American Sign Language Studies
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American Sign Language Studies



The American Sign Language Studies Certificate Program provides students with the knowledge and skills of American Sign Language (ASL); focusing on the uniqueness of ASL as a language, Deaf Culture and Deaf History. The program encourages students to become involved in the social and cultural activities of the Deaf Community. The curriculum provides a solid and basic foundation for entry into a career in a deafness-related field and prepares students for continued educational studies in a variety of disciplines. It is a pathway to entering the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program at Saint Paul College or similar programs at other institutions. Individuals who intend to or currently work with Deaf and/or Hard-of-Hearing individuals in fields such as education, human/social services, community service agencies, and vocational rehabilitation benefit from the opportunity to learn and develop stronger skills in American Sign Language.

What You'll Learn
  • American Sign Language is semantically and grammatically different from English and operates in a different sensory channel
  • Visual-Gestural grammatical features based on ASL linguistic features and rules which govern the movement of hands, face and body
  • Deaf cultural and social rules of etiquette that differ from those of the larger hearing society
  • Deaf cultural values, traditions, attitudes, as well as a study of a fascinating history that transmits cultural knowledge between generations
  • Influence and impact of culture on language and communication
Career Settings
  • Community service agencies
  • Business
  • Other settings in combination with credentials and qualifications in education, counseling, rehabilitation, and state government
Potential Employers
  • U.S. Post Offices
  • People, Inc.
  • Human service agencies
  • K-12 School Districts
Additional Benefits
  • Learn from experienced instructors who teach in a student-centered visual environment.
  • Learn Sign Language and Deaf culture information from Deaf instructors.
  • Learn cultural/linguistic aspects of deafness so that optimal service to deaf and hard of hearing individuals is provided.
  • Increase employment opportunities by adding Sign Language skills to complement other workplace skills.
  • Learn skills necessary to take American Sign Language Proficiency Interview and to meet K-12 Teacher Skill Levels.
  • Earn credit requirements for undergraduate or graduate programs in ASL Studies.
  • Complete the American Sign Language 1-4 course prerequisites for the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program.
  • ASL instruction is taught through the direct experience method; no voice is used to facilitate ASL second language learning.