Kayla SchwartzKayla Schwartz is a senior American Sign Language major from Monroe, Ind. Meet more Goshen students and read their stories.

WHY GOSHEN COLLEGE?

Goshen College is one of the few colleges in Indiana with an American Sign Language Interpreting (ASL) program. So, when Kayla, an Indiana-native, started looking for a place to learn the language, she decided to visit campus.

“I really wanted to study ASL, and I visited a couple different places but Goshen was my favorite. My admissions counselor was so wonderful and helpful, and I got to see a lot.”

Sitting in on an actual ASL class gave Kayla the assurance she needed.

“I went to a class taught by one of my now-professors, and everyone was super nice and just excited about the program. I felt like I could definitely see myself here.”

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON CAMPUS?

As it turns out, Kayla fits into the ASL program perfectly.

“We’re like a family. Everyone studying ASL knows each other and is open to giving and receiving criticism and supporting one another. We’re bonded by the language and culture that we’re learning, and our professors help us to engage deeply with the Deaf community.”

As she works towards her degree, Kayla is getting more and more experience every day. Throughout their four years at Goshen College, ASL students will interpret chapels, theater productions, meetings, concerts and more. And that’s just on campus.

“I went to Jamaica for my Study-Service Term, and got to practice my signing in totally unfamiliar settings. I’ve gone out into local schools in Goshen and interpreted for Deaf kids in their classrooms. In our senior year of ASL, we spend a semester in an internship somewhere in the United States where we interpret on-the-job and shadow a mentor interpreter. That’s huge because we can start networking anywhere we want, and become professionally prepared.”

WHERE TO FROM HERE?

After her years at Goshen College and semester of internship experience, Kayla will be ready to get her fingers moving.

“There is a need for interpreters everywhere. I could do medical interpreting, educational interpreting, anything. I feel really prepared to go out into the world and help people.”

– written by Anna Ruth ’12, photos by Alex Pletcher ’14

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