For work or for your own interest
Camosun's provincially-recognized American Sign Language (ASL) certification is designed to help you interact with individuals who are Deaf or hearing impaired and will complement your work as a Community Support Worker, Educational Assistant, Child and Youth Care Worker or Early Childhood Educator. The program is taught through immersion, by an instructor who is Deaf, and includes insight into the Deaf culture and working with children and families of Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.
Two levels of certification
This comprehensive program complies with the provincial guidelines for American Sign Language at the post-secondary level. Courses are taught by immersion by instructors who are Deaf, and all communication is visual American Sign Language (ASL). Camosun's certificate program consists of two levels of American Sign Language and you may earn two credentials: ASL Prep and ASL Basic.
The ASL Prep Level will get you started if you have little or no knowledge of American Sign Language. The focus in on developing a beginning vocabulary and developing basic skills to communicate personal and family information. You will gain limited conversation and information-sharing skills, useful in communicating with friends, neighbours, family members, and/or co-workers.
The ASL Basic Level program builds on skills acquired at the Prep Level, and strengthens skills in conversation, asking clarifying questions, phrasing, use of classifiers, and building knowledge of linguistic functions and grammatical features. You will gain an understanding of Deaf culture and basic skills to communicate with individuals who are Deaf or hearing impaired. The skills acquired will support work with non-verbal children using some signs.
There are no admission requirements for this program. Recommended characteristics for ASL students:
- Good visual memory
- Good manual dexterity
- Ability to follow signed, oral, and written instructions
- Ability to communicate effectively with people of all ages and backgrounds
- Sensitivity to issues of 'difference' and identity
- Maturity and positive self-image with high standards of personal integrity
What to expect
Located at our Lansdowne campus, the American Sign Language program is offered throughout the year. If you work continuously, you can begin the Prep level in January or March, finishing up with the Basic level in the fall. Each level is 120 hours of study. Classes may be offered in the evenings or on Saturdays, usually once or twice per week. We typically offer several intakes of Prep Level ASL in Fall, Winter, and Spring and one intake of Basic Level ASL in the Fall.
You should expect to complete weekly homework and quizzes/exams, and to allow time to practice conversational skills. The number of hours of study outside of the classroom varies, but you should expect five to 10 hours per week of homework throughout the program. You will also be encouraged to attend Deaf events in the community.
If you plan to continue past the first course, you can apply to the American Sign Language Certificate program, which qualifies you for an educational tax credit while you earn your credential.
- Develop a beginning vocabulary and skills in American Sign Language to communicate personal and family information
- Build conversation and information-sharing skills in American Sign Language, useful in communicating with friends, neighbours, family members and/or co-workers
- Increase personal awareness of the Deaf culture
- Demonstrate skill in gaining and maintaining visual attention, controlling pace of conversation, confirming information, and using possessive forms correctly in American Sign Language
- Demonstrate skill in asking and giving longer responses to questions, incorporating linguistic and grammatical features learned in American Sign Language
- Apply descriptive and locative classifiers and facial grammatical and effective markers in American Sign Language
Certificate students are encouraged to complete studies within two years of starting the first course. To receive a Certificate in American Sign Language - Prep and/or the Certificate in American Sign Language - Basic, you should achieve an average of B- across the four courses for each level and a minimum grade of B- in each Mastery Exam course.
Students must successfully complete the preceding course before attending the next course in sequence.
The cost of this program from start to finish is approximately: $1,700 - Prep, $1,550 - Basic. All prices are estimates. (This price includes tuition and mastery exams and additional costs.)