Sign Language Studies

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American Sign Language is one of the most commonly used languages in the United States and Canada. Our students take ASL courses for a many reasons: pursuing a career in the field such as teaching or interpreting, supplementing their resumes with language skills, or simply wanting to communicate better with friends and family members. 

Students earning a degree in Sign Language Studies at CWI are immersed in the language and culture of the ASL community. They have the opportunity to develop receptive and expressive skills, along with the cultural awareness needed to participate in the local Deaf community. Students are able to connect with the community through local events, community service, and symposiums.

Through the study of ASL, students prepare themselves to transfer to four-year degree programs in pursuit of a variety of fulfilling careers and life opportunities. These career opportunities include teachers, interpreters, elementary education instructors, speech-language pathologists and many more. Achieving an AA in Sign Language Studies will provide a strong foundation in the basic language skills and cultural knowledge that will allow students to achieve their academic and professional goals.


Our mission is to provide students with a multi-cultural language learning experience that will broaden their perception of the world and their place in it. We believe the study of American Sign Language provides communicative proficiency at the appropriate level and a connection with the American Deaf Community and Deaf Culture, deepens cultural awareness and empathy, and inspires lifelong learning essential to personal and professional success.

Why This Program

The Sign Language Studies program is designed to help students apply language skills and continue developing these skills for personal enrichment. Completion of the program will result in an Associate of Arts degree in Sign Language Studies and fulfills the general education requirements at all Idaho public universities. This program can supplement any degree with second language skills which will help build your resume.

What You Will Learn to Do

  • Develop receptive and expressive language skills at the intermediate level
  • Communicate in a second language in meaningful real world contexts
  • Develop cultural awareness and connect with local Deaf Community


ASL Club drawing of hands

Do you love American Sign Language (ASL)? If so, College of Western Idaho's ASL Club is for you! Come join fellow ASL students at our monthly meetings to make lasting friendships and practice ASL. All levels of signers are welcome! For more...

Respectful Community

College of Western Idaho is committed to maintaining a Respectful Community by providing equal opportunity for all individuals and does not discriminate in services, benefits, or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability status, veteran status, age, or any other legally protected status.  More on Title IX

News and Blogs

Kayla Adams, Administrative Assistant for Arts and Humanities and College of Western Idaho’s Staff of the Month for April 2022

Congratulations to Arts and Humanities Administrative Assistant, Kayla Adams, College of Western Idaho’s Staff of the Month for April 2022.

Edmundo Almanza, 2019 Graduate

“CWI empowered me to believe in myself and in a better future.”

Join the ASL Club!

The ASL Club is looking forward to some fun this semester!

Congratulate June 2018 Faculty of Distinction, Sherry Matthews

Sherry Matthews has been named College of Western Idaho’s Faculty of Distinction for June 2018.

2018 graduate, Erin T.

"Because of CWI, I am successful in achieving my dreams."