Flagler College will be unveiling its first-ever graduate degree program this fall in deaf education, ushering in a new chapter in the growth of the comprehensive liberal arts school.
The 36-credit, 12-course program will be offered in an online, distance learning format with a single summer residency requirement.
“This is a landmark event in the history of the college,” said Dr. Alan Woolfolk, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. “The approval of this program signals that Flagler College has developed greatly — that we’re not just healthy, but thriving. We’ve entered a new era.”
At its core, the new Master of Arts in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing degree program is meeting a growing need for teachers knowledgeable and certified in the field.
Dr. Margaret Finnegan, professor and coordinator of the Deaf Education program, has been the leading figure in crafting its curriculum and shepherding the program through a lengthy approval process for more than a decade.
In December, the regional accreditation body for academic degrees of higher education, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, gave approval for the new degree.
“It’s all very exciting for us,” Finnegan said. “It’s been a long time coming. Now that we’ve cleared approval, we’re just trying to get on with the nuts and bolts of the program.”
For Flagler undergraduates of the Bachelor of Arts in Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the graduate degree program can possibly be completed within one year.