A small selection of accredited colleges offer specialized coursework and hands on training leading to a degree in American Sign Language. ASL is one of the primary languages deaf Americans use to communicate. ASL ranks fourth in terms of commonly used languages, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders. (See References 1) Schools with this major provide in-depth training in ASL, an intricate set of hand signs, facial expressions and body movements, for those interested in mastering the language to become professional interpreters.
Gallaudet University in Washington D.C., founded in 1864 by an act of Congress, is one of the world's foremost institutions for deaf students. The school's department of ASL and Deaf Studies offers a bachelor of arts degree in ASL that requires 120 credits. Required pre-major courses include an introduction to deaf studies class and an introduction to the structure of ASL. Normal course study will include comparative analysis between ASL and English, ASL literature, introduction to ASL instruction and finger spelling and ASL number theory and practice.
Gallaudet University 800 Florida Ave NE Washington DC, 20002 866-563-8896 (videophone) 800-995-0550 (tty/voice) gallaudet.edu
Keuka College in Keuka Park, New York, is a private liberal arts college that offers 36 majors including a bachelor's of science degree in ASL. Keuka College's program focuses on ASL study as a foreign language with courses in communication, linguistics and deaf culture. The school trains students for work as interpreters, focusing specifically on them passing the first level of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf certification test. The program also offers an ASL lab, six levels of ASL courses and more than 600 hours of field experience. Course work includes classes such as introduction to the deaf community, basic ASL, deaf literature, introduction to interpreting and advanced study in ASL.
Keuka College 141 Central Avenue Keuka Park, New York 14478 315-279-5000 keuka.edu
Western Oregon University
Western Oregon University in Monmouth's bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degree programs in ASL, were fully accredited as of March 31, 2010. The program combines ASL and English interpreting into one degree and features training in linguistics, sociology, education and anthropology. Graduating students will be prepared to work as professional interpreters, but will have also received a liberal arts education. Coursework includes theory and process of interpreting, deaf and blind interpreting, ASL linguistics and language and communication in the classroom.
Western Oregon University 345 N. Monmouth Avenue Monmouth, Oregon 97361 503-838-8000(voice/tty) 877-877-1593 wou.edu
Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, offers a bachelor's degree in ASL and English Interpreting. The program focuses on students' gaining a thorough knowledge of ASL in order to become interpreters and gain knowledge of the deaf American culture. While providing a concentration on ASL, the program also features a broad-based curriculum and strongly recommends that students minor in a liberal arts discipline. Course requirements include such classes as deaf people in society, elementary ASL, college algebra, deaf culture and history, linguistics of ASL and performance interpreting. One distinguishing feature of Northeastern's program is that all the instructors for ASL language courses are deaf, allowing students direct access to the deaf community.
Northeastern University American Sign Language Program 360 Huntington Avenue 405 Meserve Hall Boston, Massachusetts 02115 800-994-5538 (voice) 857-366-4198 (videophone) asl.neu.edu
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