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Deaf Studies Orientation:
A Deaf Studies program at a college or university tends to provide an "orientation" meeting or process for incoming freshmen and/or transfer students. Such an orientation tends to consist of about 20 minutes of lecture, 20 minutes of questions & answers, and 20 minutes or more of one-on-one advising.
During that first 20 minutes of lecture is a good time for the presenter to do the following:
* Welcome the students and any parents
* Introduce yourself and any other Dept. representatives
* Introduce the Deaf Studies Program at your program, the building, the floor, the full-time instructors
* Mention the number of part-time instructors
* Mention the Department Office location and hours
* Discuss what the program is and what it isn't. What students will and won't be prepared to do upon completion of the program
* Discuss sequencing, pre-requisites, course substitutions, waivers, total unit requirements, articulation, catalog year (and its implications), and the difference between upper & lower division credit.
* Discuss how the advisors are assigned
* Point out post-graduate avenues for further education: Interpreter Preparation Programs (IPP's), Teacher Ed programs, internships, graduate school programs, etc.
* Emphasize the importance of taking 15 units or more EVERY semester and getting a C- or better in every class.
* Rather than talk in generalities about careers it is a good idea to encourage students to conduct Deaf Studies-related job searches "now" and see what positions they can really find that are available. Encourage them to look at the required qualifications, the location, the pay, etc. and decide whether this is the path they want to go down. You may wish to do a few such searches ahead of time and show them "real" job listings along with real qualifications requirements and then discuss to what extent this program qualifies them and/or what additional training will be necessary.
* Mention the concept that it takes thousands of hours of interaction and exposure to a language to become fluent. (Many experts feel it is as many as 10,000 hours.) Ask them to ask themselves how they plan on getting that exposure. Then suggest some ways.
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