Elementary Education and Deaf Education (Composite) - Utah State University Skip to main content

Elementary Education and Deaf Education (Composite): BS, BA

Elementary Education and Deaf Education (Composite)

This degree is a combination of courses required for the deaf education major and the elementary 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. Becuase 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 1-8 and one for deaf education. 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 elementary education, and the background in elementary education makes students better and more well-rounded teachers for the deaf. Students in this 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 the deaf education and elementary education (composite) degree and the master’s program in communicative disorders and deaf education, students can pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Grades 1-8
  • Public or private schools
  • 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 elementary 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 3.0 total GPA for admission to this major.
  • Teacher Education Program Requirements: In order to become a deaf education and elementary 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
    • Complete certain core courses with specified minimum grades (see department for more information)
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before applying)
    • Pass two sections of the Praxis II Elementary Education Multisubjects exam (this should be done at least one semester prior to applying)

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 Association for the Education of the Young: NAEY is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization. NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children.

National Association of the Deaf: NAD is the nation's leading civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States. It believes in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level.

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.

Edith Bowen Laboratory School: EBLS is one of Utah’s charter schools, offering services to more than 300 students grades K-5. The school, in cooperation with Utah State University, trains more than 200 pre-service teachers preparing to become professional educators, as well as supporting several other departments/colleges on campus, including special education, physical education, music, psychology, and business. Because the school is funded through state funds and donations, no tuition is charged to students.

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.

SKI*HI Institute: The SKI-HI Institute enhances the lives of young children with special needs, their families, and care givers. The institute’s training and services focus on early intervention and early childhood programming for infants and young children, ages birth to five years, with hearing and vision impairments and other disabilities.

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.