Signed Language

Plan ahead and be flexible!  While we attempt to offer these popular courses at regular intervals we cannot guarantee that a specific course will be offered. Seating is also limited to 25 students for most courses listed below. A grade of C (2.000 points/credit hour) or better is required in all stated prerequisites to enroll in that course.

ASL Courses | SEE CoursesForeign Language Requirement | Sign Language Interpreter Certification | WSU ASL Club | FAQs

American Sign Language (ASL) Courses

CSD 270 American Sign Language I
Focuses on the use of American Sign Language as used by the American deaf community. Development of basic communication skills leads to basic conversational skills in ASL.

CSD 370 American Sign Language II
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills. Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 270

CSD 470 American Sign Language III
The students will demonstrate expressive and receptive mastery of targeted, context specific commands, questions and statements in ASL, as well as be exposed to ASL as a foreign language. Exposes students to the life and experiences of Deaf people. Prerequisite: CDS 370.

CSD 480 American Sign Language IV
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills.  Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 470.

CSD 518 Deaf Culture
A survey of Deaf Culture that examines the various cultural aspects of the deaf community. It presents the interrelationship of the language and culture along with a study of socialization, norms and values.

CSD 520 ASL: Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal way of communication which forms an integral base for communication in American Sign Language.  This course will emphasize the use and understanding of facial expression gestures, pantomime and body language.  Role play and acting out will be required as part of this class. Prerequisite: CDS 370 (may be concurrent) or instructor consent.

CSD 740C Selected Topics in American Sign Language
Individual or group study in specialized areas of American Sign Language. Repeatable for credit to a maximum of 6 hours. Prerequisite: CSD 270.

Signing Exact English (SEE) Courses

CSD 260 Signing Exact English I
Introduction to the theory and use of SEE as a means of communication with the hearing impaired. Independent outside practice is necessary to facilitate skill.

**Students with previous SEE experience may request to take CSD 260 by examination. Review the PNG Image CSD 260 Credit by Examination Procedure prior to scheduling an appointment with the examiner. Cost: $45.

CSD 360 Signing Exact English II
An advanced class in the theory and use of Signing Exact English (SEE) as a means of communication with the hearing impaired. Emphasizes vocabulary and interpreting skills. Prerequisite: CDS 260

Foreign Language Requirement

All students who are working towards a degree outside of the College of Health Professions must ask their college for permission if they wish to use American Sign Language courses to fulfill the foreign language requirement. Contact your college's advising office for instructions on the exceptions request process. We recommend getting this exception approved prior to enrolling.

The 15-credit hour ASL course sequence for fulfilling the foreign language requirement is: CSD 270, CSD 370, CSD 470, plus two additional ASL courses from the list above. Consult with your adviser when other foreign language coursework is being used for your degree.

Sign Language Interpreter Certification

The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH) is the certifying agency for sign language interpreters in Kansas. All working interpreters, regardless of experience, must be registered with KCDHH and take the Kansas Quality Assurance Screening (KQAS) to be certified.

Prior to taking the KQAS, applicants must pass the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) written test administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). A bachelor's degree (any major) is required in order to take the NIC exam.


The Wichita State University American Sign Language (ASL) Club is a student organization open to all WSU students - others are welcome to attend as well. They encourage professional interest among all students in the study and practice of American Sign Language.

Meeting times
Mondays and Fridays at 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fast Break lounge in Rhatigan Student Center (RSC), area just north of RSC Bookstore

All are welcome - even non-students!
We meet during the regular semester schedule times.

Membership dues: $5 per academic year
Contact: Kathy Stewart, faculty advisor, at kathy.stewart@wichita.edu or 316-978-6972

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the differences between ASL and SEE?

Signing Exact English (SEE) is a sign language system that is based on signs drawn from American Sign Language (ASL) and is expanded with articles, prepositions, pronouns, affixes, tenses, and finger-spelled words to visually represent the English language. SEE is most often used with deaf children in educational settings.

Linguistically complete, ASL has its own structure, idioms, topic-comment syntax, and grammar. Facial features, such as eyebrow motion and lip-mouth movements, are also significant in ASL as they form a crucial part of the grammatical system. ASL incorporates hand shape, position, and movement; body posture and movements; gestures; facial expressions; other visual cues; and makes use of space surrounding the signer to describe places and persons that are not present. Ethnicity, age, and gender affect ASL and regional usage and jargon contribute to its variations.

Why do some parents and educators think SEE should be used to teach English to kids?

Putting a sign to the language that a hearing parent already uses is much faster than learning a whole new language. Parents are primary educators of young children, so the sooner parents learn to sign, the sooner their children can be exposed to language, and less time is lost in those formative years of cognitive development.

With the child who has some useable hearing, sometimes supported with hearing aids, FM systems, cochlear implants, or just someone who has lip reading skills, the use of SEE supports the vocal input and can provide a more complete message.