csun deaf studies
Story Graduation Initiative

Serving California's Deaf Community

Dominique Oliver


csun deaf studies

​National Center on Deafness students at Cal State Northridge 


​California State University campuses are developing specialized learning opportunities for teachers while meeting the needs of deaf and partially deaf students.

Cal State Northridge offers a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Credential through the Department of Special Education. Students have access to the National Center on Deafness (NCOD) Resource Center, the nation's largest collections of deaf-related books, journals, dissertations, videos and documents.

Through the credential program, deaf studies majors are exposed and prepared for professional careers as teachers, sign language interpreters, sign language instructors, counselors, government specialists, audiologists, speech pathologists, and other deaf-related vocations.

CSUN is helping to bridge the hearing, partially hearing and non-hearing communities together through the National Center on Deafness (NCOD). Established on campus in 1964, the NCOD is the first postsecondary program in the nation to provide paid sign language interpreters for its students and was one of the first mainstream universities to admit deaf and partially deaf students.

The center also serves the largest nationwide enrollment of deaf and partially deaf students, providing transition services, academic and career planning, tutorial assistance, and co-curricular events.

In California, more than 600 K-12 students are deaf and partially deaf and experience moderate to severe intellectual disabilities. These limitations create unique challenges for communication and education.

San Francisco State University's effort to prepare teachers to serve students who are deaf and partially deaf is a collaborative partnership with the California Deafblind Services (CDBS). Through the partnership, graduate students and credential candidates complete specialized training programs before receiving a teaching credential in moderate/severe disabilities.

Funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), the yearlong internship addresses the education of deafblind learners through seminars, fieldwork in classrooms and an internship with CDBS staff. Through the internship, future educators have the unique opportunity to observe and receive supportive engagement in training and technical assistance activities with educational team members across the state.

According to Dr. Pam Hunt, professor in the department of special education and director of the project at SFSU, educators will have many opportunities to apply knowledge learned from the program in classroom settings.

It is anticipated that the long-term outcomes of the project will be the establishment of a pool of teachers with expertise who will be prepared to effectively teach students. In addition, they will be prepared to build local capacity by providing technical assistance to teachers in their districts serving students who are deaf.

The CSU is committed to providing adequate resources for its students and helping graduates create a lasting impact on California.  

Learn more on how the CSU is working closely with K-12, community and business partners to create a pathway toward a lifetime of success for students with Graduation Initiative 2025 and about the CSU's Teacher Credential programs here

Teacher Preparation