Contact Information

Contact Information
Liberal Arts
Anne Fleischmann
Associate Deans
Patrick Marasso, Lynn Medeiros
Division Office
W 107, Rocklin Campus


The Deaf Studies curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills of American Sign Language (ASL). It also focuses on the uniqueness of ASL as a language, of the Deaf culture, the history of the Deaf Community, of Deaf educational practices and the Interpreting profession. The curriculum is designed to assist students in determining which area of Deaf Studies to enter or to aide them in the area they are currently pursuing.


Deaf Studies—American Sign Language

AA Degree and/or Certificate of Achievement

The Deaf Studies program offers courses leading to a certificate as well as an Associate of Arts degree. The Deaf StudiesAmerican Sign Language degree program is designed to prepare students to transfer to a four-year baccalaureate program as a Deaf Studies major. The degree and certificate program helps develop Sign Language skills fluent enough to communicate as skilled signers for personal or work-related use. In all cases, students should consult with a counselor for more information on university admission and transfer requirements. For the degree, students must fulfill the following major requirements with grades of “C” or better, complete a minimum of 60 degree-applicable semester units (12 of which must be completed at Sierra College) with a grade point average of at least 2.0 and complete one of the following three general education patterns:

A certificate is designed to provide career technical skills; it is not equivalent to an associate degree.

Required Courses
DFST 0001American Sign Language I4
DFST 0002American Sign Language II4
DFST 0003American Sign Language III4
Select 7 units from the following:7
American Sign Language IV
Introduction to Deaf Studies
Independent Study 1
Internship in Deaf Studies 1
Total Units19
Recommended Electives
ANTH 0002Cultural Anthropology3
BIOL 0055General Human Anatomy and Physiology4
COMM 0003Small Group Communication3
COMM 0007Intercultural Communication3
COMM 0010Communication Theory, Methods, and Practice3
HDEV 0001Human Development Through the Lifespan3
HDEV 0004Child, Family, and Community3
HED 0002Health Education3
PSYC 0100General Principles of Psychology3
PSYC 0103Social Psychology3
PSYC 0104Developmental Psychology3
SOC 0001Introduction to Sociology3
THEA 0010AActing I3
THEA 0013Introduction to Theatre3


Understanding course descriptions

DFST 0001. American Sign Language I

Units: 4
Hours: 72 lecture
Introduction to the fundamental principles of American Sign Language (ASL). Preparation for visual/gestural communication including basic information relating to Deaf culture, intensive work on comprehension skills and grammatical structures. (CSU, UC)

DFST 0002. American Sign Language II

Units: 4
Prerequisite: Completion of DFST 1 with grade of "C" or better
Hours: 72 lecture
Continuation of American Sign Language I (ASL I). Designed for students who wish to enhance their proficiency in ASL usage and stresses continued development of basic conversational skills with emphasis on vocabulary and expressive skills. (CSU, UC)

DFST 0003. American Sign Language III

Units: 4
Prerequisite: Completion of DFST 2 with grade of "C" or better
Hours: 72 lecture
Continuation of American Sign Language II (ASL II). Shifts from comprehension to production of ASL. Further study of vocabulary and grammatical patterns. Continues to develop ASL competencies in numerous conversational settings. Brings ASL fluency to a point of self-generated ASL for the purpose of furthering language use in ASL. (CSU, UC)

DFST 0004. American Sign Language IV

Units: 4
Prerequisite: Completion of DFST 3 with grade of "C" or better
Hours: 72 lecture
Continuation of American Sign Language III. Advanced study of ASL grammar. Further development and refinements of ASL skills and fluency. Intensive work on expressive and receptive skills. Further study of Deaf cultural issues. (CSU, UC)

DFST 0010. Introduction to Deaf Studies

Units: 3
Hours: 54 lecture
Introduces topics central to the Deaf and Deaf community, including audiology, interpreting, education, culture, history, linguistics, sociology, and psychology. Designed to introduce basic information regarding the American Deaf experience in the United States: Deaf Community, Deaf Culture and American Sign Language. (CSU, UC)

DFST 0028. Independent Study

Units: 1-3
Designed for students interested in furthering their knowledge at an independent study level in an area where no specific curriculum offering is currently available. Independent study might include, but is not limited to, research papers, special subject area projects, and research projects. See Independent Study page in catalog. (CSU, UC-with unit limitation)

DFST 0095. Internship in Deaf Studies

Units: 0.5-4
Designed for advanced students to work in an area related to their educational or occupational goal. Provides new on-the-job technical training under the direction of a worksite supervisor, allowing students to expand knowledge and skills in the chosen field. Mandatory orientation session and faculty approval to determine eligibility. One unit of credit is equal to each 60 hours of non-paid work, or each 75 hours of paid work. Students may earn up to a total of 16 units in internship courses (any course numbered 95 and PDEV 94). (CSU-with unit limitation)

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

  • Analyze receptive skills in ASL and draw reasonable inferences from observations.
  • Cultivate an openness to new ideas about Deaf awareness and cultural appreciation by reading and examining new ideas from ASL material.
  • Create a story or dialogue in ASL using correct  grammar and syntax at the appropriate signing level.
  • Select appropriate signs demonstrating expressive skills in ASL by using correct grammar and syntax.
  • Recognize, understand and apply the variations/etiquettes of Deaf Culture norms.