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In this introductory American Sign Language course, you will learn basic ASL vocabulary and build conversational skills to communicate with Deaf individuals in your personal and professional life. Explore this vital communication skill that can open doors to a career as an ASL interpreter and help you advocate for the Deaf community.

What you’ll walk away with:

  • Basic signing skills that will empower you to begin communicating in ASL
  • Hours of one-on-one practice with internationally-known Deaf instructors
  • A deep understanding of the cultural and societal norms of the Deaf community

who should take this course?

Foundations of American Sign Language is for beginners who want to learn the basics of ASL. If you are looking for hands-on experience and full immersion into Deaf culture, this course will connect you with tutors and interactive lessons that make learning ASL fun and engaging.

Course pricing and details:

  • 3-Credit Tuition: $897
  • Non-Credit Tuition: $705
  • Fees: $90 Registration Fee
  • Duration: 8 Weeks

Stack to Earn a Professional Certificate

Foundations of American Sign Language can be applied to the following certificate programs:

General Creative Studies Professional Certificate

Course Authors

Course Authors

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Peter Cook Photo

Peter Cook

Peter Cook is an Associate Professor in the Department of ASL-English Interpretation and an internationally known Deaf performing artist. Using American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting and movement, Cook has performed at numerous festivals across the country – the Jonesboro National Storytelling Festival, The Deaf Way II and at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Cook has an MA in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University (2011) and a BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology (1986).

Courses: Foundations of American Sign Language, Intermediate American Sign Language

“I took ASL through Columbia Online and it was an absolutely incredible experience. As someone who was living in Minnesota, the online course provided me access to the great faculty and wealth of information that I would not have been able to access otherwise.”

— Mariam E., Columbia Online Student
K. Crom Saunders Photo

K. Crom Saunders

K. Crom Saunders is an Associate Professor in the ASL Department at Colombia College Chicago where he teaches a number of ASL Linguistics, Deaf Studies and Interpreting courses. Saunders began working at Columbia in the Fall of 2009. He holds an MA degree in Creative Writing from California State University, Sacramento (2002). He earned his BA in English from California State University, Northridge (1996). Saunders is actively developing a body of research based on the representation of Deaf people in the media and how this ties in with the history and current development of ASL and Deaf culture.

Prior to joining the ASL Department at Columbia, Saunders taught a variety of ASL and ASL-English Interpretation courses at the University of Pittsburgh (2007-2009) and at the University of San Francisco (2007). Since joining Columbia College Chicago, he has helped to further develop the curriculum in the ASL Department and ASL-English Interpretation BA Program so students have a stronger foundation for not only their capstone courses, but also their careers as interpreters. Saunders also co-developed the foundation of the Deaf Studies BA Program and currently is the Director of the Deaf Studies BA Program.

Courses: Foundations of American Sign Language, Intermediate American Sign Language

I took ASL 101 through Columbia Online and it was an absolutely incredible experience. As someone who was living in Minnesota, the online course provided me access to the great faculty and wealth of information that I would not have been able to access otherwise.

— Mariam E., Columbia Online Student

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