FIRST YEARS > Units of Study: Courses
sakai logoFIRST YEARS uses Sakai to manage our "virtual classroom."  Each course features lesson topics, or "learning units"  or "modules," which typically span one or two weeks. Each unit introduces the topic, gives assigned readings, and lists required activities in which you will participate. Everything you need to complete your exercises will be with each lesson unit.

Our course demo covers the features you can expect to see in the certificate courses. Upon enrollment, you will be Quality Matters 2007required to complete an orientation, allowing you to practice the online features used in our courses.

The FIRST YEARS courses (below) are offered for academic credit.  The five courses listed below are taken in sequence, one a semester beginning in the fall session. FIRST YEARS course material has received Quality Matters* recognition.

Special Topics in Speech and Hearing: A Survey
An overview of relevant issues in educating young children with hearing loss, with the focus on the early childhood population from birth to 8 years. 3 credit hours.

  • Unit 1.  Working with Families and Teams 
  • Unit 2.  Audiology Interpretation
  • Unit 3.  Basic Speech Acoustics
  • Unit 4.  Hearing Technologies (part 1, hearing aids, FM systems; part 2, cochlear implants)
  • Unit 5.  Normal Aspects of Speech, Language and Auditory Development 
  • Unit 6.  Emergent Literacy
Audiology Interpretation and Hearing Technologies
Behavioral and physiologic assessment of hearing in children and how these measures are used in aural habilitation.  Fundamentals of hearing instrument technology including the selection and fitting of hearing aids and cochlear implants. 4 credit hours.
  • Unit 1. Development of the Hearing Mechanism
  • Unit 2. When Something Goes Wrong: Hearing Loss in Children & Its Causes
  • Unit 3. Newborn Hearing Screening & Follow Up
  • Unit 4. Audiological Assessment
  • Unit 5. Amplification Options
  • Unit 6. Cochlear Implants
Basic Speech Acoustics
Fundamentals of speech production including the acoustic characteristics of normal and disordered speech. 2 credit hours.
  • Unit 1. Acoustic Phonetics: What and Why?
  • Unit 2. The Primary Acoustic Dimensions of Sound, or Wow! Look What Your Ears Can Do!
  • Unit 3. The Mechanics of Sounds in English: Sources and Filters
  • Unit 4. Acoustic Correlates of Consonants
  • Unit 5. Speech Perception
Listening & Spoken Language Development & Intervention
Typical auditory, speech and language development, impact of hearing loss on listening and spoken language acquisition, assessment, strategies/techniques, and intervention for children, birth-8 years, who are deaf/hard of hearing. 3 credit hours.
  • Unit 1. Foundations: Speech, Language and Auditory Development
  • Unit 2. Auditory Development, Assessment, and Facilitation of Auditory Learning
  • Unit 3. Normal Language Development: Foundations
  • Unit 4. Tracking Language Development
    • Unit 4A. Tracking Language Development: The Roadmaps, Part A
    • Unit 4B. Tracking Language Development: From Theory to Practice, Part B
  • Unit 5. Language Development: Assessment and Intervention
  • Unit 6. Speech Development, Assessment and Intervention
Literacy Development in Young Children with Hearing Loss
The definition, characteristics, and theoretical bases of emergent literacy and their application at home and at school to facilitate the development of literacy skills. 3 credit hours.
  • Unit 1. Hearing and Literacy: Why They are Important and How Hearing Makes Literacy Easier
  • Unit 2. Theories of Literacy: What Is Known Currently About How Reading and Writing Work?
  • Unit 3. Spoken Language: Making the Move from Speaking to Reading and Writing
  • Unit 4. Learning to Read: How to “Normalize” the Process
  • Unit 5. Learning to Write: How to Work with Writing Along with Reading
  • Unit 6. What Can Be Accomplished? And Other Questions …
Academic Calendars
The UNC Registrar's Office maintains listings of academic calendars, including semester schedules. For information relating specifically to FIRST YEARS registration, see our pages on Admission/Registration/Tuition.

Mentorship Experience
An integral component of the FIRST YEARS certification program is a planned, "hands on" mentored experience at carefully selected centers and schools across the nation. The timing and duration of the mentored experience is designed to ensure optimal integration of the certificate instruction into professional practice. 

To learn more about mentorship requirements for students, see Participating in the Mentorship Experience.

To learn more about site mentorship requirements, see Becoming a Mentorship Site.

* This logo recognizes that course material has met FIPSE Quality Matters review standards. The Quality Matters program is a faculty-centered peer course review Quality Assurance process. Review criteria are linked to external standards; criteria and process are supported through instructional design principles; and the process is vetted by faculty experts.
Bobby WorldWide Approved 508
Alexander Graham Bell Association | UNC-CH Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences

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