ASL University ►

Colleges for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students:

By Kellie Douglas



Colleges for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

My research paper is about colleges for Deaf and hard of hearing students. I went to a college fair for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students on Feb 21, 2014. It was so wonderful. At the college fair, I learned about two colleges for Deaf and hard of hearing students.  One of the schools, the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) in Texas, I had never heard of before. SWCID is a small college in Texas. Many people at the College Fair didn't know about SWCID College. The other school was Gallaudet University -- which many people know about.  Gallaudet is huge in Washington, DC.  An other school I researched was the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), in New York, which I had never heard of before.

Gallaudet University:

Gallaudet University is the first college I researched. I wish I was there at Gallaudet University. I want go to see all people using sign language and the Deaf and hard of hearing students. I met Sheri Cook, admissions counselor, at Explore Your Future College and Career Fair.

"In 1856, Amos Kendall, a postmaster general during two presidential administrations, donated two acres of his estate in northeast Washington, D.C. to establish a school and housing for 12 Deaf and six blind students. The following year, Kendall persuaded Congress to incorporate the new school, which was called the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind. Edward Miner Gallaudet, the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, founder of the first school for Deaf students in the United States, became the new schools superintendent.  Congress authorized the institution to confer college degrees in 1864, and President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law. Gallaudet was made president of the institution, including the college, which that year had eight students enrolled. He presided over the first commencement in June 1869 when three young men received diplomas. Their diplomas were signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, and to this day the diplomas of all Gallaudet graduates are signed by the presiding U.S. president. Through an act of Congress in 1954, the name of the institution was changed to Gallaudet College in honor of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. (Gallaudet University, 2014)"

Gallaudet was granted university status in October 1986. Two years later, in March 1988, the Deaf President Now (DPN) movement led to the appointment of the University's first Deaf president, Dr. I. King Jordan and the Board of Trustees' first Deaf chair, Philip Bravin.

The students can choose from more than 40 majors leading to Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degrees. A small number of hearing undergraduate students---up to five percent of an entering class--are also admitted to the University each year. Graduate programs at Gallaudet are open to Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students and offer certificates and Master of Arts, Master of Science, doctoral, and specialist degrees in a variety of fields involving professional service to Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Through the University Career center, students receive internships that provide a wealth of experiential learning opportunities. Recent internships were offered at Merrill Lynch, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, National Institutes of Health, and the World Bank. Students also benefit from an array of services provided by such campus units as the Burstein Leadership Institute, Language Planning Institute, Hearing and Speech Center, Cochlear Implant Education Center, and the Center for International Programs and Services.

Today, Gallaudet is viewed by Deaf and hearing people as a primary resource for all things related to Deaf people such as career opportunities, visual learning, Deaf history and culture and  American Sign Language.

Gallaudet University Cost for Students:




U.S. student tuition


$ 14,774

International student tuition (non-developing countries)


$ 29,548

International student tuition (developing countries)


$ 22,162

Room and Board


$ 11,580

[Amounts may change, visit the website for more recent information.]


The SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf College:

I met John Green SWCID admissions counselor at Explore Your Future College and Career Fair. SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf (SWCID) offers Associate degrees and certificate programs.  The opportunities at SWCID allow students to achieve their educational goals. ASL is used and it gives Deaf and hard of hearing students the freedom to focus on their studies and to interact with classmates and faculty, both in and out of the classrooms.
SWCID was the idea of parent of a Deaf student in elementary school Mr. Fred Maddux, who wanted a vocational training program for his son. Mr. Maddux presented the idea to Dr. Burke, the Regional Superintendent for the West Texas Panhandle-Regional Day School programs for the Deaf in Texas. They contacted Big Spring, Texas leaders to see if they would communicate with Congressman Charles Stenholm about the need for a college for the Deaf at recently-closed Webb Air Force Base facilities. Congressman Charles Stenholm, Dr. Burke, Mr. Maddux and several other Big Spring officials met. Following the meeting, Congressman Stenholm was in full agreement of using the Webb Air Force base facilities as a college for the Deaf.  Howard College agreed to sponsor SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf in May of 1979 under the leadership of President Charles Hays, and on November 6, 1979, the Howard County Junior College District Board of Trustees officially established the SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf.

"Dr. Burke began his employment with Howard College in February of 1980 with funding provided by a private foundation in the Big Spring community. Dr. Burke worked diligently to design the SWCID program, the philosophy of SWCID, objectives, curriculum, and services. Staffing and budget preparations were also part of Dr. Burke's duties. All of this work was done so as to avoid any conflicts with established state law and educational policy. Securing funding for SWCID was a major undertaking for all parties involved. Attracting students to SWCID was the next major hurdle. SWCID opened its doors to students in September of 1980. An official dedication Ceremony was held on November 7, 1980, to celebrate the accomplishments to date. On ay 14, 1981, the Governor of Texas signed into law the bill (Chapter 131, VTCA, Education Code), which established SWCID as a state-supported institution within the Howard County Junior College District. (SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf:, 2014)"

SWCID College Costs for Students:


With parent in District

With parent out of District

With parent Non-Resident





























SWCID students, parents, friends and families, people from the Big Spring community and state leaders have also contributed to what SWCID is today.  Special recognition should be given to Dr. Robert C. Mehan who had a significant impact during the formative years of SWCID to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing cultures. Dr. Mehan, as then Director of Pupil Personnel Services at the Texas School for he Deaf, first influenced SWCID with his membership on the SWCID Advisory Committee in 1982. He then joined SWCID as Dean of Instruction on October 1, 1983, moving to the main campus of Howard College during the 1984-85 academic years where he served as HC Vice-President for Instruction. During the next six years, he worked closely with the SWCID and HC administration, faculty and staff in an effort to align the communication and education efforts between the HC and SWCID campuses.

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) College:

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) was formally established in 1965 and began operation in 1967 at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) with first students in 1968.The college is in Rochester, N.Y..  RIT was founded in 1829. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) is one of the nine colleges of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), a leading career-oriented, technological university recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's "Best College Values," and by The Princeton Review as one of the top 20 colleges nationwide for "Best Career Services." More than 15,000 undergraduate students from around the world, including more than 1,200 who are Deaf or hard of hearing are enrolled at RIT/NTID. (Best Colleges, 2014)

The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) provides Deaf and hard-of-hearing students with state-of-the-art technical and professional education programs, and a strong arts and sciences curriculum, that prepare Deaf students to live and work in mainstream communities.
NTID instructors use a variety of communication strategies while teaching, which may include sign language, spoken language (FM systems are available), finger spelling, printed/visual aids and Web-based instructional materials. Support and access services for classes throughout the other colleges of RIT may include notetaking, tutoring, real-time captioning services and the largest interpreting staff for a college program in the United States.

NTID prepares professionals to work in fields related to Deafness; undertakes a program of applied research designed to enhance the social, economic and educational accommodation of Deaf people; and shares its knowledge and expertise through outreach and other information dissemination programs.
The ACT score requirements are 24-31. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students at RIT/NTID receive private university education at a public college price.

NTID Cost for Students:

Tuition: $14,040
Room: $6,758
Board: $4,810
Fees: $512
Total*: $26,120



Deaf Colleges. (2014, April 7). Retrieved from Best Colleges:

Gallaudet University Home Page. (2014, April 21). Retrieved from Gallaudet University:

National Technical Institute for Deaf Home page . (2014, April 21). Retrieved from National Technical Institute for Deaf:

SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf Home Page. (2014, Apirl). Retrieved from SouthWest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf:


Editor's note: Prospective students should also look into California State University - Northridge. CSUN has a strong Deaf Studies program.


You can learn American Sign Language (ASL) online at American Sign Language University
ASL resources by    Dr. William Vicars

Want to help support ASL University?  It's easy DONATE (Thanks!)
(You don't need a PayPal account. Just look for the credit card logos and click continue.)

Another way to help is to buy something from the ASLU "Bookstore."

Want even more ASL resources?  Visit the "ASL Training Center!"  (Subscription Extension of ASLU)   CHECK IT OUT >

Bandwidth slow?  Check out "" (a free mirror of less traffic, fast access)   VISIT >


back.gif (1674 bytes)