About ASL at FSU

Beginning with the 2022-2023 School year, the ASL program will typically offer two sections of each ASL course during the Fall and Spring semesters.  ASL language coursework is typically not offered in the summer semester.  As the School of Communication Science and Disorders continues to host the American Sign Language program at Florida State University, a certain number of seats in each section may be initially held for fully-admitted CSD majors, and released later during the registration timeline.  As such, the application system for ASL courses has been discontinued.

Please contact Dr. Kristen Guynes with any questions.

Placement into the ASL Sequence Beyond ASL 1140 (“ASL 1”) (Updated April 2023)

Based on the national standards of ACTFL and ASLTA, Florida State University’s ASL courses incorporate components of linguistic analysis, communicative competency, and cultural awareness that often extend beyond what are covered in other programs. As such, a placement exam for ASL has been developed to help ensure that transfer students with previous college-level ASL coursework are placed in the most appropriate course.  Students who have completed ASL coursework at another institution must complete the ASL placement exam, which is a proctored exam only offered in person at Diffenbaugh.

Students who start ASL elsewhere are not guaranteed availability to continue the sequence at FSU.  Although we aim to work with students to meet their graduation requirements to the best of our ability, 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.  Except for dual credit appearing on an official college transcript, high school coursework cannot be considered for placement into higher level ASL courses at FSU.  However, students who have had significant high school instruction may attempt to test out of the ASL sequence completely based on communicative competency, by taking the SLPI exam at their expense.

The following advanced-level courses have been pre-approved to meet FSU’s Advanced level requirement 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 the level required to meet their own 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.  We reserve 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 with authentic ASL communication may wish to opt out of the classes altogether by obtaining a foreign language waiver based on communicative competency.  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 instructors cannot 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:

  • Navigate to https://www.rit.edu/ntid/slpi/news/slpi-local-coordinators-us-and-canada to learn more about the exam, and find a list of local SLPI coordinators (at the bottom of the page).
  • Contact the center of your choice directly to make scheduling and payment arrangements.
  • Many of the testing centers will offer the assessment remotely.
  • Note that can take up to nine weeks to receive results.
  • Request that an official copy of the scores be sent directly to Dr. Kristen Guynes at kristen.guynes@fsu.edu.
  • Follow-up within one week of if you have not received confirmation that your scores have been received.