Highlands has well qualified ASL instructors despite the fact that it is not a degree-granting program. Carol Litherland, a certified ASL instructor holding professional certification by the American Sign Language Teachers Association, came to Highlands 18 years ago as a graduate student in education. While attending the university, she initiated the ASL instruction program. She has since completed her graduate studies holding an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Bilingual Bicultural Education. Her bachelor’s degree study was in signed language interpreting at the University of New Mexico. She has taught interpreting at Santa Fe Community College and is a nationally certified signed language interpreter holding both the CI and CT from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.
American Sign Language courses at Highlands makes a difference in our students’ lives. For some hard-of-hearing students, it has been a realization of a new identity. For others, it has fulfilled a longing to communicate with members of their community or even family. One student wrote a paper about how he, at age 30, could finally sign with his deaf grandmother and learn her story. Another wrote that his newly acquired signing skills allowed him to learn from a deaf Zuni man who was a dancer, silver smith, and painter in his home community. Others found an aspiration to become interpreters and teachers of the deaf and go on to complete programs at other institutions to fulfill their dreams.
This major is under the College of Arts and Science