Gallaudet University, the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, was founded in 1864 by an Act of Congress, and its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln. Deaf and hard of hearing undergraduate students can choose from 39 majors leading to a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree. The University also admits a small number of hearing, degree-seeking undergraduate students--up to 5 percent of an entering class. Undergraduate students also have the option of designing their own majors, called "self-directed majors," in which they select classes from a variety of departments at Gallaudet or take courses offered at 13 other institutions of higher learning that are members of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Graduate programs, open to deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students, include a master of arts or a master of science degree, specialist degree, certificates, and doctoral degrees in a variety of fields involving professional service provision to deaf and hard of hearing people. Gallaudet University offers exemplary educational programs to deaf and hard of hearing students at all learning levels. The Kendall Demonstration Elementary School KDES serves infants and their parents and continues service through the eighth grade. The Model Secondary School for the Deaf MSSD offers programs for students in grades nine through 12. Both of these schools are part of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, which has a federal mandate to develop and disseminate innovative curriculum, materials, and teaching strategies to schools and programs nationwide.