About ASL at FSU

The School of Communication Science and Disorders is excited to announce the expansion of the American Sign Language Program.  We welcome Dr. Casey Guynes to the SCSD Faculty, who will offer additional sections of American Sign Language and Deaf Culture each semester. Fully admitted students in the Communication Science and Disorders (CSD) program will retain priority registration to the ASL courses during the first four weeks of early registration, at which time, they will become open to all students on a first-come, first-served basis.

As such, the application system for ASL has been discontinued.

Please contact Dr. Kristen Guynes with any questions.

Placement into the ASL Sequence Beyond ASL 1140 (“ASL 1”) (Updated March 1, 2022)

Based on national standards, the ASL courses offered by SCSD incorporate components of linguistic knowledge, communicative competency, Deaf culture, and implications for future careers. A placement assessment for ASL is currently being developed with an anticipated release date of August 2022.  Students interested in placement testing to begin ASL at a level other than 1140, or to test out of ASL completely without having completed one of the pre-approved sequences at another institution (listed below), must submit a transcript showing completion of formal ASL coursework to Dr. Kristen Guynes.  To ensure that students are placed in the most appropriate class based on actual skill and knowledge level, placement via syllabi review is no longer being offered.

Non-CSD Major Interest in American Sign Language

Although ASL is widely accepted as a foreign language across FSU, SCSD discourages non-CSD majors from relying on ASL to fulfill their foreign language requirements due to the inconsistency of course availability.  Students who start ASL at FSU or elsewhere are not guaranteed availability to continue the sequence at FSU.  SCSD recognizes that some students have begun ASL elsewhere prior to transferring to FSU, and aims to work with those students to meet their graduation requirements to the best of our ability.  However, we are simply unable to accommodate current FSU students who purposefully begin ASL elsewhere (for example, at another institution over the summer or online) in attempt to be guaranteed admission into the remaining classes at FSU.  Likewise, it is not feasible for the ASL instructor to pre-approve ASL sequences from other universities, nor to evaluate ASL equivalency for non-FSU students (including high school students and other prospective FSU students).  The ASL instructor can only feasibly consider ASL placements for students who have completed ASL coursework prior to beginning FSU, and only after they have been fully accepted into FSU.  Except for dual credit appearing on an official college transcript, high school coursework is not evaluated for placement into the post-secondary ASL courses at FSU.

In attempt to accommodate current FSU students determined to pursue ASL elsewhere, the following advanced-level courses have been pre-approved to meet the requirements to test out of ASL at FSU completely and obtain a foreign language waiver for ASL:

  • Flagler College – SLS 302: American Sign Language IV
  • Florida State College at Jacksonville – ASL 1210: American Sign Language IV
  • Florida Gulf Coast University – ASL 4161 and 4161L: Advanced American Sign Language and Lab
  • Miami Dade College – ASL 2160C: Advanced American Sign Language
  • Santa Fe College – ASL 2220: “American Sign Language IV, Intermediate Level”
  • St. Petersburg College – ASL 1160: Advanced American Sign Language with Lab
  • Troy University – ASL 2241: American Sign Language III
  • University of Central Florida (UCF) – ASL 4161: American Sign Language III
  • University of North Florida (UNF) – ASL 3226: Advanced ASL Proficiency
  • University of South Florida (USF) – ASL 4161C: Advanced American Sign Language
  • Valencia College – ASL 2160: American Sign Language III

It is essential to emphasize that our acceptance of the aforementioned courses to fulfill the foreign language requirement does not necessarily indicate that the content covered nor coursework expectations are identical to those at FSU.  Rather, the assumption of rudimentary equivalence has been made based on the information available at the time this policy was developed, including course descriptions, sample syllabi, and the associated institution’s determination for level required to meet their language proficiency requirements.  As such, completing a portion of the coursework leading up to the pre-approved advanced level courses will not result in a placement into FSU’s ASL courses.  SCSD reserves the right to adjust such equivalencies, with notice, based on future reviews.

Testing Out of ASL and Obtaining a Skills-Based Foreign Language Waiver

Students who have extensive experience using ASL may wish to opt out of the classes altogether by obtaining a foreign language waiver.  The School of Communication Science and Disorders (SCSD) is the only location on campus from which a waiver in ASL can be obtained.  The ASL instructor does not provide skills-based testing in any circumstances.  To ensure consistency in issuing such waivers, an externally validated and administered assessment system is used, the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI).  This assessment is not administered on campus.  Students must register and pay to take the assessment at one of the national testing locations or remotely via videophone.

To obtain a foreign language waiver for ASL, a student must demonstrate fluency at an “Intermediate Plus” level as determined by the SLPI.  This level indicates conversational skills in many contexts, as would be expected upon completion of the Advanced American Sign Language course.  It is important to understand the challenges of obtaining this score without extensive ASL instruction or native language use.  If this is an option you are interested in pursuing, complete the following steps: