American Sign Language is the third most commonly used language in the United States, behind only English and Spanish. Students taking American Sign Language courses will learn grammar, structure, and syntax of this beautiful language. They will have opportunities to interact with people who are deaf and build a strong basis for learning ASL and using it in their future employment.
Special Department Information
Students desiring to learn basic American Sign Language and understand the culture of people who are deaf may elect to complete the 18-credit Deaf Studies Certificate. This program will not prepare students to become interpreters, but covers the basics about ASL and deaf culture. This certificate is appropriate for students who are planning to enter, or are currently employed in, all areas of customer relations, including but not limited to business, education, criminal justice, interpreting or the medical field. Knowledge of ASL and deaf culture will help them to be more competitive for jobs as employers strive for diversity in the workplace. Students who complete this certificate will be in a position to use basic communication with colleagues or customers who are ASL users. Courses may also be used to satisfy interpreter training program prerequisite requirements at many institutions.
Department Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to:
*Demonstrate appropriate class level oral or expressive World Language skills.
*Demonstrate knowledge and appreciation of cultural values, norms and traditions per specific World Language.
*Demonstrate basic understanding that these differences have an impact on group relationships and interactions.
*Demonstrate appropriate class level receptive and/or written World Language skills.
*Demonstrate appropriate cultural rules of interaction when conversing in the target language.
The second language skills acquired in ASL courses enhance a student’s chance for success in any profession. Students looking beyond a certificate, or considering a future specialization in the field of American Sign Language Interpreting, should know that many institutions offering degrees in Interpreter Training will accept these courses as prerequisites to their programs.
The nationwide shortage of qualified ASL Interpreters in the United States is at an all time high and continues to escalate. With the passage of the ADA act, the public is required to make accommodations for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing patrons. Sign Language Interpreters are the most sought after accommodation for D/HH people. Public schools, higher education, health care providers, hospitals, courts, public safety and other government offices are seeing increased demand for qualified ASL Interpreters.