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American Sign Language Classes in Michigan - A Comprehensive Guide

Updated on January 3, 2016
The Cook Carillon Tower at Grand Valley State University, one of the few universities in the country offering a bachelor's degree in ASL Interpreting.
The Cook Carillon Tower at Grand Valley State University, one of the few universities in the country offering a bachelor's degree in ASL Interpreting. | Source

ASL options in Michigan range from introductory ASL classes to degrees in ASL/English interpreting. If you're looking specifically for programs in the Detroit area, please see the separate Detroit guide here. If you know of other programs not listed, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Schools Offering ASL Interpreter Training Programs and ASL Coursework

Baker College of Auburn Hills, Flint, and Muskegon

  • Baker College is a private, accredited, not-for-profit college with 13 campuses throughout Michigan.
  • Auburn Hills and Flint campuses offer a bachelor or associate degree in Interpreter Training (ASL)
  • Muskegon campus offers an associate degree in Interpreter Training (ASL)
  • Both campuses prepare students to take the state of Michigan interpreter certification exam

Grand Valley State University, Allendale

  • The university has announced that starting in Fall 2014, an American Sign Language Interpreting (B.S.) program will be offered through a joint effort of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders and the Department of Allied Health Sciences.The program is designed to educate individuals to serve as ASL interpreters and qualify for relevant credentials if desired.
  • ASL courses are already being offered, with additional coursework slated to be offered beginning Fall 2014.

Lansing Community College, Lansing

  • Sign Language Interpreter Program offers an associate degree or Certificate of Achievement; anyone can enroll in courses for personal enrichment.
  • In addition to courses in ASL and interpreting, both options offer a solid curriculum that includes courses in ASL linguistics, the Deaf community, and Deaf history and culture.
  • Over half the ASL/English interpreters in the state of Michigan are graduates of the college’s three-year Sign Language Interpreter program.

Mott Community College, Flint

  • Mott Community College is a public institution granting associate degrees and pre-associate certificates.
  • The college offers an associate degree in Sign Language Interpreter Education, in addition to one year of ASL coursework in its general curriculum.
  • The curriculum includes specialized courses in educational interpreting and Deaf-blind interpreting.

Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills

  • Located in Oakland County, this community college offers an Associate degree in Sign Language Interpreting. The program can be completed in 2-3 years.

Central Michigan University, pictured here, offers a minor in American Sign Language.
Central Michigan University, pictured here, offers a minor in American Sign Language. | Source

Schools Offering Other ASL-Related Special Degrees

Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant

  • Has offered a minor in American Sign Language since 2005
  • In addition to six semesters of coursework in American Sign Language, the program also offers courses on Deaf community and culture, ASL linguistics, advanced fingerspelling and numbers, and ASL in education.
  • Students have the opportunity to work in community placements with Deaf children and/or adults

Michigan State University, Lansing

  • College of Education offers four semesters of American Sign Language as well as several related courses in areas such as Deaf culture and ASL linguistics.
  • School also offers a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Special Education-Deaf Education, a Master's of Arts degree in Deaf Education, and a Ph.D. in Special Education with an emphasis in Deaf Education

Schools Offering ASL Coursework

Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids
Offers 3 semesters of ASL, as well as a fingerspelling and Deaf culture course

Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Kalamazoo
Offers a Certificate of Achievement in American Sign Language to supplement an associate degree in another field. Coursework consists of four semesters of ASL and a fingerspelling course.

Kellog Community College, Battle Creek
The Lifelong Learning program offers two 6-week ASL courses

Montcalm Community College, Sidney
The Communication department offers two courses in American Sign Language and one fingerspelling course.

Muskegon Community College, Muskegon
Offers 2 semesters of coursework in American Sign Language

Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City
Offers 4 semesters of coursework in American Sign Language

Oakland University, Rochester
Department of Communication and Journalism offers 4 semesters of American Sign Language

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
The Residential College offers a 5-course sequence in American Sign Language and Deaf culture. The university also has an active American Sign Language Club.

Washtenaw Community College, Ann Arbor
Offers an 8-week ASL course through the Lifelong Learning (non-credit) program

Other ASL Course Options

Deaf Expressions, Grand Rapids

  • Deaf Expressions is an organization that conducts workshops, presentations, classes, and consultations for individuals, groups, and businesses.
  • The organization offers 8-week ASL courses that meet weekly for 90 minutes
  • They also offer individual and group tutoring for ASL

The Holley Family Village, Brooklyn, MI

  • The Village offers programs for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and hard of hearing adults, youth, and their families. For one week during the summer, they also offer an intensive ASL course.
  • The Village offers an “ASL Week” each summer for adults interested in learning American Sign Language. Students stay at the Village for one week in a total immersion program that combines five hours of class time per day with activities such as swimming, sailing, hiking, and ASL games and skits in the evening.

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