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Center for Experiential Learning

What Can You Do with an American Sign Language Degree?

Keuka College is one of the few colleges in the country to offer a bachelor's degree program in American Sign Language (ASL).

Keuka's program combines intensive training in American Sign Language as a foreign language with integrated coursework in deaf culture, linguistics, and communication.

The demand of college-educated individuals with an advanced level of fluency in sign communication is increasing nationwide. Graduates may expect to find employment in business and corporate settings, elementary and secondary schools, community service organizations, vocational rehabilitation centers, medical and legal fields, local and state governments, communication facilities, and colleges and universities.

Keuka's bachelor of science in ASL-English Interpreting prepared students to become professional interpreters who facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people in a variety of settings. It also prepared students to pass Level I of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf or the National Association of the Deaf interpreting certification exam.

Graduates of the program will be bilingual and bicultural: they will be able to communicate with above average proficiency in both ASL and English. In order to render culturally based linguistic and non-linguistic information appropriately, graduates will also possess knowledge about deaf and non-deaf cultures.

Outside the Classroom

Keuka's ASL program emphasizes experiential learning through Field Periods, a junior-year practicum, and a semester-long senior internship. These hands-on opportunities give students the opportunity to apply and test the validity of theories and information, observe professionals and clients, and acquire professional skills.

Jessica Bryant '06, an organizational communication and American Sign Language major, conducted a Field Period at the New York State School for the Deaf in Rome, N.Y.

Bryant served as a teacher's assistant in a secondary classroom and residence hall supervisor, and helped coach the cheerleading squad during the month-long internship. The experience improved her ASL production and reception skills.

Learn more about majoring in American Sign Language at Keuka College.

American Sign Language Internships & Field Periods

Students working toward an american sign language degree at Keuka College must complete a 140-hour internship each year—we call this Field Period.

Here's where some of our american sign language students have recently done their Field Periods. All of these organizations have indicated they'd be interested in hosting Keuka students in the future.

AIM Independent Living Center
Elmira, N.Y.
Syracuse, N.Y.
Cambex Corporation
Westborough, Mass.
Camp Mark 7
Old Forge, N.Y.
Churchville-Chili Central School District
Rochester, N.Y.
Communication Service for the Deaf
Rochester, N.Y.
Elmira City Schools
Elmira, N.Y.
Geneva City School District
Geneva, N.Y.
Ithaca City School District
Ithaca, N.Y.
Loudoun County Public Schools
Purcellville, Va.
Mount Morris Central School
Mount Morris, N.Y.
National Technical Institute for the Deaf
Rochester, N.Y.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, N.Y.
Wissahickon School District
Ambler, Pa.

What Can I Do with an American Sign Language Degree?

With an American Sign Language degree, you can find a career in the following:

  • *Interpreter Coordinator - School districts or colleges
  • amusement parks
  • four-year institutions and larger universities *Rehabilitator - (usually hired through an interpreting agency or deaf service agency) Assist new hires in the first few transitional weeks of a new job with training and orientation
  • interpreters for plays
  • matches interpreter schedules with students
  • plans and/or develops professional development for interpreters *Deaf Accessibility Specialist - Large companies or colleges
  • skits and other performance pieces Interpretation includes not just spoken word but music
  • stage direction and special effects Training with the company and performance skills may also be required *Professor of ASL - Teach at junior colleges
  • works with event coordinator to ensure that events or meetings are accessible for deaf clients and employees Advocate for deaf employees *Performance Interpretation - Theatre companies

Average Annual Salary

$17.10 per hour for Interpreters