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Deaf or Hard of Hearing (DHH) Endorsement Listening and Spoken Language

The DHH Endorsement program at USU was specially designed for currently licensed special educators and speech-language pathologists who are seeking additional training in serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) in general education settings.

child learning sign languageChildren who are DHH require instruction from professionals who understand their unique academic, linguistic, and technological needs.  Unfortunately, shortages of appropriately trained service providers exist both locally and nationally, even though approximately 87% of children who are DHH attend at least some portion of their day mainstream classrooms. The shortage of qualified professionals has become particularly acute for children who are DHH who use listening and spoken language.  Because of advances in hearing technology (e.g., cochlear implants, hearing aids), and the fact that approximately 95% of children with hearing loss are born to hearing parents (Mitchell & Kartchner, 2004), many families choose a spoken language communication methodology for their children who are DHH. 

To address these shortages, Utah State University provides graduate level coursework and practicum training opportunities for currently licensed special educators and speech-language pathologists to earn the DHH Endorsement.

Program Details

  • There are 6 classes and 1 workshop, plus practicum (20 credit hours) required in the program of study. Some course substitutions or pre-requisites may apply depending on undergraduate coursework completed.  All classes are offered asynchronous online, which means that students access course content from their computer and do not need to sign in to the computer at a specific time.
  • The program takes 3 semesters to complete (fall, spring, and summer). This means that students take 2 classes each semester for three semesters.  The program begins Fall semester.
  • During the school year (fall and spring semesters), students complete the practicum requirements in their regular employment setting. This promotes practice and utilization of the strategies learned in the coursework and applied in the professional setting. 
  • Students participate in a one-week summer workshop held on the USU campus in Logan. This workshop will provide hands-on training in a fun and supportive group environment.
  • The course content is most applicable to professionals who provide services to preschool or early elementary age children.

Program of Study

Fall Semester 1
Course Title Syllabi Credits
ComD 7340 Pediatric Audiology   2
ComD 6340 LSL Foundations and Strategies in Serving Children who are DHH 3
ComD 6900 Hearing Technology in the Classroom (workshop)   1
ComD 6700 Practicum 2
Credit Hours 8
Spring Semester 1
Course Title Syllabi Credits
ComD 6350 LSL Early Elementary and Itinerant Support for Children who are DHH   3
ComD 6320 Language and Emergent Literacy in Children who are DHH 3
ComD 6700 Practicum 2
Credit Hours 8
Summer Semester 1
Course Title Syllabi Credits
ComD 6730 Multiple Disabilities and Syndromes 2
ComD 7520 Cochlear Implants   2
ComD 6700 Practicum 1
Credit Hours 5
Total Credit Hours 21

Course Descriptions

LSL DHH Endorsement Program - Required Coursework

ComD 6340:  Strategies for Listening and Spoken Language Development in DHH Children (3)

The impact of universal newborn hearing screening, early fitting of hearing technology (digital hearing aids and/or cochlear implants), and enrollment in comprehensive early intervention programs has created new opportunities for infants and toddlers with hearing loss to learn to listen and talk. In this course, students will learn the developmental processes that are the underpinning for audition and spoken language acquisition. Specific techniques, strategies, and teaching behaviors to develop listening and spoken language in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing will be demonstrated and explored.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Fall 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

 

ComD 7340:  Pediatric Audiology (2)

The purpose of this course is to provide students with comprehensive information about Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) programs, pediatric hearing assessment, counseling considerations for families when a hearing loss is diagnosed, and hearing aid considerations. This course is designed to build on information gained throughout the semester to provide you with practice in integrating concepts and synthesizing information. Case-based exams will be used to assess your ability to understand and explain concepts, and critically analyze information.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Fall 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

 

ComD 6900:  Technology in the Classroom (1)

This one-credit hour, self-paced workshop provides an overview of hearing technology, such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive listening devices. Course focus is to provide information and materials to support professionals in understanding, troubleshooting, and supporting technology in the classroom setting.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Fall 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

 

ComD 6320:  Language and Emergent Literacy in Children with Hearing Loss (3)

Through universal newborn hearing screening, children with hearing loss can be diagnosed within just a few weeks of age.  Early diagnosis followed by early intervention services can set the stage for the child to follow typical developmental patterns.  Children with hearing loss can develop language and literacy skills similar to their same-aged hearing peers.  This class focuses on the developmental processes of literacy acquisition and the relationship between language and emergent literacy.  Attention is paid to the recommendations of the National Reading Panel, the Reading First initiative, and other best practice recommendations for developing phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills.  Professionals providing services to children with hearing loss should follow a diagnostic teaching approach, knowing when to implement a developmental model of service delivery and when to implement a remedial model of service delivery to ensure proficient acquisition of language and literacy skills. 

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Spring

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

  

ComD 6350: Early Elementary and Itinerant Support for Children who are DHH (3)

This course provides theoretical knowledge and practical strategies to support special educators and speech-language pathologists in providing listening and spoken language (LSL) services to children who are deaf or hard of hearing in the general education setting.  Emphasis is placed on developing lesson plans and appropriate goals to optimize language, literacy, math, and general academic achievement.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Spring

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

 

ComD 6730:  Multiple Disabilities and Syndromes (2)

The purpose of this course is to examine the medical, genetic, physical, cognitive, and social characteristics of various syndromes and disability types, and the associated needs and learning styles of children with hearing loss who have additional disabilities.  The implications of medical screenings, early identification of syndromes and/or disabilities, and early intervention programs and strategies are explored.  Emphasis is placed on developing lesson plans and IEP goals according to the individual needs of each child.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Summer 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online 

 

ComD 7520:  Introduction to Cochlear Implants (2)

In this course you will be introduced to cochlear implant technology, including an overview of the equipment and principles of mapping and troubleshooting.  Students will discuss the candidacy criteria for receiving a cochlear implant, understand the expectations of cochlear implant users, and to become familiar with the three manufacturer’s in the United States. 

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Summer 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

  

LSL DHH Endorsement Program - Optional Coursework

ComD 6580:  Family-Centered Practices:  Birth to 5 (2)                                                     

This course explores issues, theories, research and practices related to family-centered services in early intervention.  The importance of partnering with families, establishing effective communication and interdisciplinary collaboration, and ensuring that families are supported as decision-makers is emphasized.  Students explore cultural differences, the importance of developing a culturally competent service delivery model, and how that will influence partnerships in early intervention.  Students will gain an understanding of the federal, state, and local laws that govern the delivery of services to students with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Fall 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online

  

ComD 6360:  Preschool Curriculum:  Language and Cognition for LSL (3)

This class focuses on theories, current research, and practical strategies for facilitating cognitive development in children with hearing loss.  Students learn that cognition is the foundation for language acquisition and critical thinking skill development.  Children need to explore and problem solve using everyday activities to learn to think and then apply that knowledge to language, literacy, and academic development.   Emphasis is placed on development of lesson plans, making data-based decisions to guide child progress, and aligning competencies with the Core Curriculum.  A variety of preschool curricula are explored.

Semester (s) Traditionally Offered:  Spring 

Course Delivery:  Asynchronous Online