ASL Program Overview

Maryville College has a rich history of teaching American Sign Language (ASL) and partnering with the local Deaf Community. Language and community bind Deaf culture, and the major in ASL & Deaf Studies provides the knowledge and experiences to explore that connection. Our program emphasizes development of fluency in ASL, exploration of the creative expression and structure of the language, and deep knowledge of and interaction with Deaf culture. The major prepares students for further study in Deaf education, linguistics, interpreting, or careers in which interaction with members of the Deaf Community is desired. If you are interested primarily in being an interpreter for the Deaf, Maryville College also has a major in ASL—English Interpreting.

Success in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies requires being able to perceive signers’ faces, hand movements and body movements and being able to convey and receive ASL through these channels quickly at the natural pace of language. Also essential is the ability to perceive and process visual information and eye-hand coordination that allow effective communication. A good foundation in basic ASL is critical to advancing successfully in the Major in ASL and Deaf Studies.

The Major in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies is intended for those desiring to pursue studies in the areas of linguistics or anthropology at the graduate level or communication skills/cultural knowledge for use in counseling, social work, teaching, working in schools for the Deaf, or other service fields. Audio-visual materials are accessible for individual study of a broad cross-section of communication methods. Interactions with D/deaf and hard-of-hearing persons and regular practice using videotaping equipment are principal means for the development of skills. Successful graduates of the ASL studies major will be able to comfortably communicate in ASL receptively and expressively and to interact comfortably and appropriately in the Deaf community at entry level.

Course Offerings

The Major in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies requires 45 hours. This includes 30 hours beyond ASL 110: American Sign Language I (4 hrs.) and ASL 120: American Sign Language II (4 hrs.) and 15 hours of related courses.

Required courses:

ASL 203: American Sign Language III (3 hrs.)
ASL 204: American Sign Language IV (3 hrs.)
AEI 215: Translation and Interpreting Readiness (3 hrs.)
ASL 305: American Sign Language V (3 hrs.)
ASL 307: History and Culture of the American Deaf Community (3 hrs.)
ASL 331: Introduction to Linguistics of ASL
(3 hrs.)
ASL 335: ASL Literature (3 hrs.)
ASL 337: Internship
ASL 351-352: Senior Study (6 hrs.)


Required Related Courses

PSY 101: Introductory Psychology (3 hrs.)
PSY 211: Child Development (3 hrs.)
PSY 306: Language Development (3 hrs.)
SLS 301: Social Sciences Research Methods
(3 hrs.)
And one of the following courses:

 SOC 202: Social Problems (3 hrs.)
 SOC 211: Cultural Anthropology (3 hrs.)
 PSY/SOC 221: Social Psychology (3 hrs.)

The Minor requires the following courses plus 9 additional hours above the 100-level:

ASL 203: American Sign Language III (3 hrs.)
ASL 307: History and Culture of the American Deaf Community (3 hrs.)

The Minor in American Sign Language and Deaf Studies is not open to American Sign Language-English Interpreting majors.