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Title Deaf Studies Certificate 
Department American Sign Language 

Program Course Requirements

AMSL 1410 American Sign Language I (Goal 8), 4 cr
AMSL 1412* American Sign Language II (Goal 8), 4 cr
AMSL 2410* American Sign Language III (Goal 6,8), 4 cr
AMSL 2412* American Sign Language IV (Goal 6,8), 4 cr
AMSL 2414 Conversational ASL (Goal 1), 1 cr
AMSL 2420 Deaf Culture (Goals 6,7), 3 cr
COMM 2420 Intercultural Communication (Goals 1,7), 3 cr


Click here to download the Deaf Studies Certificate Program Planning Form (PDF)

Career Description: Students desiring to learn basic American Sign Language and understand the culture of people who are Deaf may elect to complete the 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.

Program Information: 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.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates 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.

Special Program Requirements:

In addition to the program requirements, students must meet the following conditions in order to graduate:

  1. College Cumulative GPA Requirement: cumulative grade point average (GPA) of credits attempted and completed at CLC must be at least 2.0;
  2. Residency Requirement: students must complete 25% of their credits at Central Lakes College.

Transfer Opportunities: The second language skills acquired in ASL courses enhances a student's chances 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. CLC has established an articulation agreement with Augustana University in Sioux Falls, SD, that allows CLC students to transfer into a Sign Language Interpreting major, earn a bachelor's degree from Augustana, and become a professional sign language interpreter. Students enrolled in CLC's two-year Deaf Studies Certificate Program transfer into Augustana's nationally recognized sign language interpreting major by contacting Augustana's assistant professor of sign language interpreting, or their director of admissions.