Minor in Deaf Studies

The Deaf Studies minor is an opportunity for students of ASL to develop further skills with the language and to learn about the culture, history, and literature of Deaf people.

The minor consists of a minimum of 24 credit units. A grade of C or higher is required in all courses taken toward the minor concentration, and only two classes may be used toward a major and minor. No more than two classes may be taken at an external institution and applied to a Wheelock minor.

Learning Outcomes

Applied Language Skills

  • Use and comprehend American Sign Language texts in a variety of topics and settings (video and face-to-face contexts).
  • Engage in social and academic conversations in American Sign Language, both expressively and receptively in a variety of settings (field placement, classroom/professional presentations).

Cultural Awareness and Appreciation

  • Describe how knowledge of the Deaf World (visual learning, visual language, and Deaf art forms) can contribute to a better understanding of the human condition, science, and technology.
  • Identify salient issues regarding oppression, privilege, power arrangements, language bias, and minority status and their implications for Deaf people in past and present contexts.
  • Identify the distinctive viewpoints that are illuminated by the unique modality of American Sign Language, Deaf art forms, and the distinct perspectives of the Deaf world.

Develop Insights into the Nature of Language and Culture

  • Demonstrate understanding of the nature and structure of language through comparisons of ASL and English.
  • Articulate cultural and linguistic parallels of the Deaf world in the wider context of multiculturalism and reframing orientations from a pathological standpoint to a rich sociocultural and linguistic minority.

Participation in the Deaf World

  • Plan, develop, and complete community presentations/events using ASL. Events are designed to reflect a deeper understanding of the Deaf world as one part of the larger multicultural community.
  • Show evidence of becoming lifelong learners by using ASL for personal enjoyment and enrichment.
  • Participate in Deaf-related community events that require the application of expressive and receptive American Sign Language skills.
  • Function as a resource to others to advocate for effective change for the Deaf world as it applies to issues of access, power, privilege, politics, and education.

Core Courses (16 cr)

  • SED DE 381 American Sign Language I (4 cr)
  • SED DE 382 American Sign Language II (4 cr)
  • SED DE 383 American Sign Language III (4 cr)
  • SED DE 384 American Sign Language IV (4 cr)

Elective Courses (8 cr)

  • SED DE 300 Introduction to the Deaf World (4 cr)
  • SED DE 340 Dynamics of Diversity, Oppression, and Social Justice within Deaf Communities (4 cr)
  • SED DE 350 History and Culture of the Deaf (4 cr)
  • SED DE 351 Deaf Literature and Visual Arts (4 cr)
  • SED DE 372 Social Psychology and the Deaf World (4 cr)
  • SED DE 472 Sign Language Structure (4 cr)