American Sign Language Classes at CUNY-SPS Off-Campus College

Janna and I are delighted to announce we will be teaching our “Hardcore ASL” style of American Sign Language as a new series of American Sign Language courses offered by CUNY-SPS — the City University of New York’s School of Professional Studies in the Off-Camps College.

Last Fall, we were contacted by CUNY-SPS and asked to help them create a series of American Sign Language classes. CUNY-SPS students have been asking for ASL classes for over 20 years and, we were told, the time was finally ripe to start offering ASL in the Off-Campus College.

We worked with CUNY throughout the Fall to create the courses, and in January 2011, we stepped before the CUNY Governing Council and won approval for American Sign Language I and American Sign Language II — the first two courses in a series of language study.

Our ASL classes at CUNY are unique for several reasons. First, our students are mainly paraprofessionals working in classrooms with disabled children — so what we teach in class at night will be directly applied in a real world classroom the morning — and that is a rare sort of metric dividend that instructors dream about when they plan a lesson of study.

Second, our ASL classes are being accepted by CUNY as a foreign language. That is huge and great news, because not all universities offer ASL, and not every university that offers ASL considers it a language that can meet a “foreign language” requirement. CUNY accepts, understands, and celebrates that ASL is, indeed, a language of its own, and we are thrilled by that sort of rare, forward-thinking, prescience.

Finally, because we are teaching at CUNY-SPS in the Off-Campus College, our classes are open to the public. That means you can pay $950.00USD or so to take a class from us for three credits that will appear on your CUNY transcript. You do not have to be a matriculated CUNY student to take our course for credit! You take ASL with us at CUNY, and then go back to your home school and submit your CUNY transcript for consideration of the ASL credits you earned. Most major universities only provide for-credit courses for matriculated students, but the Off-Campus College is different, and right, and righteous, and if you can get registered, and get into our classes, you can use those earned transcript credits beyond CUNY or inside the CUNY system. The choice is yours. You earned the learning. You decide how best to handle the credits. You can also pay to take our courses just because you want to learn ASL and you don’t need official transcript credits.

In the Summer of 2011, we are offering American Sign Language I on Tuesdays or on Thursdays for 10 weeks. The courses start in June. You only pick one day to attend. Each weekly session is four hours.

Then, in July 2011, you can take our compressed American Sign Language II course that meets three times a week for three weeks. Each class session is four hours.

In a single Summer, you can take two “semester long” ASL courses with us and you will be well on your way to mastering American Sign Language.

In future Fall and Spring and Summer semesters we will also offer ASL I and II at CUNY-SPS. You could take ASL I this Summer and then ASL II in the Fall and so on…

We are starting our CUNY-SPS American Sign Language courses with Levels I and II, and our ultimate goal is to offer ASL III and ASL IV at CUNY-SPS to round out a full “foreign language requirement” with a complete set of ASL I, II, III and IV courses. We anticipate our early success in teaching ASL I and II will provide enough momentum to move the pendulum into getting American Sign Language III and IV approved by the university.

If you have any questions about our ASL courses at CUNY-SPS, feel free to leave a comment here, or use our private email Contact page to get in touch, or visit our Hardcore ASL website for updated course details as the semesters grow and fade.

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