Sign language course now offered for CSU/UC credit

Sign language course now offered for CSU/UC credit

Jun-Sik Kim

Why do you study foreign languages? To study different cultures, to get a job, to fulfill graduation requirement or transfer to other colleges.

Whatever your reason is, American Sign Language (ASL) will satisfy you completely.

Duane Rumsey, Interpreter Coordinator and ASL Instructor for Cerritos College rewrote curriculum for the courses last year and ASL courses have been approved here on campus as Humanities/Foreign Language general education credit.

Now we have three ASL classes: Beginning (SL 101), Intermediate (SL 102), and Advanced (SL 102) as new three-unit courses.

In the past, students were able to take American Sign Language as a two-unit elective.

“I was just interested in Sign Language, but I needed some foreign language requirement. So that was like a double bonus,” said Renee Elliott who is majoring in Sl Interpreting.

The units from the SL 101 class have been accepted for CSU transfer ability as well as UC’s foreign language transfer credit. SL 102 also has been approved for Humanity credit and Rumsey is waiting to hear back about the CSU and UC.

He anticipates approval for general transfer credit for SL 201 class for fall 2002.

“I think it’s wonderful. It gives students the opportunity to learn ASL,” said Richard Morales, History and Counseling major, who is helping tutor students learning ASL.

“They can communicate better with deaf people and learn more about the deaf community which gets bigger every year.”

Several certificate programs such as Court Reporting, Child Development, and the Speech Language Pathology Assistant Program require SL 101 and SL 102 for their Certificate and Associates Degree.

People in each field tend to work with the deaf and hard of hearing community, and ASL classes will increase their ability to communicate.

ASL also offers students a number of job opportunities. Although many people learn sign language as a hobby or to communicate with deaf family members, there are lots of jobs available for people who know it.

They can work in the school district, a deaf agency, law firm and hospital helping the deaf and hard of hearing. Sign Language Interpreter is one of big money makers you can make $40 an hour.

“There is a big shortage of people to work with the deaf and hard of hearing,” Rumsey said. ” The three classes will get you started in the right direction for that.”

“It’s not just learning a language. You can get a better appreciation for how a member of the deaf community has to overcome hurdles in the hearing society,” said Harry Wind who is a student in SL 101 class.

For more information about the ASL courses, please call Duane Rumsey at 562-860-2451, ext. 2352.