Choose Your Path
UNC’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) houses four areas of study built around American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Culture, and related fields of interpreting and teaching. The ASLIS programs offer highly regarded curricula with input from national experts, taught by nationally recognized instructional staff, and offered through multiple delivery methods.
American Sign Language (ASL) Courses
ASL I-IV will develop your ASL skills and knowledge of Deaf Culture. With over 20 sections of ASL courses offered each fall and spring semester there is plenty of opportunity to begin and continue your studies of ASL.
• ASL I, II, III, and IV are offered on campus.
• ASL III and IV are also offered online.
ASL–English Interpretation (ASLEI) Bachelor of Art program will train you to mediate communication events in either community or educational settings. The ASLEI program is completed on campus or online (on campus summer sessions required).
Teaching American Sign Language (TASL) Master of Arts program will train you to be an ASL instructor. The TASL program offers two tracks: the Master’s or the Master’s Plus Licensure. Both tracks are completed online with summer sessions in Greeley, CO.
American Sign Language Minor will expand your skills and knowledge of ASL and Deaf Culture through ASL I-VI and two upper division knowledge courses. This minor can accompany many UNC majors. It is offered on campus and online.
ASL-English Interpretation program
Janina Witteborg is used to facilitating communication, but her participation in a webinar gave her a chance to help build new bridges between communicators.
Witteborg, who graduated from UNC this summer with a Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language-English Interpretation, belongs to a small group of ASL interpreters for whom ASL is a first language. “My parents are both Deaf and my first language is American Sign Language,” she says. As a Deaf Parented Interpreter (DPI), Janina brought a unique set of experiences and rich understanding with her when she enrolled in UNC’s Extended Campus.
She recently had an opportunity to share her story, insights and experiences with some 500 webinar participants—40 percent of whom were instructors at interpreter preparation programs—hosted by the National Interpreter Education Center in Boston, Massachusetts.The panel discussion, moderated by well-known Certified Deaf Interpreter Trenton Marsh, highlighted the experiences of two Deaf Parented Interpreters and two Deaf Interpreters entering into the interpreting field.
When Marsh asked why she chose to enroll in an IEP when she was already fluent in ASL and practiced at interpreting, Witteborg explained that she wanted to deepen her understanding.“I grew up interpreting within my family,” she told webinar participants. “I thought that if I did decide to become an interpreter, I should understand the theory, the culture, the language, so that I would be able to grow in my career and not plateau.”
Witteborg, who lives in northern California, enrolled in UNC’s Extended Campus in mid-2013.