American Sign Language Major

Goshen College Alumni

Here is a sampling of positions held by GC ASL alumni:

  • ASL Interpreter
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Educational Interpreter
  • Private Contract ASL Interpreter
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Registered Nurse
  • Service Coordinator

What Can I Do with the ASL Major?

Overview

According to the Deaf Resource Library, “American Sign Language (ASL) is a complex visual-spatial language that is used by the Deaf community in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. It is a linguistically complete, natural language. It is the native language of many Deaf men and women, as well as some hearing children born into Deaf families. ASL shares no grammatical similarities to English and should not be considered in any way to be a broken, mimed, or gestural form of English.”

winter2013.0993About the Coursework

The American Sign Language major at GC has two concentrations, one in interpreting and the other in education.

The four-year interpreting degree program is designed to prepare graduates for a professional interpreting career and to use their skills in service to the community and the church. Upon completion of the B. A. degree, students will have taken the written portion of the National Registry of Interpreters for Deaf evaluation and have a sound base on which to build their interpreting skills. Some of our past graduates are working as interpreters while others are involved in different roles with the Deaf community.

Students in the teacher education concentration will spend two semesters in language immersion at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. and/or studying abroad on SST. Upon completion, students will have the necessary skills to pursue a teaching career where they can teach at a school for the Deaf or to work with children who use American Sign Language.

Possible ASL courses include:

  • Intermediate ASL I & II
  • Deaf American Literature
  • Linguistics of ASL
  • Specialized Vocabulary
  • Intro to the Interpreting Profession
  • Deaf Community, Church & Religion
  • Certification Overview
  • North American Deaf Culture

For a full list of sign language degree requirements and courses, refer to the course catalog.

Possible Career Paths

The possible career choices are broad for every major and ASL alumni work successfully in many different careers. The list below will provide you with several career options, but it is not exhaustive. Please note that some positions require additional education.

  • Access and Outreach Specialist
  • Advocate
  • ASL Interpreter
  • Bilingual Mental Health Specialist
  • Case Manager
  • Clinical Social Worker
  • Communication Facilitator
  • Community Organizer
  • Community Relations Specialist
  • Dean of Languages & Communication
  • Educational Interpreter
  • Elementary Teacher
  • Employment Specialist
  • Grant Writer
  • Interpreter Coordinator
  • Interpreting Instructor
  • Lawyer: Human Rights, Social Policy
  • Lobbyist
  • Medical Interpreter
  • Professor of ASL
  • Program Coordinator
  • Resource Specialist
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Staff Interpreter
  • Teacher: Parent Education
  • Video Interpreter

Additional Resources

from the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers

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