Courses & Programs

Deaf Studies Certificate

The Deaf Studies Certificate is designed for students holding a degree in another field who already have basic American Sign Language skills.

Claire Sanders

Chair, Deaf Studies

Arts and Humanities

Donahue 381 - 413.650.5368

what will you learn?

The Deaf Studies Certificate is designed for students holding a degree in another field who already have basic American Sign Language skills.


Upon completion of this certificate, students will be able to:

  • Communicate with Deaf/hard-of-hearing people at an advanced level in American Sign Language.
  • Demonstrate respect and an in-depth understanding towards the Deaf/hard-of hearing population as well as its culture, history and literature.
  • Provide resources for Deaf/hard-of-hearing people.
  • Educate other people about Deaf people and provide deaf-related resources.
  • Advocate with the Deaf/hard-of-hearing community relating to sensitive issues.

Students will become more proficient in ASL as well as becoming familiar with the culture, history and literature of deaf people, and will gain experience working with this population.

what will you do?

Continue your education or enter the workforce! Professional career opportunities with prior or further education include, but are not limited to:

  • Teacher
  • Counselor
  • Interpreter
  • Dormitory residential advisor
  • Audiologist
  • Speech-language pathologist
  • Parent-infant specialist

Explore your options at HCC's Advising, Career & Transfer Center, or at The Best Schools.

24 total credits

24 program requirements

This course builds upon ASL 102. It expands the use of ASL grammar, syntax, vocabulary and spatial references. Use of classifiers is heavily emphasized. Prerequisite: C or better in ASL 102 or appropriate score on ASL Competency Exam
This course is a continuation of ASL 201. Continued refinement of receptive and expressive skills will be emphasized. Skills in conversations and storytelling are stressed and are more complex. Prerequisite: C or better in ASL 201 or appropriate score on ASL Competency Exam
This course introduces a variety of topics relating to deaf people in America. Topics include, but are not limited to, communication modes used by deaf people, educational philosophies, technology used in the deaf community, various professions in which one can work with deaf people, Deaf culture, and different perspectives about deaf people. Through readings, lectures, guest speakers, and class discussions, these topics and more will be discussed and myths will be dispelled.
This course provides an in-depth study of American Deaf culture and the American Deaf community from the multidisciplinary perspective. Language, values, traditions, social interactions, and diversity of membership are discussed through readings, guest speakers, lectures and class discussion. Prerequisite: ENG 101
This course presents the history of deaf people starting with the ancient world and progressing to present day America. Topics include the history of oppression and accomplishments of deaf people, various historical views of deaf people, the treatment of deaf people, the influence of European philosophy on the American deaf community, the rise of schools for the deaf and modern Deaf empowerment movement. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (Same as HIS 108)
This course will prepare students for their practicum experience and help lay the foundation for future employment in the field. Through a combination of lecture, class discussion, guest speakers, and professional readings, students will become acquainted with various professions that work with the deaf/hard-of-hearing population. This will culminate with the students' final plan for their subsequent practicum. Prerequisite: ENG 101 and DFS 101, Pre/Co-requisite: ASL 201
This course explores the rich literary works of deaf people and their experience. Various literary genres, such as novels, films, poetry and humor, are discussed and analyzed through readings, videotapes and lectures. Prerequisite: ENG 102 and ASL 201
This course gives students the experience of working in the field with deaf/hard-of-hearing individuals in a supervised setting approved by the coordinator of Deaf Studies. Students will enhance their receptive and expressive skills in ASL as well as increase experience in the knowledge of Deaf culture. Students must complete 100 placement hours and attend a one-and-a-half-hour weekly seminar to discuss issues raised in the field. Placements include educational settings, independent living agencies and agencies that serve the deaf/hard-of-hearing population. CORI/SORI check may be required. Prerequisite: DFS 204 (Pre-Practicum In Deaf Studies), Pre/Co-requisite: ASL 202 and permission from the Deaf Studies Department Chair