The ASL Studies program's mission is to develop students' knowledge and skills in ASL and an understanding of its linguistics, culture, history, and literature. The program emphasizes the social and cultural diversity of the signing community and serves as a foundation for building personal and professional relationships across socio-cultural communities.
The ASL Studies program allows for collaboration between UWM’s Interpreter Training Program, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education program, and World Languages Teacher Certificate Program. This is the only program like this in the state that has extensive collaboration with other programs, providing opportunities to apply what has been learned in ASL classes.
UWM ASL Program is unique in many ways:
- All the instructors are native or native-like users of ASL.
- Only ASL Studies degree in the state of Wisconsin.
- Accredited with American Council on Teachers of Foreign Language ASL standards
- More of our graduates are certified as teachers by the ASL Teachers Association than any other Wisconsin program
- Have the most number of teachers that are nationally certified by American Sign Language Teacher’s Association than any other program offered statewide.
- Encompasses the philosophy of eclectic teaching by combining several successful language instruction methodologies to meet the learning styles of the students in the best possible way.
- Quality experiences on campus for continual proficiency of ASL with our Signing Student Association (SSA), American Sign Language Living Learning Community (ASL-LLC), and large number of Deaf and hard of hearing students attending UW-Milwaukee.
- Is a growing program with a diverse staff and student body
American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)
If you have previous experience in ASL, you can take the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) to determine your appropriate course level and possibly receive retroactive credits. The ASLPI is offered three times a year.
American Sign Language - Living Learning Community (ASL-LLC)If you are planning to live in Sandburg Residence Halls then picture yourself developing a network of peers who communicate with a common language; American Sign Language (ASL) and gain understanding and respect for ASL, Deaf history, and Deaf culture. The ASL-LLC is an opportunity for students to live on the same floor of Sandburg Residence Hall and build a community based on a common language.
The Minor will guide a student through all six levels of ASL courses, along with some upper level language courses. The ASL Minor pairs nicely with any other subject areas at UWM, for example:
- Interpreter Training Program
- Regular or Special Education
- Social Work
- Criminal Justice
- Communication Disorders
Note: You must be a student at UWM with a degree seeking major in order to pursue the ASL minor.
ASL minor course load sheet
- Interpreter Training Program and ASL Studies will provide an individual with a foundation and fluency in the language and the skill of how to interpret.
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education, after obtaining the ASL Studies degree, will provide an individual with a foundation in the language in order to better teach deaf and hard of hearing children
- American Sign Language Teacher Education, after obtaining ASL Studies degree, will provide an individual with a strong base of the language in order to teach others the language.
- Other majors on campus may pair with an ASL Studies degree to allow an individual to be bilingual and more employable within their field.