Many colleges offer majors in a multitude of languages — English, Spanish, French, Chinese, German and often times, many others. Students who decide to major in these languages are very well-versed in them by the time they graduate, and they are able to communicate well in these languages.
The University of Connecticut is now the first and only institution in Connecticut that offers a four-year bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language (ASL). This is a big step forward for the university, and it is something that other colleges and universities in Connecticut should look into as well.
From having very few ASL classes, to having it develop into a minor, it is now finally a major that students can declare beginning on May 1. Not only does this class teach students how to effectively communicate in ASL, but it also teaches them about Deaf culture. The major and associated classes also allow students to become more involved within the Deaf community.
Students can start out during the fall semester by taking ASLN 1101, which is Elementary American Sign Language I, Level 1, and can continue taking upper level ASL classes over time. Certain classes are also offered during the summer session as well for students who are unable to take these classes during the fall or spring semesters.
Other universities and colleges should follow what UConn is doing. Allowing students to have ASL as a major is a big step forward, as it will allow students to expand their career opportunities and teach them more about Deaf culture in addition to learning ASL.
Sign language in general can be very helpful for anyone to learn. It is great that UConn offers so many opportunities for people to learn it and to become familiar with Deaf culture.
Hopefully in the future, more colleges and universities across the country will also have options so that ASL will become a more popular major.
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