Frequently Asked Questions

What are the job prospects for teachers of the deaf?

Does that mean that the program can certify me as an Auditory-Verbal Therapist or Auditory-Verbal Educator?

May I take just one or two courses? Could some of my coursework be waived because of past experience or coursework?

Tell me about the Mount Saint Mary's University/JTC Teacher Education Program.

What is the emphasis of the program?

Does completion of the program qualify me as a LSLS Cert AVT or Cert AV Ed?

How do the Onsite and Distance Learning Programs differ?

Does the program accommodate internships?

What are the tuition and other costs of the program?

Are there any scholarship programs available?

What are the program prerequisites?

Are there other requirements?

How do I apply for the program?

What are the job prospects for teachers of the deaf?
Throughout the almost 60 years that the JTC Graduate Program has been in existence, 100% of the graduates have been successful in gaining employment. Teachers of the deaf are in constant demand due to a national shortage.
The rate of program completion is extremely high, with only one student not being able to successfully complete the program. The vast majority of candidates are able to complete the program within the one year (Onsite) or two years (Distance Learning) time frame. Only 10% of the Distance Learning candidates were delayed in their program by unexpected illness or other family or personal situations. They were able to complete their two-year program in 4 years, however. The screening process for the program is rigorous, to ensure that chosen candidates are able to complete the program. The program supports candidates who may struggle from time to time as well, to successful completion of the program.

Does that mean that the program can certify me as an Auditory-Verbal Therapist or Auditory-Verbal Educator?
The emphasis of the Mount Saint Mary's University/JTC Graduate Program is on listening spoken language. Therefore, to complete course assignments and meet credential standards, including student teaching, throughout the entire program, all Distance Learning Option candidates must be employed as a full-time teacher at Centers of Excellence using listening and spoken language, as evaluated by the Alexander Graham Bell’s “Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral Program.”

The site must be approved by the Director of the Mount Saint Mary's University/John Tracy Clinic Graduate Program. The Centers of Excellence must agree to:

  • Conduct a self-evaluation of the program, based on “Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral Program,” by Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf
  • Provide a site visit for evaluation by the John Tracy Clinic teacher education team, if requested
  • Provide time for the mentor/supervisor to attend a week-long Mentorship Training at the first Summer Residency at John Tracy Clinic
  • Provide time for the candidate to attend both 4-5 week Summer Residencies
  • Provide the prescribed educational experiences for the candidate, including access to a variety of listening and spoken language educational settings in order to observe, apply, and evaluate children of different age ranges, and in different contexts (individual, small and large groups, etc.)
  • Provide time and personnel for the appropriate mentoring and supervision by qualified personnel trained in auditory-verbal practice
  • Provide the appropriate technology to allow supervision by university personnel

May I take just one or two courses? Could some of my coursework be waived because of past experience or coursework?
The program usually is taken as a whole, since the candidate becomes part of a cohort that progresses through the program together. The program is designed as a spiral curriculum, where each course builds upon previous courses, so all courses are required. However, it may be possible to take selected courses outside the credential or degree program. 

Tell me about the Mount Saint Mary's University/JTC Graduate Program.
The Program is a joint venture between Mount Saint Mary's University and the John Tracy Clinic, though all classes take place at the John Tracy Clinic campus in Los Angeles. The program confers a Master of Science in Education: Emphasis in Education Specialist Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and, upon completion of additional requirements, a California Credential as an Education Specialist: Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

What is the emphasis of the program?
The John Tracy Clinic is a world-renowned center for parents and their young children with a hearing loss. The Graduate Program reflects the mission of the Clinic in providing candidates with specific skills in building collaborative partnerships with parents and their young children from birth through age 5.

The Program has a spoken language focus, specifically auditory-verbal. The candidate’s education is geared to provide a skill set appropriate to teaching language, listening, speech, and cognition to students with a hearing loss from birth to age 22. Candidates must be committed to a listening and spoken language focus to be considered in the application process.

Does completion of the program qualify me as a LSLS Cert AVT or Cert AV Ed?
No. The certification process for a Listening and Spoken Language Specialist: Auditory-Verbal Therapist® or Auditory-Verbal Educator® requires education and experience more extensive than a year or two of coursework can provide. However, since auditory-verbal principles and practices are integrated into many courses in the Program, coursework and hours of practicum may be used to satisfy some of the requirements of the certification process involved in becoming an Auditory-Verbal Therapist® or Auditory-Verbal Educator®. Please see for more information.

How do the Onsite and Distance Learning Programs differ?
There are two program options: Onsite and Distance Learning. The Onsite Program runs from July to June of the next year, about 11 months total. The Distance Learning Option runs from July in Year 1 through June of Year 2.

The Onsite Program is an intensive course of study, including coursework, fieldwork, and practicum experiences at the John Tracy Clinic, and school programs in the Los Angeles County area. Candidates are involved in classes generally from approximately 8 am to 6 pm daily, and until 9 pm every other Tuesday evening.

For candidates in the Onsite Program, coursework, fieldwork, and practica at the Clinic provide candidates with daily hands-on experiences with parents and young children from birth to three in the Demonstration Home Parent-Infant Program, and with parents and children from ages three to five years in the Preschool Program. Coursework and practica in auditory-verbal therapy for families and their children are provided at the Clinic as well. Elementary education fieldwork and practica are accomplished through our partnerships with schools in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

For candidates in the Distance Learning Program, there are requirements that ensure training of highly-qualified teachers. These requirements include employment of candidate at a Center of Excellence as a full-time teacher of children with hearing loss, two summer residencies of 4-5 weeks each at John Tracy Clinic in Los Angeles, release time and flexibility in scheduling for completion of assignments, and supervision by qualified, auditory-verbal personnel who are provided by the Center of Excellence.

Both program options, Onsite and Distance Learning, are designed as complete programs. Candidates usually must be able to commit to the entire program of study (either the 11-month Onsite option or the 2-year Distance Learning option). Candidates must maintain progress with their cohort, or they may not be allowed to finish the program.

All candidates must take all courses in the program, no matter what their background or training. The sequence of study is highly integrated, so that all courses build on those taken previously.

Does the program accommodate internships?
The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing has established internships as a way to deal with the severe teacher shortage for children with hearing loss. The Program has designed ways to work within the framework of California internships, while at the same time maintaining the quality of the Onsite Program. Requirements for the candidate in an internship program would be the same as those for a candidate in the Distance Learning option (see #4 above).

The application procedures for the Distance Learning candidate include the regular application process for the master’s degree, as well as evaluation of the employment/training site, using “Components of a Quality Auditory-Oral Program,” by Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf.

What are the tuition and other costs of the program?
Tuition for Mount Saint Mary's University as of Summer 2013 is approximately $775 per unit. There are 46 units in the program, with a total cost for tuition of approximately $35,650. There are also college fees of about $125 each semester. Interns/Distance Learners are also charged $100 each semester for ongoing supervision. Books and materials usually run about $1,000-1,500 for the program.

Living expenses differ for each candidate and each program. For Onsite candidates, living expenses over the 11-month program would include room and board in Los Angeles, reliable transportation (a car, fuel and maintenance costs, car insurance), and miscellaneous costs (for example, an application fee to apply for the credential, etc.). A typical living expenses budget for an onsite candidate is about $20,000-$25,000.

For Distance Learning candidates, the same living expenses (as listed for the Onsite Program) are required over the two summer residencies of 4-5 weeks in Los Angeles. The summer budget for 4-5 weeks, including airfare, housing, food, and transportation is about $2,500 combined for both residencies.

Are there any scholarship programs available?
U.S. citizens may receive substantial scholarship support, which may cover the full cost of tuition. Available federal grant monies vary from year to year, so scholarship support varies from year to year.

Student loans may also provide additional monies for the candidate, up to $20,500 a year for graduate students through FAFSA.  The "Financial Aid Year" for FAFSA consists of three terms: Fall/Spring/Summer. If you are accepted into the program and plan to apply for financial assistance, you will need to file a FAFSA for both the summer of the academic year you begin the program, PLUS the following year. For example, students admitted for Summer 2014 will need to file a FAFSA for the academic year 2013-14 (to be eligible for Summer 2014 aid), PLUS a FAFSA for the following 2014-15 academic year (to be eligible for Fall 2014, Spring 2015, and/or Summer 2015).

The candidate may obtain a student loan, and if employed in an eligible California school for the required number of years, the APLE program will forgive a significant part of the loan. Women candidates are also eligible for PEO loans of up to $12,000 at 3% interest.

The Program also helps each Onsite candidate apply for the Emblem Club Scholarships, which may provide between $3,000 and $12,000 over the year-long program. This is a grant, not a loan, and does not require repayment.

Please contact Mary McGinnis for further information. If the candidate accepts the federal grant scholarships to attend the program, the government requires completion of the program, plus a two-year commitment to teach in the field of deaf education, or the scholarship must be returned. The Emblem Club requires the same provisions as the government grant.

What are the program prerequisites?


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from accredited college/university
  • Grade Point Average of at least 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) in all work

Prerequisites Courses:

  • ASL and Deaf Culture
  • Principles of Teaching Reading


The following tests are required for those seeking a California credential (for both Distance Learning and Onsite Programs). 

  • TOEFL  (required for prospective candidates for whom English is a second language)

The following tests are required for the credential application, but are not required to be completed for admission. The candidate, however, must have proof of registration for the CBEST for admission.

  • CBEST California Basic Educational Skills Test (passing score)
  • CSET California Subject Exam for Teachers: Multiple Subjects (passing scores)
  • RICA Reading Instruction Competency Assessment (passing scores)

Are there other requirements?
Onsite Education Option Requirements:

  • Candidates must be committed to a listening and spoken language approach
  • Application form, submitted with official copies of transcripts of all college coursework, and all test scores
  • Personal interview and written essay demonstrating excellent verbal and written communication abilities, personal attributes, teacher dispositions and leadership potential
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Candidates must also have applied for a Certificate of Clearance through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.

All candidates must possess a newer computer (less than 2 years old) with the appropriate hardware and software, including a built-in microphone and camera, in order to fully participate in the online classes. The following is required:

  • Laptop Computer with wireless capability (no more than 2 yrs old):
    • Windows 7 or Mac OS X 10.7.5 or higher
      2 Ghz or higher CPU
      4 GB or more of RAM
      Wireless Internet connection
  • Webcam
  • External Backup hard drive (1TB or larger)
  • Thumb Drive (16 GB or higher)


    • Adobe Acrobat Reader (Free download at
    • Microsoft Office Suite 2010 (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
    • Windows Media Player (Free download at
    • Macromedia Flash Player (Free download at
    • Skype (Free download at
    • iTunes and Quicktime Media Player (Free download at
  • Digital video camera with USB port or iPad
  • Digital camera AC adapter/wall recharger
  • Digital camera tripod/stand



How do I apply for the program?
If you feel that your philosophy, goals, and dispositions are a match with the program, and if you also meet the requirements listed, and can commit to the rigorous program described, contact:
Mary McGinnis, Ph.D. Cand., LSLS Cert. AVT
Director, Graduate Program
John Tracy Clinic
806 W Adams Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90007
Voice: (213) 748-5481 x 225

Accredited by WASC and CTC