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American Sign Language and Deaf Studies

American Sign Language and Deaf Studies: Self-Designed Major, Minor

American Sign Language is the third most-studied language in the United States. Holy Cross has embraced this growing interest by offering a program in ASL and Deaf Studies with an interdisciplinary emphasis. Beyond the classroom, the program offers opportunities for cultural and language immersion through cocurricular activities and community-based learning initiatives.

The ASL/Deaf Studies program at Holy Cross is unique for its wealth of opportunities to learn American Sign Language from native ASL speakers. Students develop proficiency in ASL through our three-year language program which consists of formal classroom instruction, practicums, and cocurricular activities. Our program is one of very few in the country that offers practicums, which are small group practice sessions with Deaf ASL speakers that meets twice a week, in conjunction to regular language instruction. In addition to practicums, the community-based learning component of our second-year courses affords our students with the opportunity to interact with a wide range of native ASL speakers on a weekly basis outside the classroom and practicum. 

Our students also gain cultural competency through our course offerings in Deaf culture, history, literature, politics, theoretical applications, and related interdisciplinary courses. Our formal linguistic and cultural instruction is supplemented by diverse cocurricular activities such as ASL Mass, ASL performances, guest lectures, coffee socials with native ASL speakers, and informal ASL-only gatherings. We offer a minor in Deaf Studies and an interdisciplinary major in Deaf Studies through the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. Upon graduation, Holy Cross Deaf Studies students move on to graduate studies and a wide range of careers in deaf and non-deaf related fields. 

Program Highlights

  • The course offerings provide students with the humanist and cultural perspectives that Deaf people are not disabled, but rather a cultural and linguistic minority group.
  • Our program embraces a holistic Jesuit, liberal arts education by equipping students with a broad range of multidisciplinary tools in solving problems and exploring the world.
  • For students who are interested in a truly immersive experience in ASL, we offer a study away program at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., the world’s only liberal arts college that uses ASL as its language of instruction and where ASL is primarily spoken on campus. 

American Sign Language and Deaf Studies News

Holy Cross Academic Conference 2017 to Showcase Student Work

Apr 21, 2017

As the academic year nears its end, more than 350 students will present the results of their independent work in the performing and visual arts, social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences at the 2017 Academic Conference, taking place across campus …