Online option for ASL and Deaf Studies program now available

Starting this January, Lakeland College will pilot an online version of its American Sign Language and Deaf Culture Studies (SLDS) certificate program.

Students in the SLDS part-time program will develop skills in conversational level ASL and gain a better understanding of Deaf culture and the Deaf community.

ASL 101, the first course in the program, will be offered Jan. 5 to Feb. 25 followed by ASL 102 from March 4 until April 27. Students participate in online classes Monday and Wednesday evenings and online labs Saturdays as scheduled.

More courses will be offered starting in May, June, September and November.

“During the past few years numerous people have asked us about online options because they were unable to relocate to Edmonton where we offer the program at the Alberta School for the Deaf,” says Joanne McDonald, chair of human services programs at Lakeland College.

Wanting to help more students access courses regardless of where they live, McDonald and instructors and staff in the signed language programs at Lakeland developed a pilot project to test the viability of offering the SLDS program online.

Students are required to complete 10 courses to earn an SLDS certificate. Each course costs $651.

There are many reasons why a person would take the SLDS program, explains McDonald. “Some people want to learn a new language while others, such as educational assistants and health care workers, learn ASL for career purposes. For people who want to be professional interpreters, the SLDS program may set the foundation to continue studies in Lakeland’s Sign Language Interpretation diploma program.”

If students take the online courses back-to-back, they could complete the SLDS program by the summer of 2016. Graduates of the certificate program could then apply to Lakeland to continue their studies in the Sign Language Interpretation diploma program. The next start date for that program is September 2016.

For information about the online version of the SLDS program, phone 1 800 661 6490, ext. 8789 or visit our website.

Nov. 13, 2014

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