. In 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill authorizing the school to grant college degrees and renamed it National College for the Deaf and Dumb. In 1986, the Education of the Deaf Act awarded Gallaudet university status.

National Technical Institute for the Deaf, Rochester, New York (NTID)

On the campus of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Private, co-ed college

2014-2015 tuition, housing and fees: $26,120

Student-Faculty ratio: not available

One of nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology. Of the more than 15,000 undergraduate students from around the world on campus, 1,200 are deaf or hard of hearing. The institute is the first and largest of its kind for deaf and hearing-impaired students. Instructors use a variety of communication methods including ASL, spoken language, finger spelling, printed and visual aids, and online resources. FM systems are also available along with tutoring, note-taking, real-time captioning services and interpreting staff.

History: RIT competed against eight other colleges for NTID to become part of the university, which it did in 1968.

The Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID), Big Spring, Texas

State supported, co-ed college

2013-2014 tuition: $57 per semester hour for Howard County residents with a $150 base amount, $94 per semester hour for Texas residents with a $180 base amount, $404 per semester hour for out of state and international students with no base amount. Qualified deaf residents are exempt from tuition fees.

Student-Faculty ratio:

Accreditation: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

SWCID is a state-supported college operating within the Howard County Junior College District, which offers associate degree and certification programs. American Sign Language is primary communication used in instruction. SWCID students are also able to participate in athletics, student organizations, class internships and other residential activities on the Howard College campus.

History: SWCID opened in November, 1980, after a feasibility study confirmed the need for a post-secondary institution to provide higher education and career training for the deaf. SWCID focuses on educating students who may not be ready to attend Gallaudet University or the National Institute of Technology for the Deaf.

International Studies

Doncaster College for the Deaf, Doncaster, South Yorkshire (UK)

Private, co-ed college

2013-2014 tuition and fees:

Student-Faculty ratio:

Doncaster specializes in educating students who are deaf or hearing impaired, as well as those with Autism and Aspergers. They provide vocational training in nine industries to students 16 years of age and older.

History: Doncaster began in the 1970s as an outgrowth of the Yorkshire Residential School for the Deaf and was granted college status in the 1980s. Students from all over the world are invited to apply for admission; those from outside the United Kingdom are required to pay their own way. Students are taught in Total Communication style, which is a form of education that encompasses a variety of communication systems including sign, oral, auditory, written and visual aids.

The Cross College Learning Support Service provides support services such as sign language. Student Services and Care Training provides instruction in life skills. Business Studies and Hospitality offers business, office and food service training. The Employment Liaison Department works with employers to place students in cooperative work environments and works with students to help them find work after they graduate.

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