Jun 19, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

American Sign Language Interpreting, B.A.

College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences  > Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders  > American Sign Language Interpreting, B.A.

American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI) Program Overview

The University of Houston American Sign Language Interpreting (ASLI) program is designed to prepare students to effectively interpret with 75% or more degree of accuracy between American Sign Language and English (spoken and written). Sign Language interpreters work in a vast array of settings such as: social service agencies, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, courtrooms, hospitals, television programs and video relay services (VRS telephone calls).

To be successful students must possess the following requisite abilities:

  • Typical hearing, vision and speech capabilities, manual dexterity, limb, face and head movements, dual limb coordination, and physical stamina;
  • Cognitive skills: critical thinking, selective attention, auditory and visual attention, mental stamina, short-term memory retrieval, information ordering, deduction of pattern inference, and fluent delivery of message details;
  • Cultural and linguistic knowledge (knowledge and mastery of both spoken and written English, knowledge and fluency in American Sign Language, knowledge and fluency Contact Signing, understanding of norms and values of both the English-speaking community and the Deaf community); and
  • Professional attributes (such as social perceptiveness, independence, interpersonal skills, adaptability in the workplace, emotional control and stability, problem-solving, conflict resolution, time management, ethical behavior). {For more information, see the Texas Board for Evaluators of Interpreters (BEI) Study Guide - “Essential Functions of a BEI Certified Interpreter”. Further information may also be obtained from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf - Standard Practice Paper “Professional Sign Language Interpreting”}.

American Sign Language courses are taught by Deaf professors so that students experience both a cultural and linguistic immersion in the classroom setting. Throughout the 4-year program of study, students will interact with professional interpreters and members of the Deaf community. Interpreting courses are taught by professors who have expertise in training individuals to meet state and national certification standards. Successful graduates of the ASLI program are fluent in both English and American Sign Language, demonstrate an understanding of the profession and its ethical principles and will complete all University of Houston requirements for a Bachelor of Arts degree. The goal of the program is for graduates to be qualified to pass the entry-level Board of Evaluation of Interpreters certification exam.

General Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in ASL Interpreting Program

To obtain a bachelor’s degree in ASL Interpreting (ASLI) the following requirements must be completed in addition to university core requirements as well as the requirements of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Science for the Bachelor of Arts Degree:

Pre-ASLI major:

All current students that wish to switch to the ASLI major are required to meet with the undergraduate advisor. Students must choose the designation of an ASLI pre-major (PREASL).

Change of Major to ASLI:

  1. To be accepted into the major, students must complete both ASLI 2233  and ASLI 2301  or its equivalent with a grade of C or better and apply to the program by the set deadline. When compiling the application to the major, students should then submit a general petition form to the department to change their major from PREASL to ASLI. This form must be included in the application packet.
  2. Degree plan should be filed once the student has reached junior status and has been accepted in the major. The degree plan must be filed the semester prior to enrollment in ASLI 4489  Service Learning-Internship.
  3. ASLI students will take one of the following courses to complete their Writing in the Discipline (WID) requirement for the core.
  4. All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better.
  5. A satisfactory rate of progress toward the degree is required throughout the student’s enrollment. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 (C) for all ASLI courses attempted is required for continuation in the program. Failure to maintain a 2.00 grade point average may result in a warning. If a student is unable to improve their GPA within one semester, removal from the program is possible.
  6. Prior to enrollment in a class any prerequisites must be completed successfully (grade of C or better). If a student enrolls in a class for which they have not successfully completed the prerequisites, they will be dropped. Neither the department nor the university will be responsible for any tuition refunds.
  7. Only two courses in the major can be repeated, and they may be repeated only once.
  8. All undergraduate students must attend all mandatory undergraduate advising meetings. It is recommended that students meet with their advisor at least once a year.
  9. Students whose latest ASL class was over 12 months prior must be evaluated for placement in the appropriate ASL level.
  10. Courses in the major that are seven or more years old may not count toward a degree, whether taken at the University of Houston or transferred to the University of Houston, unless successfully petitioned.
  11. A minimum of twelve hours of advanced ASLI courses must be taken in residence at the University of Houston.

Degree Plans

To file a degree plan:

  1. The student must complete ASLI 2302  or equivalent and 15 credit hours in the department, with a minimum grade of C for each course.
  2. Student must have achieved Junior status having completed at least 60 credit hours. Overall GPA must be 2.0 or better.
  3. The following core classes must have successfully been completed:
    • 6 credits Communications
    • 6 credits Math or core Math/Reasoning
    • 6 credits core Life & Physical Sciences
    • 6 credits core American History
    • 6 credits core Government/Political Science

All students should see their ASLI advisor for assistance in determining their full program of study which includes university and college core course requirements. ASLI and COMD courses are typically offered once a year and must be taken in sequence to accommodate prerequisites.