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Course Descriptions 

American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Certificate

Spec Ed 402/602 - American Sign Language I (3 credits)

This is the introduction to American Sign Language (ASL), a visual/gestural language used by deaf people in the United States and Canada. The course will emphasize vocabulary, grammar and fingerspelling. Students will practice expressive and receptive communication skills within the context of daily activities such as living in a family, shopping, education, and social scenarios. The importance of non-manual markers such as eye contact, facial expression, and body posture will be discussed. An introduction to deaf culture will be provided simultaneously to the language instruction.

Spec Ed 403/603 - American Sign Language II (3 credits)

This course is designed to enhance students’ conversational proficiency. Students will increase their: sign vocabulary, speed and accuracy of signing, receptive comprehension of signed communication, and awareness of deaf idiomatic expressions. Fingerspelling proficiency will be achieved. Deaf education and culture will be explored.

Spec Ed 404/604 - American Sign Language III (3 credits)

Students will become fluent in ASL at the daily conversation level and will learn ASL storytelling. Students will be expected to provide information and education to increase the use of ASL beyond the classroom. Involvement of ASL communication within the deaf community will be expected.

Spec Ed 405/605 - Manual Communication Systems (3 credits)

Students become exposed to and familiar with various manually presented communication systems/methods used within the United States including signed exact English (SEE), Conceptually accurate signed English (CASE), total communication (TC), the bilingual/bicultural model (Bi/Bi), cued speech, and manually encoded systems for teaching phonics. Students will develop an understanding of when, why and with whom these systems are utilized. Students have an opportunity to practice and demonstrate introductory level skills in each manual communication system and are provided resources to become trained in the areas should they require the skills for employment.

Spec Ed 407/607 - Deaf Culture (3 credits)

This course is designed to expose students to the deaf community and increase appreciation for a minority population. It is the capstone experience of the certificate program. Students demonstrate an awareness of deaf culture through contextual settings in class. Students are expected to engage with the deaf community and to engage with the hearing community through informational and educational events.