Skip to main content

Early Childhood Education and Deaf Education: BS, BA

Early Childhood Education and Deaf Education

This degree is a combination of courses required for the deaf education major and the early childhood education major. Students who graduate at the bachelor’s level cannot be licensed as teachers of the deaf, so many students in this major continue on to USU's master’s program, communicative disorders and deaf education. Because students in this major already have many of the prerequisites, the master's degree takes only one additional year. Upon completion of the master's program, students are qualified for two licenses, one for grades K-3 and one for deaf education. While there is no licensure requirement to teach preschool, students with this degree are better prepared to teach in those settings. This streamlined, five-year program is unique to USU.

This degree gives students the opportunity to have more flexibility in their careers. Having both licenses allows teachers to move back and forth between deaf education and early grades in elementary education, and the background in early childhood education makes students better and more well-rounded teachers for the deaf. Students in USU’s teacher education program undergo extensive practicum experiences so that by the time they participate in student teaching in deaf schools (during the master's program), they have gained enough experience to be competent teachers of the deaf in all subject areas.

USU's Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services is ranked 10th in the nation among colleges of education in external research dollars.

Students receive a BS by completing all required courses in the major. To receive a BA, students must also gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages.

After completing this composite degree and the master’s program in communicative disorders and deaf education, students can pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Grades K-3
  • Public or private schools
  • Preschools
  • Day care
  • Head Start
  • Home Start
  • Special education programs
  • Schools for the deaf
  • State programs
  • Private practice

Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.

Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the deaf education and early childhood education (composite) program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major. However, during the first semester of their junior year, students must formally apply for admission into the communicative disorders and deaf education undergraduate professional preparation program.
  • Transfer students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • Teacher Education Program Requirements: In order to become a deaf education and early childhood education (composite) major, students must be accepted into the teacher education program, which includes the following:
    • Completion of 30 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.00
    • Receive minimum ACT scores (21 Composite- 20 English, 19 Math, 18 Science, 18 Reading)
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before applying)
    • Pass the Praxis II elementary education content knowledge exam (this should be done at least one semester prior to applying)
    • Participate in a group interview and earn a minimum score of three

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association: ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 140,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally.

Association for Childhood Education International: CEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation, and advocate for children.

Hearing Loss Association of America: HLAA is the nation’s leading organization representing people with hearing loss. HLAA provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss and their families to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss.

National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association: NSSLHA is the national organization for graduate and undergraduate students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication. NSSLHA has approximately 13,000 members with chapters at more than 300 colleges and universities.

Utah Association for the Education of the Young – USU: This association’s main goal is to improve the quality of early childhood education for young children and their families through activities and experiences that improve professional practices in early childhood education, build public understanding and support, and build and maintain a strong, diverse, and inclusive organization.

Phi Upsilon Omicron: Phi Upsilon Omicron is a national honor society. Its purposes are to recognize and encourage academic excellence, develop qualities of professional and personal leadership, provide opportunities for service to the profession, and encourage professional and personal commitment to the area of family and consumer sciences.

American Sign Language Club: USU is home to an ASL club for students from all majors interested in sign language.

Deaf Education Student Association: DESA is a place where future teachers and professionals who work with deaf people gain the opportunity to interact with professionals already in the field. DESA also educates the public about the deaf community through activities and mini-workshops. The professional network allows students to connect with professional communities and search for career opportunities.

National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association: NSSLHA is the national organization for students interested in the study of normal and disordered human communication. The USU chapter is an active group that provides service to the community in the areas of language and literacy, elementary school student tutoring projects, as well as support for humanitarian efforts to orphanages with children with communication disorders.

Labs, Centers, Research

With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.

Center for Persons with Disabilities: The CPD is a nationally recognized research center that joins the expertise of researchers and faculty with community partners to address the most difficult challenges facing persons with disabilities and their families. Research addresses issues that cross fields ranging from biomedicine to education. In clinical experiences, learners join teams of professionals, family members, and individuals with disabilities to deliver services and supports.

Center for the School of the Future: The CSF is a research center dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of education by identifying effective educational practices and supporting their dissemination and adoption in local circumstances.

Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education: This center provides educational experiences and resources for teachers and parents that reflect the development of children from birth through age eight.

Emma Eccles Jones Early Childhood Research Center: This center houses investigators who study the cognitive and linguistic mechanisms that underlie language and literacy development, methods for assessing language and literacy abilities, and instructional strategies that improve language and literacy.

Speech-Language-Hearing Center: The USU Speech-Language-Hearing Center (USUSLHC) center provides a full range of evaluation and treatment services to both children and adults with speech, language, and hearing disorders.