Students earning a degree in Sign Language Studies at CWI are immersed in the language and culture of the American Sign Language (ASL) community. They have the opportunity to develop receptive and expressive skills, along with the cultural awareness needed to participate in the local Deaf community. Students are able to connect with the community through local events, community service, and symposiums.
Through the study of ASL, students prepare themselves to transfer to four-year degree programs in pursuit of a variety of fulfilling careers and life opportunities. These career opportunities include teachers, interpreters, elementary education instructors, speech-language pathologists and many more. Achieving an Associate of Arts (AA) in Sign Language Studies will provide a strong foundation in basic language skills and cultural knowledge that will allow students to achieve their academic and professional goals.
Completion of the program is designed to meet the general education requirements of all Idaho public universities and will result in an AA degree. Students will have a strong foundation in the language and culture and be prepared to transfer to a four-year university.
Degrees and Certificates
American Sign Language (SIGL)
Refer to How to Read Course Descriptions for an explanation of elements found within the course descriptions below.
SIGL 101 American Sign Language I
(4 Credits, Fall/Spring)
This course creates a visual-gestural environment to introduce American Sign Language. The course will be conducted in the target language to provide students with the basic knowledge about ASL and deaf culture. The course will implement visual readiness activities to progress the students into employing correct linguistic features while producing commands, asking questions, and making simple statements. Fingerspelling is another component of the course. Appropriate cultural behaviors critical to conversation skills will be put into practice. Emphasis is on receptive skills, expressive skills, and cultural awareness. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board of Education GEM competency requirements for GEM 5 - Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing.). (4 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 4 credits)
SIGL 102 American Sign Language II
(4 Credits, Fall/Spring)
This course is a continuation of American Sign Language I and will be taught in the target language. This course builds off the basic skills developed in ASL I and focuses on developing accuracy and fluency in receptive and expressive skills. Additional linguistic features will be taught in order to enhance conversation skills. Spontaneous use of the language will expand the students' vocabulary through various discussions on daily life and world events. Supplementary information on Deaf Culture (people, history, and various group dynamics) will be discussed. PREREQ: SIGL 101. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board of Education GEM competency requirements for GEM 5 - Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing OR the CWI Global Perspectives requirement. [It will not fulfill both requirements.]). (4 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 4 credits)
SIGL 201 American Sign Language III
(4 Credits, Fall)
This course, a continuation of American Sign Language II, is taught in the target language. Greater emphasis is placed upon mastery of the linguistic principles of ASL in student-generated conversations and monologues. Students will construct stories and narratives in the target language. Emphasis is placed on broadening the student's vocabulary in terms of being conceptually accurate (semantics). Social opportunities and cultural information will expand student awareness of the relationships between language and culture. PREREQ: SIGL 102. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board of Education GEM competency requirements for GEM 5 - Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing.). (4 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 4 credits)
SIGL 202 American Sign Language IV
(4 Credits, Spring)
This course is a continuation of American Sign Language III and will be taught in the target language. Emphasis is placed on developing the student's language skills by: 1) expanding student responsibility for assigned and incidental vocabulary, 2) refining culturally appropriate clarifying behaviors and non-manual signals, 3) promoting initiative for self-generated material, and 4) expanding formats of dialogues and monologues. Social opportunities and cultural analysis will broaden student awareness of the relationships between language and culture. PREREQ: SIGL 201. (This CWI course meets Idaho State Board of Education GEM competency requirements for GEM 5 - Humanistic and Artistic Ways of Knowing.). (4 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 4 credits)
SIGL 203 Fingerspelling and Numbers
(3 Credits, Varies)
This course addresses skill-building and the culturally appropriate use of both the manual alphabet and numbering system. The focus is on whole word and phase recognition common in signed conversations. Videotaping/recording and feedback are necessary components of instruction. Required for Sign Language majors. PREREQ: SIGL 102 or PERM/INST. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 3 credits)
SIGL 204 Introduction to Interpreting
(3 Credits, Varies)
This course introduces students to (1) basic philosophy, historical perspectives, principles, and terminology related to the interpreting field; (2) ethical considerations; (3) rights, roles, and responsibilities of all individuals involved in the communication process; (4) various sign systems; (5) the growth and development of sign language interpreting as a profession. Required for Sign Language majors. PREREQ: SIGL 101 or PERM/INST. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 3 credits)
SIGL 220 Deaf Culture and Community
(3 Credits, Varies)
This course is intended to explore Deaf Culture through its evolution, populations, and historical and current issues. By navigating through American Sign Language, Deafhood, and the influences of hearing society, students are exposed to a variety of constituents within Deaf Culture. Critically exploring the extreme beliefs across a variety of spectrums will expose students to help understand the myriad experiences within the Deaf community. Analysis may be presented through family dynamics, educational practices, social roles, art, literature, media, and poetry. PREREQ: SIGL 102 or PERM/INST. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 3 credits)
SIGL 290 American Sign Language Capstone
(3 Credits, Spring)
This course provides students the opportunity to demonstrate the language skills and cultural knowledge acquired during their course of study and is the culmination of the AA degree in Sign Language Studies. This course should be taken in a student's final semester. PREREQ: PERM/INST. (3 lecture hours, 0 lab hours, 3 credits)