New Diagnosis? Clarke Can Help!

About the Master's in Deaf Education

Information on the Future of the M.E.D. Program

June 2014—Since 1867, Clarke has been an internationally acclaimed leader in training teachers of the deaf to help children with hearing loss learn to listen and talk. Clarke and Smith College have collaborated on teacher training for Smith students for over a century, and in 1962 Clarke formally partnered with Smith to establish a Master's Degree Program In Deaf Education. Since then, nearly 1,500 graduates from 50 states and 26 countries have earned a Master of Education of the Deaf (M.E.D.) and gone on to work in every corner of the globe. The Program’s alumni include some of the field’s most influential practitioners, professors and authors whose work has transformed the lives of thousands of children and their families.

Smith recently resolved that the Class of 2015 will be the last group of students to receive this degree, which will be discontinued thereafter.

Clarke remains fully committed to providing children who are deaf or hard of hearing with access to gifted educators who are trained to address their specific needs and help them reach their full potential. Currently, Clarke is exploring new partnership and master’s level program options with several institutions of higher education.

Clarke recognizes that the demand for professionally trained teachers of the deaf to teach children with hearing loss to develop listening and spoken language skills is greater today than ever before. Clarke operates several programs designed specifically for professionals in the field and our online trainings, webinars and series of workshops and conferences have been met with great success and enthusiasm.

Clarke is a renowned center of excellence for children with hearing loss, their families and the professionals who serve them. Thanks to advanced technologies including newborn hearing screenings and cochlear implants, coupled with the expertise of Clarke professionals, children who are deaf or hard of hearing can listen and learn in the classroom, run and laugh with their friends on the playground, and have lives filled with music, sports, family and community. Many children served by Clarke enter mainstream classrooms on par with their hearing peers by kindergarten.

While our mission has never wavered, Clarke is serving more people in more places and in more ways than ever before. Clarke has six Infant-Toddler and Preschool locations on the East Coast. Our Mainstream Services Program sends teachers of the deaf into neighborhood classrooms daily to support children with hearing loss and their teachers. Clarke's K-8 Program, the Clarke Hearing Center and our Comprehensive Educational Evaluations Program are based at our Northampton, MA location. Clarke has recently launched several new programs providing parents, professionals and students with access to Clarke's expertise via Skype. Our free Webinar series, all archived online, is open to all interested in the field of children—from infants to teens—with hearing loss.

As Clarke explores new opportunities for teacher training programs, we remain exceedingly proud of our current M.E.D. students, alumni and the skilled and dedicated educators who have helped ensure a world of limitless possibilities for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Their future has never been brighter.


Smith College/Clarke Graduate Program in Teacher Education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

About the Current Program

Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech has been preparing teachers in the field of auditory and oral education for over a hundred years. In 1962, Clarke partnered with Smith College to establish an advanced academic degree, the master of education of the deaf. Nearly 1,500 teachers have graduated from the program, today serving children who are deaf or hard of hearing in 50 states and 34 foreign countries.

The program of study (one academic year and two summers), leads to the degree of master of education of the deaf. The program accepts national and international constituents. Most students possess undergraduate backgrounds in teaching or communication sciences. Part-time degree candidates are also enrolled and may spend up to four years completing the program requirements.

Graduate students are brought directly into an intimate Clarke Schools community and have an academic experience like no other. Graduate students work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing at several academic levels, from preschool through middle school, both in the classroom and in the communication lab. They also have unique opportunities to develop personal relationships with children by chaperoning trips and assisting with various projects and productions. Graduate students complete two three-week practicums at other schools or programs to broaden their experience.

The program provides students with the opportunity to participate in a work-study program through the Clarke Schools. Work-study experiences enable graduate students to work with professionals in the Clarke Schools community and earn money.


The M.E.D. program is fully approved by the Massachusetts Department of Education under the NASDTEC/ICC agreement. States participating in this compact offer reciprocity for certification of this degree.

Program of Study

Emphasis is on a listening and spoken language approach to development and education with attention to early childhood education and the education of diverse learners and cochlear implant technology. Fieldwork or practicum experiences provide student teachers with experiences at all academic levels from early intervention through high school in independent and mainstream public programs.

Courses of Study Include:

  • Language Development and Literacy
  • Anatomy and Physiology of Hearing and Speech Mechanisms
  • Communication Sciences and Skill Development
  • Educational and Assistive Technology Professional Ethics
  • Early Development and Family-Centered Practice
  • Planning and Implementation of Educational Programming for Children with Hearing Loss


"I looked into many programs before deciding to come to the Smith/Clarke Schools program, and this program has fully prepared me to become a teacher of the deaf. The classes are relevant, the assignments push you to understand the theory, and most importantly, the opportunity to work directly with such a diverse group of students with hearing loss is invaluable."

"Theory is abstract and difficult to imagine in practice, but here, the M.E.D. students work directly with deaf and hard of hearing students on a regular basis. You get to know the students well, and I was able to safely try new ideas and experience learning in a much more immediate way. My time at Smith/Clarke Schools was very reflective of what one will be exposed to as an itinerant teacher."

"As an itinerant teacher, you sometimes walk in to situations that you couldn't prepare for. At Smith/Clarke Schools, by working directly with deaf and hard of hearing students across several grade levels, I was able to learn—first hand—ways in which hearing loss can effect language and development."