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American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

The American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Degree Program is designed for individuals who do not have a college degree and are interested in the field of Deaf Studies, linguistics, communications, psychology, social work, rehabilitation, education of the Deaf and other related areas. The program provides a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary approach in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Areas of scholarly pursuit include cultural and historical studies, linguistic examination, and literary analysis, as well as the study of the language in its conversational form. Graduates will be prepared for entry-level positions working with Deaf persons or transfer to four-year degree programs. This program can be completed either as a part-time or full-time student in a day or evening program.

Students are admitted to the ASL and Deaf Studies Program when they have demonstrated English competency and have satisfactorily completed the two semesters of the Pre-entry-level. Students are required to have satisfactorily completed ENG 101 and ENG 102 before taking ASL 201 (ASL 3) and ASL 205 (Linguistics of ASL).

Deaf and Hard of Hearing students are encouraged to participate in this program.

Search for courses in the online course catalog.

Career Options

Graduates will be prepared for entry-level positions working with Deaf persons in a variety of social service settings and/or for transfer to four-year degree programs.


A grade of ‘B’ or higher in the pre-entry level is required to be eligible for entry into the ASL & Studies program. Students must maintain grades of ‘B’ or higher to stay in the program. A grade of ‘C’ necessitates a conference with the Instructor(s) and Coordinator for consultation. A ‘C’ in more than one of the courses disqualifies the student from continuing in the program unless there were extenuating circumstances. A grade of ‘D’ or ‘F’ disqualifies the student from entry into or continuation of ASL & Deaf Studies Program. As mandated by the college, students must earn grades of ‘C’ or higher in the general education courses.

Conferences with respective instructor(s) and coordinators are by appointment only. Information about the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies and Interpreters for Deaf Programs may be obtained at the ASL&DS and AEIP office or the Counseling Office at the Plainfield Campus.

The specific objectives of this program are that the graduate must be able to:
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the use of American Sign Language and English with members of the Deaf community. 
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the studies of American Sign Language as a distinct modern language. 
  • Employ scholarly pursuit of cultural and historical studies.
  • Apply linguistics and literary analysis of the language and its discourse styles. 
  • Compare and contrast the social and cultural characteristics of American Deaf Culture, mainstream American culture and diverse cultures within America. 
  • Describe the psychological and social factors affecting diverse populations within the Deaf community. 
  • Explain contemporary issues within the Deaf Community.
  • Demonstrate effective written, spoken and signed communication skills.
  • Demonstrate the skills and motivation for continued self-education.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills, with emphasis on using community resources to solve specific problems.
  • State one’s rights and responsibilities as a professional and/or a citizen in a world community.



Program Information

Type of Program: Associate in Science Degree

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