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How do I get started?

Go to www.grossmont.edu and click on Future Students.

Here, you’ll find all the information you need to fill about registering for classes and the fees. Read through the information and fill out the college application.

This is my first time taking any college classes. What am I supposed to do?
This first step is the college application (see previous question).

You may want to make an appointment with the Counseling Center to get help with the general education classes to take. The counselors will assist you in planning your degree, certificate, or transferring to another college for your bachelor’s degree.

They’ll direct you to college orientations, the freshman academy, any assessments, or other programs to help you find the correct pathway.

What classes do I need to take if I want to major in sign language?

Begin with ASL 120: American Sign Language I.

The courses in the major are:

  • ASL 120: American Sign Language I
  • ASL 121: American Sign Language II
  • ASL 130: American Sign Language: Fingerspelling
  • ASL 131: American Sign Language: Fingerspelling II
  • ASL 140: Inside Deaf Culture
  • ASL 220: American Sign Language III
  • ASL 221: American Sign Language IV
  • PSY 120: Introduction to Psychology

If you have further questions about the major, you can always contact the ASL Department Chair Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu.

If I already know sign language, can I skip some of the beginning classes?

In order to skip ASL 120 and enroll in a higher level, you’ll need to contact the Department Chair to waive the prerequisite. Contact Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu.

Take ASL 120 if you:

  • know fingerspelling and know a few signs, or
  • took sign language at another college and have forgotten most of it, or
  • took a beginning class on line or with a Continuing Education Center or through Adult Education, or
  • took sign language over 5 years ago in another area, or
  • learned SEE signs or home signs and, now, you want to learn proper ASL.
You may want to test out of beginning ASL if you:
  • took 2 years of ASL in high school, or
  • have Deaf family members or Deaf friends and feel comfortable in a basic signed conversation, or
  • took several sign language classes at another college and have kept up your skills.
How do I waive prerequisites?

Prerequisites are waived by the Department Chair. Contact Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu.

You may need to have transcripts from other colleges sent to Grossmont College – unless the courses were taken at Cuyamaca College.

You’ll find more information in the “Resources” link on the ASL webpage under “prerequisite clearance information.”

Please note:

  • Prerequisites should be initiated by the student.
  • Prerequisites are not cleared automatically.
  • Prerequisites should be cleared at least 2 weeks prior to registration.
  • Contact the Department Chair with the following information:
    • Name
    • Student ID number
    • The Course you want to take.
    • How you meet the prerequisite for this course.
    • Provide documentation (unofficial transcripts)

Failure to provide this information may cause you to miss out on getting into a course you want.

Can I use American Sign Language for my general education requirements?

 Yes. ASL fulfills general education requirements for both the Associate Degree and CSU/UC systems. Check the college’s catalog or make an appointment with the Counseling Center to see how it satisfies the requirements.

Can I use American Sign Language for my foreign language requirement?

Yes. Most colleges require three semesters of ASL to satisfy this requirement.  Typically, the foreign language requirement is part of the general education courses for the bachelor’s degree.  While most majors require a foreign language, some do not. Check with a counselor to confirm the requirements for your major.

How much does it cost to take classes at Grossmont College?
  • Follow this link for information about Tuition & Fees.
  • Click this link  for information about Financial Aid & Scholarships.
How do I know which ASL classes to take?
Take ASL 120 if:
  • You’re starting at square one – you have no prior experience with ASL or no knowledge of any sign language.
  • You know a little fingerspelling and a few signs.
  • You took ASL I or II at another college several years ago and have forgotten most.
  • You learned other systems of signing such as Signed English, homemade signs, and now want to learn ASL.

Take a more advanced ASL class if:

  • You’ve taken ASL classes recently at the high school level and you wish to continue. You may sign up for the same level as the last level you completed in high school. For example, if you finished ASL II in high school, you may take ASL II here at Grossmont College. Make an appointment with the program chair and ask to test out of ASL 120. Contact Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu .
  • You use ASL often with friends or family members and have picked up some vocabulary and grammar. Make an appointment with the program chair and ask to test out of ASL 120. Contact Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu .
  • You feel you’re too advanced for ASL I but you want some formal instruction. Make an appointment with the program chair and ask to test out of ASL 120. Contact Jamie Shatwell at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu .
  • You’ve had ASL classes in the past with any community college and have maintained your signing skills and feel confident about taking the next level. You need to follow the instruction for prerequisite clearance.  Go to ASL's Prerequisite Clearance Information page, then email request the program chair, Jamie Shatwell, at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu. 
  • You’ve had ASL classes in a different state and the credits have successfully transferred to Grossmont College. You need to follow the instructions for prerequisite clearance.  Go to ASL's Prerequisite Clearance Information page, then email request the program chair, Jamie Shatwell, at jamie.gould@gcccd.edu. 
Who are the ASL instructors?

The instructors at Grossmont College are well qualified and respected within the community. They are involved in the community in many ways. They are interpreters, board members, participants in organizations, have Deaf family members, and socialize with the Deaf community.

Instructors teach their courses by applying second language learning theories and immerse students in sign language. Most courses are taught in sign language without the use of speech. The department has two full-time instructors and several adjunct instructors.

What kinds of degrees or certificates can you earn through the program?

We offer an associate degree and certificate in American Sign Language (ASL), which includes ASL I-IV and a class on Deaf culture; provides a thorough knowledge of ASL; and is designed for students in other majors who might use ASL to communicate as part of their job. 

Do you have an Interpreter Training Program (ITP)?

We don’t offer an Interpreter Training Program. Our courses will help you to transfer to an ITP at a different college or university. You can look at our “Links to Other Colleges' Programs” in our Resources page to see what the requirements are.

I want to be an interpreter. What classes do I take at Grossmont to transfer to Mesa College or Palomar College? 

To begin most Interpreter Training Programs, you must be fluent in ASL before enrolling into the interpreting classes. Therefore, at Grossmont College, complete ASL 120, 121, 130, 131, 220, and 221.

At Mesa College, contact Laura Mathis in the Counseling Center. She can assist you with the necessary coursework and prerequisites needed to enroll and apply into the Interpreting program.

At Palomar College, contact the Counseling Center for guidance to enroll into the Interpreting program.

Can I get a job after completing your program?

Graduating with an AA degree in ASL will prepare you to become proficient in ASL to use in your current job/profession or to use in your personal life. Some examples are parenting a Deaf child, being a deafened adult, or learning another language. An AA degree in ASL is not sufficient to become an interpreter. However, this program will help you transfer to community college or university to join a specialized Interpreter Training Program (ITP).

Where can I volunteer?

 Volunteer opportunities with Deaf Community Services (DCS) and DCS Clubhouse can be found at deafcommunityservices.org/volunteer.