• Deaf Studies  

    The goal of the Deaf Studies Program is to prepare graduates for paraprofessional positions working with deaf and hard of hearing individuals. The program also prepares students who wish to pursue further study in Bachelor's and Master's programs specializing in interpreting, counseling, special education, or social work. 

  • The Liberal Arts (AA) Deaf Studies Option program course work includes study in American Sign Language, Fingerspelling, Linguistics and Sociology of American Deaf Communities. In addition to learning American Sign Language, students delve into the cultural, behavioral, historical and social perspective of the Deaf community. Graduates can expect to obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to work with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities.

  • In support of the LaGuardia’s mission to educate and graduate its students to become critical thinkers and socially responsible citizens, the College has undertaken a team approach toward advising, designed to support you in your major from orientation through graduation.

    Your advisement team, made up of faculty and professional advisors, will guide you at every step during your college career. They are ready to help you:
    • Explore your major
    • Select introductory and advanced courses
    • Connect you with campus support services
    • Prepare an educational and career plan

    Visit the Advising page to learn more about when to get advised and how to prepare for an advising appointment, and check out the Advising Calendar for information sessions, events and more. 

    Please feel free to reach out to these advisors if you have any questions or need assistance, and visit laguardia.edu/visit for directions to campus.

    Advising Team Staff Members Email Phone Office Location
    Maria Shirling, Advising Services
    mshirling@lagcc.cuny.edu
    718-730-7577
    B 100P
    Shakira Whitley, Advising Services
    swhitley@lagcc.cuny.edu
    718-482-5262
    B 100R


    Advising Team Staff Members Email Phone Office Location
    John Collins, American Sign Languagejocollins@lagcc.cuny.edu 917-382-5422
    Video Phone
    B 234XX 


    Since the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in the early 1990's, there's been a high demand for skilled and trained workers to address the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the fields of education, mental health, public services, and vocational training. Due to the growing need, the variety of positions utilizing the skills acquired in the deaf Studies program is expanding. Deaf Studies graduates can expect to be qualified for a variety of paraprofessional positions: teacher's assistants, case managers, residential counselors, tutors, after-school recreational counselors and job coaches. The Deaf Studies Program can also help Deaf and hard of hearing students who wish to work within their own communities. Any industry or service that requires human interaction can benefit from having individuals that know sign language: government services, health care, hospitality, food service, travel.


    In addition, there is a rapidly growing demand for sign language interpreters who can communicate in a visually oriented language like American Sign Language. The Deaf Studies Program can help students prepare to apply to LaGuardia's Adult and Continuing Education ASL-English Interpreting Program, which has been nationally recognized.

    Explore career possibilities on Career Connect.



    Additional Resources

    • Interpreting
      The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), is a national membership organization that advocates for excellence in the delivery of interpretation and transliteration services between people who use sign language and people who use spoken language. In collaboration with the Deaf community, RID supports its members and encourages the growth of the profession through the establishment of a national standard for qualified sign language interpreters and trans-literators, ongoing professional development and adherence to a code of professional conduct. 
      One of RID’s principal functions is administer nationally recognized certification examinations for sign language interpreters. Individuals obtaining RID certification are recognized as demonstrating a qualified level of linguistic and cultural competency for professional interpreting services.
    • Discover Interpreting 
      Discover Interpreting, run by the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers, is designed to introduce students to the field of sign language interpreting. It provides a variety of resources including career advice, training options and additional interpreting resources. It is an excellent place to begin your journey into interpreting.
    • NAD 
      The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation's premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. 
      The NAD was shaped by Deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American Deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. These beliefs remain true to this day, with American Sign Language as a core value. 
      The NAD works to ensure that the collective interests of the American deaf and hard of hearing community are seen and represented among our nation’s policy makers and opinion leaders at the federal level.

    Deaf Education


    Current Students
    Log in to the CUNY Portal
    to review your Degree Audit to find out what classes to take. 
    Have questions about using Degree Audit? Visit LaGuardia’s Degree Audit page for tutorials and how-to guides.


    Prospective Students

    Review the Deaf Studies Curriculum and the recommended course sequence below.

    First Year, Fall I

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    ELM101 American Sign Language I Program Core 3
    ENG/C101  English Composition
    Required Common Core
    3
      Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning course
    Required Common Core
    3
    World Culture  Recommended courses:  SSA101, ENG250, or ENG266
    Flexible Core: World Cultures 
    3
    LIF101
    First Year Seminar for Liberal Arts
    Program Core 
        Session Credits:
    15
        Total Credits: 
    15


    First Year, Spring I
     

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    ELM102
    American Sign Language II 
    Program Core

    ENG102 Writing through Literature
    Required Common Core 
    3
      Life and Physical Sciences course
    Required Common Core
    3
      Recommended course: SSS100 Flexible Core: Individual & Society
    3
      Recommended course: ELL101 Flexible Core: Scientific World
    3
        Session Credits: 
    15
        Total Credits:  30 


    Second Year, fall I
     

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    ELM103 *
    American Sign Language III
    Program Core
    3
    ENG103
    Preparing and Writing the Research Paper
    Program Core
    3
      Recommended courses: HUC106, HUA101, ENN198 or HUA202
    Flexible Core: Creative Expressions 
    3
      Recommended course: ELL220
    Flexible Core (any category)
    3
    ELM210  Sign Language Linguistics (Offered only Fall I) Program Core
    3
        Session Credits:   15
        Total Credits: 
    45

    *Grade pre-requisite of C+ or better in ELM102


    Second Year, Spring I 

    Course Number Course Name Fulfills Credits
    ELM104 *
    American Sign Language IV 
    Program Core
    3
    SSS190 
    Sociology of American Deaf Communities  (Offered only Spring I)
    Program Core
    3
    ELN101
    Introduction to Bilingualism  
    Flexible Core 
    3
      Recommended course:  SSN183 Flexible Core: U.S.  
    3
    LIB200
    Humanism, Science and Technology Program Core
    3
        Session Credits:   15
        Total Credits: 
    60 
    *Grade pre-requisite of C+ or better in ELM103.


    For information about this program’s retention and graduation rate visit the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment website page.