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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

American Sign Language Studies

American Sign Language Studies Certificate
American Sign Language Studies

Program Overview

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 History. The program encourages students to become involved in the social and cultural activities of the Deaf Community. ​

ASL instruction in this program is taught through the direct experience method; no voice is used to facilitate ASL second language learning. 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. 

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. ​

This program is a pathway to entering the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree​ program at Saint Paul College or similar programs at other institutions. 

Program Delivery Methods
Online, hybrid, traditional in-class courses and hands-on training in state-of-the-art lab on Saint Paul College campus, St. Paul, MN​

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​

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Program Details

  • Program Requirements

    Program Requirements Guides
    View the Program Requirement Guide to learn about Minimum Program Entry Requirements, Recommended Course Sequence and Program Outcomes:

    View all course descriptions

    College Credit by Exam/Test-out
    If a student has successfully completed a Saint Paul College Credit by Exam/Test-Out of ASLS 1411 American Sign Language 1 and/or ASLS 1412 American Sign Language 2, then ASLS 1415 American Sign Language 5 is strongly recommended. Students who have not had recent ASL courses (within the past 24 months) at date of application will need to refresh their skills by repeating their last ASL course. Credits by Exam/Test-Outs are not transferable from other educational institutions.

    View more information about American Sign Language (ASL) courses offered at Saint Paul College​

  • 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

  • Transfer Pathways

    Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree Program
    Students planning to enroll in the Saint Paul College Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree program after completing the American Sign Language Studies Certificate program must meet the program standards and complete the Application to Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree Major form to apply for admission.



  • Related Programs

  • 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. 
  • Program Advisor

    ​Heather Virnig
    heather.virnig@saintpaul.edu

  • Meet the Faculty

Gainful Employment

American Sign Language Certificate

Career Information

Information provided by www.careerwise.mnscu.edu.

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