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College of Education, Health and Human Services

School of Lifespan Development and Educational Sciences

405 White Hall
Tel: 330-672-2294


The Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education comprises six concentrations: Deaf Education, ASL/English Interpreting, Mild/Moderate Language Arts and Reading, Mild/Moderate Social Studies and Reading, Mild/Moderate Mathematics and Reading and Moderate/Intensive Educational Needs.

The Deaf Education concentration prepares candidates to work with deaf and hard-of-hearing students across inclusion, itinerant, resource room, and self-contained public and residential classroom settings. Extensive field and teaching lab experiences optimize this preparation in combination with coursework in literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies that result in eligibility to be designated as a "highly qualified" teacher in deaf education, reading, and mathematics. Instructional methods are comprehensive in nature and provide the unique strategies necessary to address issues concomitant with hearing loss including language development in both English and American Sign Language, use of bilingual-bicultural methodologies, and various assistive and instructional technologies. The hierarchical coursework sequence concludes with thematic unit instruction that prepares candidates to work with the Core Curriculum to address all academic content areas as well as transition, and students with additional needs. Students must pass the Sign Language Proficiency Interview at the Intermediate level prior to graduation and are eligible for preK-12 teaching licensure through the Ohio Department of Education.

The ASL/English Interpreting concentration prepares students to work with children and adults who have hearing loss or are deaf in both educational and community settings. Graduates may apply for licensure from the State of Ohio to interpret in pre-K-12. Students also receive instruction and practice necessary to interpret in community settings, including medical and mental health venues, social service offices, job sites and universities to name a few. This intensive major challenges and prepares students for the dynamic and diverse field of sign language interpreting. All of the instructors are nationally certified interpreters with extensive careers in a wide variety of venues. The coursework and instructors guide students in developing interpreting expertise, sign language fluency and professional ethics. Students have three years of ASL instruction. Coursework encompasses interpreting process models and their application; analytical approaches to professional and ethical decision-making; interpreting comparative analysis of English and ASL through the study of linguistics, discourse structures and features, pragmatics and sociolinguistics. Students learn self-assessment strategies for lifelong learning and receive guidance in preparing for the RID NIC and EIPA national certifications. Students in this concentration have over 500 hours of practicum and experience with interpreter mentors. Students qualify for the advanced interpreting practicum in their final semester by passing the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) at the Intermediate level or above, or a minimum level 2 on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI).

The three Mild/Moderate concentrations (Reading and either Language Arts or Math or Social Studies) provide students with the coursework and field experiences for teaching learners (grades K-12) who have been identified with a disability that requires mild to moderate intervention (e.g., learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, mild intellectual disabilities, ADHD, high functioning autism). This program prepares candidates to teach effectively across a wide range of settings and instructional configurations, including collaborative teaching in inclusive classrooms and teaching students in more specialized arrangements (e.g., small group, pull-out instruction, self-contained classrooms and schools). Candidates in the Mild/Moderate program progress through highly structured and clearly sequenced coursework and field experiences to attain initial expertise in research-validated practices for teaching reading, writing, math, social studies, science, study skills, and social competence to students with mild to moderate educational needs. Targeted coursework in reading and one additional core academic subject area (language arts or math or social studies) prepares candidates to meet "highly qualified teacher" requirements. Graduates are eligible to apply for licensure through the Ohio Department of Education to teach K-12 students with mild/moderate disabilities.

The Moderate/Intensive Intervention Educational Needs concentration within the Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education is built upon extensive field-based experiences that are connected to theory and practical application of current evidence-based technologies/strategies for teaching students with significant learning and daily living needs. Students with more intensive needs include, but are not limited to, those with motor or sensory impairment, significant cognitive delays, autism spectrum disorders or multiple disabilities. The program includes preparation across curricular areas in addition to specialized coursework focused on academic accommodations, adaptive daily living skills, technology to assist with physical, communication and mobility, alternative assessment and transition from school to adult life. Graduates are eligible for teacher licensure through the Ohio Department of Education for K-12 students with moderate/intensive needs.

Career Opportunities

Nationally, special education teachers held a total of approximately 442,800 jobs in 2012. Nearly all work in public and private educational institutions. A few worked for individual and social assistance agencies or residential facilities, or in homebound or hospital environments. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 46% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for American Sign Language interpreters is expected to grow rapidly, driven by the increasing use of video relay services, which allow people to conduct online video calls and use sign language interpreters. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Admission Requirements

For admissions, the College of Education, Health and Human Services considers a student to have established a Kent State University GPA after the student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours. Undergraduate students who have not completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours will be evaluated for admission into programs, Advanced Study, and the Professional Phase based on their high school GPA for new freshmen, or transfer GPA for transfer students. Once a student has successfully completed a minimum of 12 Kent State University credit hours, only the student’s Kent State overall GPA will be considered for admission into a program, Advanced Study, and Professional Phase.

Admission to the college does not guarantee admission to a major and/or admission to professional coursework for a selective admission program. To be admitted directly into a teacher education program, it is required that new freshmen have a 2.750 high school GPA. Students who do not meet the GPA requirements of their intended major may enroll into EHHS General until which time they have established a Kent State GPA of 2.750.

Students seeking admission to this program must meet all professional requirements for admission to advanced study and have a minimum overall 2.750 GPA in all previous undergraduate coursework. Students transferring from another university should meet with an academic advisor in 304 White Hall at least one semester prior to transferring.

For more information about admission criteria for transfer, transitioning and former students, please visit the admissions website.

Graduation Requirements

Minimum 121-131 credit hours (depending on concentration). Minimum 2.750 overall and a 3.000 major GPA. Students must earn a minimum  C (2.000) grade in all major coursework unless indicated otherwise.

Students in the Deaf Education and ASL/English Interpreting concentrations must also pass the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) at the intermediate level for graduation. ASL/English Interpreting students may also pass the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) level 2 as an alternative to the SLPI.

Licensure Requirement (not required for graduation):
Candidates seeking Ohio licensure are required to pass specific assessments in order to apply for licensure. See Ohio Department of Education-Educator Preparation website for more information on assessments specific to licensure type. Taking and passing the licensure tests prior to graduation is encouraged but not required.

Students must apply for State of Ohio Licensure (defined by completion of all licensure program requirements) within 12 months of program completion. After 12 months, applicants must meet State approved program/licensure requirements that are in effect at the time of application. This means that students who apply after the 12 month deadline may have to take additional coursework if the content, methods courses, program requirements, or licensure requirements have changed from the catalog in force.

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the ASL/English Interpreting concentration program will be able to:

  1. Effectively interpret diverse texts across a variety of genres and language preferences.
  2. Demonstrate bilingual/bicultural expertise and have a sincere appreciation for the people, languages, and cultures in which they interface.  They must be comfortable working with diverse consumers in a variety of settings.
  3. Be reflective and ethical practitioners, able to self-monitor both skill and professional ethics without supervision.  They will respond appropriately and ethically to diverse consumers and dilemmas both in practical and real interpreting situations.  They will also be teachable, approachable, flexible, and motivated to learn.
  4. Demonstrate an exceptional understanding of current theory and practice and be conversant with different specializations of interpreting, complete with expectations, schema, and vocabulary.

Graduates of the Deaf Education concentration will be able to:

  1. Use appropriate assessment methods and outcomes to design and evaluate individualized academic instructional activities that address the language acquisition, cognitive development, and academic achievement of diverse DHH students.
  2. Implement individualized language, cognitive, and academic instructional objectives and units and incorporate the use of specialized materials, accommodations, and visual learning strategies that maximize learning and retention for DHH students.
  3. Plan and implement comprehensive IEP elements in compliance with state and federal legislation and policy frameworks for delivering effective instructional practices and support services to address unique communication, learning, transition, and accommodation needs of DHH students

Graduates of the Moderate/Intensive Educational Needs concentration will be able to:

  1. Successfully develop Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) that are compliant with state and federal legislation and based upon the unique needs of their students with moderate-to-intensive disabilities.
  2. Develop behavioral intervention plans based upon the unique needs of their students with moderate-to-intensive disabilities.
  3. Develop unit plans based upon the unique needs of their students with moderate-to-intensive disabilities

Graduates of this the three Mild/Moderate concentrations will be able to:

  1. Plan individualized instruction, interventions, and supports that meet the special educational needs of exceptional learners across multiple domains of functioning (e.g., academic, social, independent living, communication), as appropriate for the individual learner.
  2. Implement individualized instruction, interventions, and supports that meet the special educational needs of exceptional learners across multiple domains of functioning (e.g., academic, social, independent living, communication), as appropriate for the individual learner.  
  3. Use assessment methods for various purposes related to providing effective special education to exceptional learners (e.g., identification, eligibility, progress monitoring, evaluating and modifying instruction).

National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; Council of Education of the Deaf, The, Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education