Major ID: 125C
Program Start Dates Fall, Spring, Summer
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.
It is necessary for students in the American Sign Language Studies Program to be able to process visual information.
Completion of the American Sign Language Studies Certificate:
- Enhances the ability to work and communicate more effectively with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people in academic, agency, and business settings.
- Provides opportunities to enhance ASL fluency and acquire Deaf Culture knowledge which is applicable to a variety of educational disciplines.
- Prepares students to meet the ASL prerequisites for the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program.
- Enhances American Sign Language fluency for potential or current teachers of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.
- Graduates will be prepared to meet the ASL prerequisites for the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program.
- Graduates will develop ASL skills and Deaf Culture awareness to more effectively communicate with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people in a variety of settings.
- Graduates will meet world language requirements at the high school and college/ university level.
- Graduates will be prepared to take an American Sign Language Proficiency Interview and to meet K-12 Skill Levels.
- Graduates will meet entrance requirements for undergraduate or graduate programs in ASL Studies, Linguistics, and Deaf Education.
Part-time and full-time options are available.
Sign Language Interpreter/ Transliterator Program
Students planning to enroll in the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program after completing this certificate program must meet the program standards and complete the Application to Sign Language Interpreter/ Transliterator AAS Degree Major form to apply for admission.
In the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program, it is necessary for students to be able to process auditory and visual information.
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.
Guidelines for Placement in ASL Courses at Saint Paul College
Students with no or little background in ASL
If you have little or no background in ASL you should register for ASLS 1411 American Sign Language 1, which is the first course in our ASL language sequence.
Students with college-level study of ASL
If you have taken ASL courses at another higher education institution, you should have your transcripts evaluated in order to determine appropriate placement.
Students with high school study of ASL
If you have studied ASL for one year or less in high school, enroll in ASLS 1411 American Sign Language 1.
If you have studied ASL for two or more years in high school and can answer “yes” to three or more of the following questions, then you may take a test out on SPC campus.
- Did you study ASL during your junior AND senior years of high school?
- Did you graduate from high school during the past two years?
- Did your teacher use ASL without voice in class?
- Is ASL your primary language?
For-credit course placement Test Out:
Students may take a test out at their own expense to determine whether they have the linguistic proficiency necessary to enroll in our second, third, or fourth semester ASL courses. Students passing this test out will receive college-level credit, but will not receive a letter grade. For more information about this test, see the American Sign Language Studies page on the college website.
Non-credit course placement Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI):
This exam has a fee and a documentation of SLPI rating will be required for non-credit placement. Students scoring advanced/advanced plus on the SLPI evaluation will be allowed to register for ASLS 1414 American Sign Language 4.
Students scoring intermediate plus on the SLPI evaluation will be allowed to register for ASLS 1413 American Sign Language 3 .
For more information on how to take SLPI go to https://msad.msa.state.mn.us/sign-language-proficiency-interview. This is not associated with Saint Paul College.
These guidelines are subject to change. Please, make sure you are following the most current version.