Deaf Studies Transfer

Program Goals Statement

Deaf Studies explores the language, culture, history and contemporary issues of Deaf people. Fundamental to our program are both competency in American Sign Language and a desire to work with the Deaf community as allies (or advocate members). As such, all Deaf Studies concentrations share the same ASL and Deaf Studies core courses. This program prepares students, both Deaf and hearing, who are interested in a professional career working with Deaf, hard-of-hearing or late-deafened persons to transfer to a four-year college or university in the field of their choice.

Program Information


• Students unsure of transfer or career paths in Deaf Studies should choose this concentration. 

• Deaf Studies provides a foundation for interpreters, but, is not an interpreter training/education program (ITP/IEP). Students wanting to become professional interpreters should enroll in our Interpreter transfer concentration which will prepare students to transfer on to four year institution. 

• Students who have taken non-credit “sign language classes” in the past, or, are heritage signers (Deaf/signing family) should meet with the program director to discuss Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) opportunities.  

• Students who have taken 2 or more ASL classes in high school, with a B or better, should meet with the program director for placement. 

• Although individual courses may be offered on different campuses in both day/evening formats, Deaf Studies courses are primarily offered on the Fall River campus as day enrollments. Some Deaf Studies courses may be offered completely on-line.  

Standards & Expectations

• Students not earning a C or better in any ASL class, DST 101 or DST 110 Deaf Culture will not be able to complete an AA Deaf Studies program and should speak to the program director about options including retaking courses in the Prep Certificate.  

• Students spend an additional hour per week engaged in language lab activities with every ASL class taken. Students are expected to attend various Deaf events and get involved with their program throughout their studies to apply their language skills and develop them further in real world, practical situations. 

• A CORI may be required for service learning or ASL 285 placements. 

Additional Costs

• As stated above, Deaf Studies majors are required to attend Deaf events each semester. Most are off campus and will require transportation. Some options will have a registration fee or ticket price and costs vary.

• Deaf Studies majors may incur copying costs (after the BCC free allotment given per semester) associated with their Intro. to Deaf Studies course when creating their resource portfolio. 

Career Pathways and Essential Functions

The Deaf Studies program welcomes all interested students to our courses and program but strives to be completely transparent with incoming students about the career pathways and essential functions required (or expected) at transfer institutions or in the workforce. The Deaf Studies Transfer (MassTransfer program)prepares students to transfer as juniors into a baccalaureate programs of their choice  - in any field related or not to Deaf people. Our strong liberal arts foundation prepares students well for the next phase of their education. They become better reader, writers, speakers, learners through our curriculum.

Those graduates who want to continue on and become professional members in the ASL workforce will need to meet language proficiency standards for ASL.  Essential functions include certain cognitive, physical and sensory abilities which are necessary to acquire a second, visual language. These are:

cognitive abilities - ability to process visual language.

physical abilities - ability to accurately express and articulate American Sign Language (which includes fine and gross motor movement of: facial muscles, head, neck, and, both shoulders, arms, wrists, hands and ten fingers)sensory abilities - ability to access and comprehend visual language

If you are unsure about meeting these essential functions of employment, with or without accommodations, please contact the program director for a consult.


• Students requiring developmental coursework should complete this in their first semester. 

• Students should take ASL 101 and DST 101 in their first fall.

• Students who did not follow, or were not offered, a college prep track in high school, may find a 12 credit load or part time credit load is a successful way to adjust to the rigors of this program of study. 

After BCC

• This concentration is part of the MassTransfer program.  BCC participates in the statewide MassTransfer program and has developed many program-to-program transfer articulation agreements which guarantee admission and credit transfer.  For a complete listing of eligible MassTransfer programs and current BCC articulation agreements, visit the Transfer Affairs website at 

Infused Competencies

First Year Experience

Item #

Elective Courses

Total credits:

Course Sequencing

Item #
Mathematics Elective  +
Communication Elective  +
Sub-Total Credits

Students may opt to take General Education courses (History Elective, Math Elective, Science Elective, ENG 102) during the summer between semesters 2 and 3 to lighten course load.

Item #
Science Elective  +
3 - 4
Behavioral/Social Science Elective  +
Sub-Total Credits




Associate Degree


Program Contact

Jennifer Puniello, Interim Dean 

Sandra Lygren
Co-Program Coordinator

Dana Schlang
Co-Program Coordinator