American Sign Language

Broaden Horizons and Engage Communities as You Achieve Fluency in ASL

Learn how to communicate with and advocate for those in the Deaf community by mastering American Sign Language. Further the mission of agencies and organizations you may serve with a foundation in the language, culture, history, and literature of Deaf people.

As a Keuka College ASL student, police departments, public schools, mental health organizations, schools for the Deaf, and other organizations become ASL learning laboratories thanks to our Field Period® and internships. With an ASL degree from Keuka College, you’ll be able to help give any organization an edge when it comes to engaging and resonating with members of the Deaf community.

A student makes the sign for "interpreting."

A Highly-Ranked Program

Keuka College's ASL program continues to earn high national rankings for the number of degrees awarded, as well as the value you receive for the cost of your education.

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Program Overview

ASL Major

Home to the largest population of Deaf people (per capita) in the United States, nearby Rochester offers the perfect environment for students majoring in ASL at Keuka College.

ASL courses are aimed at building ASL comprehension and production skills, enabling graduates to communicate fluently. ASL is a rich and complex language used by members of the Deaf community in the United States and most of Canada. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure, idioms, historical contexts, and cultural nuances. Keuka College’s ASL courses foster an understanding of ASL/Deaf literature, linguistics, culture, and history. These are courses are taken by ASL and ASL-English Interpreting majors alike.

As a student in the ASL program, you have plenty of opportunities for real-world, hands-on experiences, including Field Period® and an internship in your senior year. This real-world practice combined with your classes allows you to gain significant ASL fluency in a short period of time, and become ready for a lifetime of involvement in the Deaf community.

ASL Minor

The ASL minor pairs particularly well with majors and careers that involve working with the general public, such as social work, criminal justice, education, and occupational therapy.

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Flexibility

Find the right course of study to fit your career goals as you learn and gain experience. Even if those goals evolve or change between your freshman and junior years, we’ve got options for you.

Fluency

Our program emphasizes direct instruction in the language and immersion into Deaf culture. You’ll gain significant ASL fluency, including a deep understanding of the differences between communicating in ASL and English, and become ready for a lifetime of Deaf community involvement. 

Real-World Experience

Field Period®, internships, and other experiential learning activities ensure you have the chance to use ASL outside the classroom (adding up to more than 280 hours on Deaf Community Event sites). You’ll graduate from our programs with more than twice the practical experience given in similar programs.

Two of Keuka College’s ASL faculty are Deaf and are among the many seasoned professionals and innovative educators committed to your success. They serve as role models, leaders, practitioners, and advocates dedicated to helping you achieve your educational goals.

Small class sizes and one-on-one attention allow you to flourish. In addition, all of our ASL faculty members are native ASL users, giving you the opportunity to learn ASL first hand.

Dr. Marla Broetz

Assistant Professor of ASL - English Interpreting

Academic Credentials

Capella University
Ed.D. in Educational Leadership & Management
Lewis & Clark College
M.A. in Education
Gallaudet University
B.A. in Social Work

Biography

Dr. Marla Broetz is Assistant Professor of American Sign Language-English Interpreting and American Sign Language. Marla has been teaching interpreting for 25+ years and started in 2015 at Keuka College.

Her teaching philosophy guides students to succeed while inspiring an insatiable passion for learning. Marla teaches students to become bilingual and bicultural interpreters in the American Sign Language-English Interpreting program, consisting of teaching between ASL and English, cross-cultures, cross-communication, community, and interpreting cognition processes. She motivates students to lead and manage their learning experiences through self-reflection and self-directed learning. It helps students pass the threshold of not knowing, reaching their optimum potential, and becoming educated and empowered learners.

Professional Interests

Her professional interest is in teaching and learning practices, and her research interests are second language acquisition, foreign language education, and experiential learning. Marla enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and traveling.

Sharon Kocher

Associate Professor of American Sign Language

Academic Credentials

Rochester Institute of Technology
M.S.
Gallaudet University
B.A.

Biography

Sharon Kocher is currently an Associate professor for the ASL and ASL-English Interpreting Programs at Keuka College; where she teaches language development, Deaf Studies courses, and DeafBlind Translation.

Sharon received her BA in Communication Arts from Gallaudet University and an MS in Secondary Education with a specialization in ASL from National Technical Institute of the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) where her master’s project thesis was entitled “A Professional Development Curriculum for Educators of Deaf Students: Comparative Linguistics”.

As a lifetime educator, Sharon has taught ASL and Deaf Cultural Studies to various kinds of audiences such as: adults, college Deaf and hearing students and Deaf and hearing school children (PreK-12) in community/school programs throughout western New York. She also has been actively involved with professional organizations in the local and national levels. Additionally, for more than 25 years, Sharon has been working as a DeafBlind interpreter.

Sharon’s passions are reading and crafts such as quilting, variety of stitching, woodworking, and painting. She loves being with and spending quality time with her three adult children.

Contact Information

Sharon Kocher

Associate Professor of American Sign Language

[email protected]