The Deaf Studies major is designed to educate students who will be advocates for and with the Deaf community in the United States to promote equality in all aspects of life for all. The curriculum provides a coherent plan of study through courses in American Sign Language, Deaf Culture, linguistics, cultural studies, and practicums involved within the Deaf community. During their final year, Deaf Studies majors will enhance their academic experience through internship, which includes fieldwork related to Deaf Studies, and a capstone designed to meet their individual objectives.
A BA in Deaf Studies can allow students the opportunity to study the disciplines of the social aspects of the Deaf community as well as Deaf individuals and to work in Deaf-related careers such as administration, research, advocacy, or education. The American Sign Language Department at Columbia College Chicago is also in a unique position by partnering with the highly active artistic Deaf community in Chicago and offers courses taught by internationally known faculty in the creative ASL artistic fields.
As a result of successfully completing program requirements, students should be able to:
- understand the cultural foundations of the field of Deaf Studies;
- recognize the American Deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority group;
- possess an in-depth understanding of the history of the Deaf community and American Deaf culture;
- appreciate diversity in the Deaf community, and will be able to apply their insights when working in diverse communities;
- define the characteristics of special populations of Deaf and hard of hearing persons who require unique communication;
- analyze artistic elements of the Deaf community (themes, forms/genres, stylistic choices, cultural perspectives, or use of cultural identity, for example) in order to produce new interpretations of existing Deaf-related art works in historical and contemporary settings;
- demonstrate solid usage of social media to reflect their criticisms toward cultural studies, and how issues related to the Deaf communities fit in with larger issues of race, power, and oppression;
- communicate proficiently in ASL and English;
- demonstrate proficiency of use of and comprehension of advanced vocabulary and grammatical features of ASL;
- demonstrate proficiency of use of and comprehension of advanced vocabulary and grammatical features of English;
- demonstrate the basic knowledge of poetic features within ASL Literature;
- understand the ethical and professional foundations of the fields of Deaf Studies and Interpretation;
- understand the role of an interpreter, and will understand the evolution of that role from a cultural perspective;
- demonstrate knowledge of professional credentialing and laws that pertain to interpreters;
- demonstrate knowledge of ethical business practices and professional interpreting agencies and organizations, as well as Deafness-related organizations;
- exhibit professional behaviors while interacting within the Deaf and interpreting communities; and
- apply the skills, aptitudes, and knowledge developed throughout the entire course of study through critical reflection on outreach in the Deaf community or advanced research.