College receives grants for Deaf Education program

June 27, 2008

McDaniel College’s landmark Deaf Education Program recently earned grants from two foundations. A $50,000 grant from the Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation will upgrade the program’s classroom and lab equipment, and a $37,000 grant from the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation of Princeton, N.J., will continue its support of scholarships for graduate-level students with disabilities who are pursuing careers in Deaf Education.

The College’s Master of Science degree program in Deaf Education, the largest of its kind in North America, attracts top students worldwide to prepare teachers of Deaf students. Philosophically, the program views Deaf students from a bilingual-bicultural perspective, which translates into a genuine acceptance of and respect for the language and culture of Deaf people. This perspective also defines the program’s commitment to provide students with experiences that encourage literacy development and academic achievement.

“With the support of these foundations, we can offer additional scholarship aid to even more students and continue to fulfill our leadership role in Deaf Education,” said President Joan Develin Coley. “We greatly appreciate the foundations’ generous support of our mission to educate teachers of the Deaf.”

Currently, there are nearly 100 graduate students either pursuing master’s degrees in Deaf Education that leads to teaching certification or enrolled in coursework for teaching American Sign Language as a second language.  Over 85 percent of these students are Deaf and many require services to help them meet their academic requirements.

The private Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation was created in 1979 with a bequest from Philadelphia philanthropist Charlotte W. Newcombe. The Marion I. and Henry J. Knott Foundation was granted charitable status in August 1987.  Its purpose is to honor the founders’ legacy of generosity and to strengthen communities.