Jump to main content

COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

TASL: Frequently Asked Questions


TASL students at the 2019  American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA) Conference in
San Diego, CA. 

Gain the knowledge and skills to effectively teach the third most popular modern/foreign language in the United States - American Sign Language (ASL) – from Colorado's top-ranked institution for online graduate programs in education.

The Teaching ASL graduate program offers students the option to take fall and spring courses through UNC's Extended Campus, with a three-week summer residential session on the UNC campus in Greeley, Colorado. You will be learning with students across the country from nationally recognized faculty.

  • What courses are involved in the majors?

    This program provides a choice of two majors, depending on your professional goals. The following are academic plans and course descriptions for both majors:

    Teaching ASL M.A.

    Total of 30 credits

    2 courses (6 credits) each semester

    Teaching ASL M.A.: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K -12)

    Total of 42 credits

    2-3 courses (6-9 credits) each semester

    Course of Study

    Please note that classes must be taken in sequence unless otherwise advised by your advisor. 

    Courses marked with ** are only required for those taking the Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12) program.  Click here to see details about Summer 2020 Logistics

    Summer 1

    Online Orientation – 3 weeks in May-early June

    TASL 501 First and Second Language Acquisition in ASL (3)

    TASL 505 Teaching Deaf Community, Culture, and ASL Literature (3)

    EDFE 125 Application for Graduate Licensure Admission to PTEP (0) **

    EDF 500 Conceptions of Schooling (3) **

    Fall 1

    TASL 502 ASL Teaching Methods (3)

    TASL 503 ASL Assessment and Testing (3)

    PSY 500 Educational Psychology for Teachers (3) **

    Spring 1

    SRM 600 Introduction to Graduate Research (3)

    TASL 593 Practicum for ASL Teaching I (3)

    EDRD 523 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas (3) **

    Summer 2

    TASL 504 ASL Curriculum Development and Design (3)

    TASL 506 Contemporary Professional Issues in Teaching ASL (3)

    EDSE 509 Strategies for Students with Exceptionalities (3) **

    Fall 2

    TASL 507 ASL Research Methods (3)

    TASL 594 Practicum for ASL Teaching II (3)

  • What does a three semester academic year look like?

    All academic plans within the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies consist of three semesters (summer, spring, and fall).

    As a TASL student, your courses are fully online in the fall and spring semesters. You will participate in structured courses using an online learning management system with assignments and due dates. The time of day you do coursework is up to you as long as your work and your interactions with peers and staff are completed on time.

    Summer's accelerated hybrid approach consists of two weeks online approximately (June) plus a residential summer session in Greeley, Colorado typically (July), and an additional two weeks online to finish up course projects. You will take 6-9 credits, establishing a foundation in knowledge and skills that you will build upon in fall and spring. While on campus during the summer semester, you will be in face-to-face classes from approximately 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays with daily and weekend assignments.

    During the summer session, the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies brings together the Teaching ASL graduate program and the ASL-English Interpretation undergraduate program to create a learning community of Deaf and hearing students.

    Prior to your summer courses, you will receive information and resources to help you plan for the summer residential session. Most out-of-state students stay in one of UNC's residence halls (approximately $1,300 for the month) and purchase a meal plan through dining services.

    Summer semesters are required of all TASL students as summer courses are the foundation to the following fall and spring courses.

  • What are the program requirements?

    For students who qualify for entry into the TASL Program, here is a list of requirements for earning the degree or the degree with licensure:

    Teaching ASL M.A.

    Teaching ASL M.A.: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12)

    30 credits

    42 credits

     2 courses (6 credits) each semester

    2-3 courses (6-9 credits) each semester

     Grades of 85% or higher in all classes

     Grades of 85% or higher in all classes

     Two teaching practica experiences

    Two teaching practica experiences



    Master's project

    Master's project
  • What's required in the two practica experiences?
    Practicum I 

    TASL 593 - "Students will have observational learning experiences with other ASL teachers in ASL as first language or second language instruction in various education settings."

    • Teaching ASL M.A.: 300 hours
    • Teaching ASL M.A.: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12): 400 hours (200 must be in K-12 settings)
    Practicum II

    TASL 594 "Students will have in-depth teaching and learning experiences in teaching ASL as a first language or second language in an educational setting."

    • Teaching ASL M.A.: 300 hours
    • Teaching ASL M.A.: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12): 400 hours (300+ must be in K-12 settings)

    Please note:

    •  The TASL program will support and assist students in identifying a potential practicum site, but ultimately students are responsible for locating and securing the location for their practicum. Travel may be necessary to complete the required hours. 
    • The Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies does not offer student teaching in online UNC courses and cannot guarantee students teaching at the Greeley campus, but requests will be considered.
    • Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) cannot use their GTA hours for the practicum.
  • What are the grade requirements?

    The following grading scale is used to assign grades for students taking the TASL course for GRADUATE level credit:

    A= 93-100 superior achievement of objectives

    B= 85-92  average achievement of objectives

    (Reminder: you must maintain at least a “B” per class to meet degree requirements)

    Below 85% is considered not passing.

  • How do I apply?

    STEP 1: Apply to the UNC Graduate School and follow all steps for the application fee and submission of official copies of your transcripts (GRE scores are NOT required for this program).
    On the application, for Academic Program of Interest choose the appropriate option below based on the program you need:

    Teaching American Sign Language-MA
    Teaching American Sign Language-MA: Licensure: World Languages (Grades K-12)

    STEP 2: Follow all graduate school application steps for the application fee and submission of official copies of your transcripts (GRE scores are not required for this program).

    STEP 3: You will then click on "Submit Supplemental Items" (or log back in later and choose "Bear App Profile") to submit the following in the online application system once you have completed your graduate school application:

    • Two academic or professional letters of recommendation from supervisors/teachers who can attest to your academic potential and abilities - the system will help you initiate requests to be sent to these individuals.
    • 1-2 page statement of educational goals and philosophy.

    STEP 4: All applicants will be required to demonstrate ASL proficiency prior to acceptance to the TASL program. There is fee involved with the ASL screening and information will be sent to you as you move forward with entry steps. 

    STEP 5: To comply with practicum agency/school requirements, students may be required to submit evidence that a criminal background check has been completed prior to practicum/field-based experiences. 

  • What technology is required?

    Technology is part of TASL's learning environment both when students are online during fall and spring, and when students attend the summer residential session on UNC campus. You will use technology in all of your TASL courses.

    You will need:

    -A reliable computer with a webcam (Mac or PC are okay – whatever you prefer – if you have a choice, many of our students like Mac better for making videos.  If you can afford it, we recommend a Mac PowerBook.

    -Easy (and preferably fast) access to the Internet (You will definitely need high-speed internet access for summer classes, so please make sure you have high speed.)

    -A comfort level with using your computer that you know what to do and how to get help when things go wrong. (You might want to connect with a friend or colleague if you need computer support in person.)

     There are a few computer skills that are required for success in your course. If you are unfamiliar with how to do any of the tasks below, we recommend that you find someone who can provide you with assistance. You should be able to:

     -Use a word processor to create documents with headings, bullets, and tables (Like Microsoft Word, or Google Docs, etc.)

    -Use "save as" to save this word processor documents in different formats (for example, .rtf format)

    -View PowerPoint presentations

    -Use email, including attaching and downloading files

    -Find information on the internet using an internet search engine (Like Google, Bing, etc. in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari,

    -Download and install software on your computer

    -Read, save, and print Adobe PDF documents

    -Record videos using webcam or another digital camera

    Minimum Computer Equipment and Software
    If your computer is close to these minimums, we strongly recommend you edit and save your work on your computer (rather than live in the course) before submitting it to prevent losing any work. This is good advice for all users for any in-depth activities! The minimums:

    A computer (no more than 5 years old if possible) will be needed for at least some course elements. Tablets work for some tasks, but not all.
    1GB of RAM *
    2 GHz processor
    Network card and reliable internet connection: 512 kbps minimum, but a high-speed connection is necessary for TASL
    Recent version of Flash (used for recording or viewing audio/video and uploading files) and Adobe Reader/Acrobat
    Javascript must be enabled to run Canvas
    Word Processor: Microsoft Word 2003 or newer recommended **
     Required for TASL: webcam (can be built in to laptop)
    * If you have minimal RAM, you may want to avoid having many other programs open at the same time you are using Canvas.

    ** If you are not using Microsoft Word, we recommend saving documents as .rtf files for compatibility.

    When Taking Tests or Engaging in Live Video Sessions

    We strongly recommend that you use a wired internet connection (especially if your course requires proctored exams).
    A desktop or laptop computer will function better than a tablet or hybrid device.

    OS: Windows 7 and newer

    Browser: Firefox 61 and after (extended releases not supported)
    Chrome 68 and after
    Note: Internet Explorer and Edge are not recommended, and Safari for Windows is not supported

     OS: Mac OSX 10.6 and newer

    Browser: Firefox 61 and after (extended releases not supported)
    Chrome 68 and after
    Safari 10 and after
    Note: Internet Explorer and Edge are not supported for Mac
    Note: Linux ChromeOS is also supported.

    ASLEI student interpreting via technology with two other students observing.

  • What's the cost of tuition?

    Tuition rates for online courses can be located on the Extended Campus website.

  • Are there Graduate Teaching Assistant opportunities available?

     The Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies hires two Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) each year to work on the Greeley campus. GTAs are paid and receive tuition waivers for up to 10 credits per academic year. 

  • What's the language of instruction?

    The TASL program is bilingual, with course content being delivered in various modalities (written English, ASL, and PSE) by highly qualified Deaf and hearing instructors through different forms of media.

    Proficiency in ASL prior to application is required. A fee is associated with the screening.  All applicants will be required to demonstrate ASL proficiency prior to acceptance to the TASL program. Note, ASL skills classes are not incorporated into the degree plan.


  • I am a current TASL student, how do I access my Cohort? 

    Current TASL students can access UNC's TASL Extended Campus webpage for CRN numbers, and additional program related information.

    Cohort 6

    Cohort 7 


Do you have questions?

Request Information
 Pauline Ballentine Programs Manager
ASL video calls, and English-ASL calls (interpreter provided)