The ASL program at Oxnard College offers two pathways for students interested in learning ASL:
The A.A. in Deaf Studies degree is designed for students interested in pursuing a field working with the Deaf. Many career opportunities have sprung from legislative directives at the federal, state, and local level mandating accessibility for Deaf people in both public and private spaces. As such, there is a significant need for trained service professionals working in a variety of capacities. One example is in the interpreting and translating profession which, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, is growing at a faster than average rate for most professions. Locally, there is a high demand for qualified ASL-English interpreters that is reflective of the shortage seen in areas nationwide. There is also a need for teachers for the deaf, sign language instructors, community service advocates, and counselors, to name a few. The A.A. in Deaf Studies will prepare students to apply to Bachelor’s programs at the university level which require proficiency in ASL and cultural competency.
*It should be noted that this degree alone is not adequate qualification to interpret or to work within most ASL-related professions. At minimum, a Bachelor’s degree is required to interpret, teach or work professionally with deaf children or adults in most fields.
The Certificate of Achievement is available to any student interested in learning ASL as a means for interacting with Deaf people in their families or community. An excellent reason to learn! Fluency in ASL is also a sought-after skill for companies that place a high value on knowing more than one language. Students who successfully complete five courses in ASL/Deaf Studies are eligible for the certificate, which may be attained while simultaneously pursuing another degree.
Courses in our program are designed to equip students with the linguistic proficiency and cultural competency to engage with Deaf people and to instill a greater understanding of and appreciation for the Deaf community and their contributions to society. Our curriculum provides an exploration into the culture and history of the Deaf community, as well as the complex phonocentric and audist systems which marginalize and oppress deaf people in public spaces. Issues are examined through an intersectional lens that considers how race, gender, ethnicity, orientation, ability, and social class simultaneously impact the unique experiences of Deaf people. Courses prepare students to effectively work with and engage Deaf people in ways that both support and empower the community.
Oxnard College also has a very active American Sign Language Club which students can join to further engage with the language and expand their educational experience outside of the classroom. Students elected to serve as officers of the club gain valuable leadership skills, attending Inter-Organizational Council meetings and organizing a variety of events throughout the year. Club social events bring all levels of signers together to connect, and campus-wide informational events such as panel discussions, film screenings, and presentations raise awareness of ASL and Deaf culture.
NOTE: The UC limits enrollment in some courses. See the UC Transfer Course Agreement page for details.
Students with little or no prior knowledge of American Sign Language will be introduced to the natural language and culture of the American Deaf Community. This course provides basic vocabulary and preparation for visual/gestural communication. Emphasis will be on comprehension skills and the fundamentals of ASL grammatical structures.
This second-semester level course in ASL builds on the language skills previously acquired with a focus on ASL grammar structures, non-manual features, time concepts, numbers, classifiers, narrative skills and more in-depth conversational functions. Additional instruction on Deaf culture, community and behavioral norms will be presented.
This course will continue the study of American Sign Language with expanded instruction in ASL grammar, vocabulary development, conversational skills, storytelling, and other ASL literary forms. Deafness, Deaf culture, and audism, as well as significant contributions of historical and modern-day figures within the Deaf community, will be further explored.
This course will build on previously acquired ASL communication skills and include study of more complex ASL grammatical features, vocabulary building in context, classifiers, narrative comprehension and development, and analysis and recitation of ASL literature. Class discussions will center on issues of current and historical significance to the Deaf community. Students will also apply the practical skills they've acquired throughout the program to act in support to the Deaf community in the form of a group capstone project.
This interdisciplinary course introduces a range of issues that are developed within Deaf Studies: ASL linguistics, Deaf education, sociology of Deaf culture, intersectionality and ASL interpreting. This class is conducted in ASL, therefore a minimum level of language proficiency is required.