Sign Language Studies

Discover the Diverse Career Opportunities in Teaching, Interpreting, and More

Students practicing signing in a classroom

Program Overview

Are you drawn to the rich language and culture of the American Sign Language (ASL) community? At College of Western Idaho (CWI), the Sign Language Studies program immerses you in ASL, offering an unparalleled opportunity to develop both expressive and receptive skills. This comprehensive Associate of Arts degree program is not just about language proficiency; it is a journey into cultural understanding and connection with the local Deaf community. Whether you aspire to be a teacher, interpreter, or speech-language pathologist, this program lays the foundation for diverse and rewarding career paths.

By completing this program, you will meet the general education requirements of all Idaho public universities, ready to transfer for further studies. Your experience in the program will be enriched through local events, community service, and symposiums, deepening your cultural awareness and empathy. This program is ideal for those who value linguistic diversity and are committed to lifelong learning and personal and professional success in the field of ASL and Deaf studies.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Arts

Time to Complete

2 years

Students practicing signing in a classroom

Learning Opportunities

  • ASL Language Proficiency: Develop advanced expressive and receptive language skills in ASL.
  • Cultural Immersion: Gain deep insights into Deaf culture and community through immersive learning experiences.
  • Critical Thinking & Comparative Analysis: Enhance your understanding of cultural perspectives and engage in meaningful comparisons.
  • Research Skills in ASL: Conduct research using written and signed discourse, improving information literacy.
  • Preparation for Diverse Careers: Equip yourself for careers in teaching, interpreting, speech-language pathology, and more.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Sign Language Studies – Associates of Arts Degree

Sign Language interpreter working with a young student in a classroom

Career Opportunities

  • Postsecondary Teachers


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

    Teach one or more subjects to students at the secondary school level.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Interpreters and Translators

    Interpret oral or sign language, or translate written text from one language into another.


    Annual Openings*


    Hourly Median Wage*


    Annual Median Salary


    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.


Step 1

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
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ASL Club drawing of hands
ASL Club

We are passionate about American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf culture, supporting the Deaf community, events, and more! Come join fellow ASL students at College of Western Idaho at our monthly meetings to make lasting friendships and practice ASL...


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

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