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Online Bachelor of Science in Interpretation Studies in ASL-English Degree
Your William Woods University online BS in American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation Studies degree opens the door to a challenging, rewarding and growing field with strong placement prospects. The National Interpreter Education Center has documented a nationwide shortage of qualified interpreters, and the demand is growing every year. Working as an ASL-English Interpreter offers opportunities for professional achievement, cultural growth and the satisfaction of serving others.
Few institutions compete with William Woods in ASL programs. Frequently ranked among the top ASL locations in the nation, we offer a unique combination of academic excellence, affordability, and community. Our proximity to Missouri School of the Deaf provides a rich environment for collaboration and understanding of Deaf culture and trends. As an online student, you will enjoy the benefit of this close association through our online courses and the experience of our faculty.
William Woods is also frequently ranked among the nation’s top online learning programs. We combine rigorous coursework with a student-centered, service-oriented educational environment, and our convenient, 8-week courses offer start-and-stop flexibility and affordable tuition.
Your ASL degree at work
Upon completing this online degree, you will be proficient in American Sign Language and eligible to sit for National Interpreter Certification (NIC) administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NRID). You’ll be able to work in various environments and professional settings as an interpreter. You will also gain a greater understanding of Deaf culture and learn interpreting essentials for medical, educational and other specialties. This online BS in ASL English Interpreting degree also pairs well with our education, behavioral sciences and other majors.
- Language proficiency - Applicants will be assessed by full-time campus faculty for ASL fluency through an online assessment. The established proficiency benchmark must be met for entrance to the program. This assessment will be waived for applicants holding current NIC certification.
- College/university experience - Students must have completed a two-year degree in ASL interpreting or course equivalencies as determined by program faculty prior to entry to the program.
- GPA requirements - Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher to start program courses. Revised 4/12/2013
Ethics and Decision Making
This course surveys the field of ethics and how we use ethics and values to make decisions in the face of conflicting values. Ethical standards and dilemmas in various professions, including ASL English interpreting, will be explored through discussion, case studies, and role playing. This course includes topics related to working cross-culturally, power relations within and among groups, and ethical standards and statements form a variety of professions and communities.
Linguistics of Non-Manual Markers in ASL
This course is designed to develop proficiency in the understanding and use of non-manual markers in ASL. Many grammatical structures of ASL are produced as facial expressions, body shifts, and morphemes produced with specific mouth and eye movements. For non-Deaf people, this is perhaps some of the more difficult aspects of ASL to learn and the most important for comprehension and production. Students will learn how to accurately inflect specific meaning in ASL using non-manual markers. The course will also touch on fingerspelling accuracy.
Linguistics of American Sign Language
Students take an analytical approach to language and the field of linguistics as it applies to American Sign Language. ASL phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, bilingualism, and language use and usage will be examined and discussed. Language samples will be viewed and analyzed for evidence of different language structures and forms. Students will also read and critique research articles pertaining to ASL and other signed languages.
This course analyzes and compares the various genres of American Sign Language literature. ASL poetry, narrative, humor, as well as written work by deaf individuals and other language devices will be examined and discussed. Students will create and evaluate original work illustrating the similarities and uniqueness of ASL. Students will become familiar with well-known contributors: Clayton Valli, Patrick Graybill, Ella Mae Lentz, etc. Research articles pertaining to ASL or Deaf Literature will be critiqued and discussed as well.
Theory of Interpretation
This course covers the fundamentals of ASL English interpretation and introduces the sociolinguistic factors that influence communication, strategies for analyzing discourse, and the theory and process of mediating between two languages and cultures. The textbook and lectures will cover theories of communication and models of the interpretation processes, the role, boundaries, and responsibilities of the interpreter and other pertinent issues critical to the field. The primary focus of this course is to develop specific skills necessary for the art of interpreting along with ways to analyze the interpreted work.
Interpreting in Advanced Settings I
An upper level course covering various advanced settings of interpreting. This course covers interpreting in medical, mental health, and educational settings. ASL and English vocabulary in specialized areas not covered in previous courses is developed. Students will be interpreting linguistically dense texts and learning how to manage the various settings and personnel involved in these types of interpreting. Teaming with a Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) will also be covered.
Interpreting Applications and Analysis
Focuses on creating culturally and linguistically dynamic interpretations between ASL and English. Most interpretations will be of unrehearsed source material. There is an emphasis on increasing individual skill throughout the duration of the course. Students will conduct self and peer diagnostics and provide feedback on interpretations to each other.
Interpreting in Advanced Settings II
An upper level course covering various advanced settings of interpreting. This course covers interpreting legal information, VRS/VRI work, religious settings, and intepreting for deafblind individuals. ASL and English vocabulary in specialized areas, including explicit language, not covered in previous courses is developed. Students will be interpreting linguistically dense texts and learning how to manage the various settings and personnel involved in these types of situations.
This course is the capstone to the major and prepares students to enter the ASL English interpreting profession as a general practitioner. Students will investigate current issues facing the field, prepare for written certification exam(s), career development, and ethical decision making. This course is conducted in seminar format where students will apply demand-control schema, time-management, business practices, code of professional conduct and ethical decision-making, certification and quality assurance, accountability, and life-long learning and professional development. Emphasis given to creating a portfolio and resume for internship and future employment.
Requires a minimum of 300 clock hours in an approved work situation. Students will submit a log of work activities with dates and times illustrating internship activities and outcomes with brief explanatory texts. Students will complete an essay evaluating the role of the on-site supervisor, the quality of the work environment, and the importance of internship experiences.
Requires permission of division chair.
Your digital classroom. Available anywhere.
William Woods online graduate programs are available to students across the country. From our main campus in Fulton, Missouri and beyond, our online graduates hail from California, Illinois, Kansas, Washington, Arkansas and many more.
One more thing
Compensation research firm Payscale recently ranked ASL Interpreting as the 5th most meaningful career. It’s truly an opportunity to flourish and do well by doing good.