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American Sign Language (ASL) is the predominant language used by the Deaf community in the United States, Canada and much of the rest of the Americas. It is also believed to be the third most widely used language in the United States.

What Will I Learn in JCCC’s ASL/Deaf Studies Program?

At Johnson County Community College, our American Sign Language (ASL) program will teach you how to communicate with the Deaf community and understand non-verbal individuals.

In addition to learning ASL as a foreign language, you can earn an American Sign Language Studies certificate and build a strong foundation at JCCC to pursue additional learning.

In these classes, you’ll learn cultural norms as well as basic grammar and vocabulary. You will gain ASL conversational fluency and a better knowledge of the American Deaf community and culture. The Kansas City metro area is home to a robust Deaf community; you can interact and put your conversational skills to use.

If you are a Deaf student or Heritage Language user, we offer several courses to enhance and formalize the learning of ASL, Deaf culture and literature.

JCCC's Interpreting option

Interested in interpreting? JCCC is now a feeder program to the University of Kansas’s new ASL Interpreting Program at the Edwards Campus. Contact Nigyar Alves by email or at 913-897-8556 to learn more.

Check out our Guidelines for Enrolling in American Sign Language Classes at JCCC (PDF) if you're unsure where to start.

American Sign Language Studies Certificate

You may also choose to earn an American Sign Language Studies Certificate through JCCC. Over the course of 23 credit hours, you will study American Sign Language, become familiar with the Deaf community and culture, and become familiar with ASL linguistics and literature. You will earn an ASL Studies Certificate upon completing the required credit hours.

After completing the ASL Studies Certificate, you will be able to:

  • Communicate using American Sign Language
  • Comprehend skills and linguistic features of ASL
  • Understand linguistic and cultural features
  • Apply structural and grammatical principles of ASL

You can either choose to pursue an ASL certificate by itself or along with another credit program. For example, you may be pursuing an associate degree in Cosmetology, Hospitality, or Healthcare while also taking ASL courses.

Why JCCC’s ASL and Deaf Studies Program?

JCCC is a great place to start your journey to learn more about ASL. We have offered ASL courses since the early 1980s and are known for our strong ASL curriculum. There are many benefits to choosing JCCC’s ASL and Deaf Studies program. The ASL Studies Certificate program is flexible to suit your needs. You can complete the program in two years or stretch it to three or more.

You’ll learn from true experts. All are heritage language learners fully immersed in Deaf culture and active in various Deaf communities and organizations. Our student-run ASL Club cultivates and builds upon the skills you’ll gain; it also connects you to the local Deaf community through events and experiences.

Tools and Resources at JCCC

As an ASL student at JCCC, you’ll get access to many different tools and resources. You can take advantage of the Career Development Center, Academic Counseling, and Financial Aid Office. We also have many different clubs and organizations that you can join to get involved in the JCCC community. 

Join other successful JCCC students Apply now

The ASL Studies certificate is an excellent supplement to any degree. Fluency in ASL is the same as fluency in other second or third languages. Employers from all areas seek candidates with this skill, especially in:

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • First responder careers: police, fire and EMS
  • Therapy: physical, occupational and emotional/mental
  • Recreation and tourism

Also, you can pursue a career as an ASL interpreter. Employment opportunities for interpreters and translators are estimated to see an 18 percent growth between 2016 and 2026. While medical and legal fields rely the most on interpreters, there are also opportunities in many other fields as an ASL interpreter.

Interpreting for Professions Program Outlook


Need help with career decisions? Visit the Career Development Center.

At JCCC, we know that money is an important matter when it comes to pursuing your education. JCCC works hard to make tuition more affordable for you.

Here’s what we offer:

Supplies and textbook costs vary depending on your classes.