American Sign Language Studies (Minor)


Many students have taken American Sign Language (ASL) courses as part of their WES requirements and have wound up falling in love with the beautiful, unique visual language. American Sign Language will connect students with a tight-knit cultural community of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.

Workplaces that have an emphasis on diversity and inclusion will eventually encounter a person who uses ASL. Students can use ASL to apply to their careers in healthcare/medical settings, education, speech language pathology, audiology, social work, law enforcement, psychology and retail/restaurants.  

Students are able to practice using their ASL skills with the WMU ASL Club and events hosted by the local Deaf community.

I cannot stress enough how much of a difference it makes when teachers, social workers, police officers, speech language pathologists, audiologists, nurses, medical assistants, doctors, and physician assistants know conversational ASL.

Tanya Timmerman
Coordinator, ASL program


Note: This curriculum is not an ASL Interpreter Training Program nor do our ASL students provide interpreting services. If you need certified ASL interpreter services, please consider:

Video of ASL Studies Intro

Courses and info

ASL courses at WMU

  • Required courses
    • SIGN 1010 - American Sign Language I - Credits: 3 hours
    • SIGN 1020 - American Sign Language II - Credits: 3 hours
    • SIGN 2010 - American Sign Language III - Credits: 3 hours
    • SIGN 2020 - American Sign Language IV - Credits: 3 hours
    • SIGN 2030 - Deaf Culture and History - Credits: 3 hours
  • Electives
    • SLHS 2000 - Communication Disorders and Sciences - Credits: 3 hours
    • SLHS 2090 - Communication Diversity & Access - Credits: 3 hours
    • BLS 3050 - Introduction to Adults with Disabilities - Credits: 3 hours
    • HSV 4860 - Health Literacy Practices - Credits: 3 hours
    • HSV 4400 - Diversity and Inclusion in Health and Human Services - Credits: 3 hours

The growth of ASL

Today there is more awareness about accessibility and accommodations for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. ASL is the third most used language in America.  

  • More ASL interpreters are provided at community events, social functions, concerts, and plays.  
  • Commercials for major corporations such as Amazon, Facebook, and Google are featuring American Sign Language. 
  • Deaf creators and influencers use ASL and captions in social media platforms for better accessibility. 
  • The Deaf community have their own awareness month (September) and Deaf History month (April). 
  • Movies and TV shows are casting Deaf and Hard of Hearing actors.  
  • CODA, a movie about a Deaf family, just won Academy Awards for: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Check it out.