Catalog Year 2017/2018


Designed to introduce students to the history, culture and community of the Deaf. Students work towards gaining fluency and mastery of American Sign Language by acquiring foundational skills, vocabulary, acceptance and knowledge of the Deaf community and by gaining an understanding of this unique non-verbal language. Students gain confidence by becoming involved in the Deaf community through coursework and internships.

By obtaining a certificate in American Sign Language (ASL) Studies, students have a strong foundation to further their studies in American Sign Language, interpreting, and education of the Deaf or other related fields. This certificate also provides individuals with the skills they need to work with the Deaf community and Deaf individuals more effectively. This certificate can be used to meet the elective requirements of the AA degree in general studies. Students will be required to complete the ASL Proficiency Interview prior to graduation.


ASL Certificate Curriculum Pathway by Catalog Year

Two Year Course Rotation


David Martin
Program Manager

Karen Santelli
Academic Office Manager

ASL Studies Brochure

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Course Credits

Departmental Requirements

ASLS 100–ASL Finger Spelling & Numbering 3
ASLS 101–Visual Gestural Communication  3
ASLS 102–American Sign Language I  3
ASLS 103–American Sign Language II 3
ASLS 106–Introduction to Deaf Community & History 3
ASLS 202–American Sign Language III 3
ASLS 203–American Sign Language IV 3
ASLS 206–American Deaf Culture 3
INTR 103–Internship 3


FCC’s 31-credit certificate program in American Sign Language introduces students to the history, culture and community of the Deaf as students work toward mastery of American Sign Language. Students acquire foundational skills and vocabulary through coursework and internships. As they become involved in the Deaf community, students learn to communicate through this unique non-verbal language, gaining confidence in their skills and greater understanding and acceptance of the Deaf community. All courses are taught by Deaf people who take pride in their language and culture.

The availability of VideoPhones has increased demand for ASL interpreters, making sign language interpreting one of the fastest growing fields. An estimated 3,000 Deaf people and more than 6,000 American Sign Language users live, work and attend school in Frederick County, home to the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD). Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., is the only four-year liberal arts university in the country serving solely the Deaf and hard-of hearing students. These Deaf communities offer ASL students many opportunities to work within the ASL culture.

Human service workers, allied health professionals, and educators who learn to communicate through American Sign Language provide their workplace with an important and urgently needed service to the Deaf and hard of hearing members of our community.
Q) Does certification in ASL Studies mean I am certified to be an ASL Interpreter?
A) No, to be a certified ASL interpreter you need to apply directly to

Q) What job opportunities do I have if I complete the certification ASL Studies program?
A) This program will give you the fundamentals in ASL and Deaf people. It is our goal for you to transfer or continue your ASL related studies and get a higher degree. Career opportunities include ASL interpreting, teaching at Deaf schools, service provider professionals, and community educators.

Q) Are all your faculty Deaf?
A) Yes, all our ASL Studies Program faculty are native ASL users.

Q) Can I test out of ASL classes?
A) Yes, you can test out of ASL classes. Contact the program coordinator.

Q) I see ASLS 100 ASL Fingerspelling, 101 Visual Gestural Communication and ASLS 102. Can I start with ASLS 102?
A) Yes you can start at ASLS 102 first but ASLS 100 and ASLS 101 are recommended.

Q6) I heard that FCC will start an ASL Interpreting Education program?
A6) Yes, it is currently in the works. We are building the ASL Interpreting program.

Q) I took ASL in high school. What do you recommend?
A) You have the option to test out or be evaluated for higher level placement. Please contact the program coordinator.

Q) Why should I take up ASL Studies Certification program?
A) There is a large Deaf community in the Frederick area and there are opportunities to interact with the Deaf community socially and professionally. We want to build bridges to connect the hearing community to the Deaf community.
Students will be able to:
  1. Students will apply and transfer their ASL skills at local Deaf community events.
  2. Students will produce a class project or presentation using ASL.
  3. Students will demonstrate their ASL skills in communicating with native ASL users.
  4. Students will employ ASL skills during their internship in a signing environment.
  5. Students will create a plan to master toe ASLPI (ASL Proficiency Interview).
  6. Students will be able to distinguish the language and culture between Deaf and hearing Americans.
  7. Students will develop basic skills and knowledge about the Deaf community and apply that skill and knowledge in higher education or training programs to be ASL interpreters or Educators of Deaf children.
Students who achieve the ASL certificate have a strong foundation for further coursework in American Sign Language, interpreting, and education of the Deaf or related fields. This certificate can be used to meet the elective requirements of FCC’s Associate of Arts degree in general studies.

With the A.A. degree, students can transfer to one of the many institutions with which FCC has articulation (transfer) agreements. These agreements assist students in a smooth transition from one institution to the other.

For more information on schools that have articulation agreements with FCC, visit the Counseling & Advising Office, Enrollment Services Building, J201, or call 301.846.2471.