Do I have to know sign language before I enroll?
No. Coursework in American Sign Language is part of the core and major coursework.
Is the program completed online?
Not entirely, no. The entire core curriculum is available online via eCore. Once you get into the electives for the major and junior and senior coursework, however, some of our courses are online, but most of the coursework is completed either face-to-face via distance learning. The primary difference between "online" and "distance learning" is that with the latter, videoconferencing technology allows you to attend classes remotely at the same time as the on-site students. These classes are "synchronous," so if the class is scheduled for T/R 2:00pm, distance students may not have to be on VSU's campus, but they must be in front of a computer with the requisite hardware and software in order to connect to class (see Distance Education Options for technical specifications).
Will I be a certified interpreter when I complete this degree?
That depends on your level of proficiency, but usually not. This program, like almost all undergraduate interpreting programs, prepares you for entry-level work in the field. National Interpreter Certification is usually attained after a few years of experience working as an interpreter.
The state of Georgia requires licensure for interpreters working in K-12 schools. In order to obtain a license, you must have National Interpreter Certification or have a 3.5 or better on the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment. Many of our graduates achieve a 3.5 or higher upon program completion. This, in combination with the earned Bachelor’s Degree would make them eligible for a clear, renewable Georgia Educational Interpreting License.
Does this degree certify me to teach ASL?
No. The role of the interpreter is very different than that of a teacher. Program coursework prepares you for work as an interpreter, but does not teach you how to teach. For more information on Georgia Teacher Certification in ASL, see the Georgia Professional Standards commission website for pathways to ASL Certification.
Can I work full time and take classes?
That depends on the flexibility of your job. Many of our courses are scheduled throughout the day, and participation in field experiences will require visits to schools and other locations in the community during regular business hours. Many students are able to balance part-time work with full-time enrollment, or work full-time and pursue their degree on a part-time basis. Check our program of study, and then take a look at the schedule of classes to get an idea of when classes meet.
I don’t want to earn a degree; can I just take ASL Classes?
Our courses are offered to degree-seeking students enrolled at Valdosta State University. Contact Continuing Education for more information on community ASL course offerings.
I’m happy with my major, but want to take ASL courses—can I?
Yes! When seats are available, non-major students are permitted to enroll in ASL courses. We also offer a minor in Deaf Studies which includes the four ASL courses.
What is the minimum GPA required for program entry?
Effective Fall 2017, students must have a 2.75 cumulative GPA in order to be admitted to the program.
I’m a transfer student, and I’d like to know what courses I’ll need to take to complete the program. What do I do?
Your first step is to apply for admission to VSU. Your transcript will be evaluated and an advisor will contact you letting you know for which courses you received credit and which remaining courses you need to complete. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed at Valdosta State University in order for a degree to be awarded.
What are the application requirements?
Complete application information can be found on our Undergraduate Admissions page.
What kinds of technology will I need for the distance learning program?
Please see the Distance Education Options page for the technical specifications and equipment requirements.
Who can I contact for more information?
Christia Williams, Program Coordinator
(229) 249-4957 (v)
(229) 375-5951 (vp)