To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Lindsey Walter and I’m a junior transfer student. I graduated from Metropolitan Community College in May 2016 with my Associate in Arts of Teaching (AAT).
I chose to write this letter to express my disappointment in the way Northwest is handling the Deaf Studies program.
Let me tell you a little about myself. When I was a junior in high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but I knew for sure I wanted to work with kids. But there was something else that I felt like I wanted to do, too. I soon found myself interested in Sign Language.
Once I officially decided I wanted to be a teacher, I was looking at two colleges for myself: University of Central Missouri and Northwest Missouri State University. By the beginning of my senior year, I decided I also wanted to minor in Deaf Studies. Since UCM doesn’t have a Deaf Studies program, that narrowed my college choices down to one: Northwest.
I went on a visit to Northwest January 2015 before I graduated high school. I quickly fell in love with the campus and my decision about what I would study. When people asked me what I wanted to study, I proudly told them that I was majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in Deaf Studies. They would then ask me what I wanted to do with my Deaf Studies minor and I told them that, eventually, I wanted to be an interpreter for the d/Deaf.
I was so excited to start college, but I wasn’t able to come to Northwest right away. My first year out of high school, I attended Metropolitan Community College and got my AAT. I met with Marcy Roush in April to talk more about the Deaf Studies minor and her passion, and it just made me more excited to learn about the d/Deaf culture.
Late this past July, I heard Marcy got her dream job and I was so excited for her. Later I learned that Northwest wasn’t going to allow any more students to join the Deaf Studies program. This upset me a lot, as my deciding factor on which school I wanted to go to came down to this program. School started and I was enrolled in Intro to ASL and Deaf Culture, but I wasn’t sure what to do with that class since it wouldn’t go towards my degree now. I decided to meet with the Language, Literature and Writing Chair, Michael Hobbs, Ph.D., I explained my situation to him and asked to be let in the program, but when I told him I chose Northwest for this minor, all he had to say about it was “Yikes.”
During the rest of our conversation, I didn’t feel like he understood my disappointment in what they were doing by letting go of the Deaf Studies program. I know how popular this program is, so I don’t understand why Northwest is just dropping it so easily. I truly believe that if Northwest cares about its students as much as it claims it does, the University would reconsider dissolving the Deaf Studies program.