Online Certificate Programs in Sign Language

Penn Foster Career School
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  • Education Prerequisites: None.
  • Professional Prerequisites: None.
  • Average Program Length: 18 months(full time); 36 months (part time).

Most online certificate programs in sign language are designed to introduce students to the language and unique aspects of deaf culture. This may be ideal for parents of hearing-impaired children or for those who are simply interested in learning sign language. While some online certification programs prepare students for the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview, a certificate does not automatically qualify someone to work as an interpreter. Rather, a bachelor’s or associate degree may be required for this type of work.

Completing an Online Certificate Program in Sign Language

Students enrolled in an accredited online sign language certificate program can expect a combination of survey, seminar, and practicum courses. In addition to the basics of sign language, the curriculum is likely to include topics such as visual-gestural communication techniques, fingerspelling, linguistics of American Sign Language, psychology, and deaf culture. Students should anticipate some written and research work, but classes will primarily require a demonstration of signing skills. With this in mind, it is important to have strong communication and problem-solving skills in this area of study.

Online certificates are designed to fit into the busy schedules of working adults and nontraditional students. In fact, students in most programs are able to log in and access assignments, turn in work, and communicate with their peers through discussion boards at any time that is convenient for them. With an online sign language certification program, streaming video and video chat technology are crucial to the learning process. This allows students to receive visual instruction and practice their signing skills, even as distance learners.

What Your Online Certificate in Sign Language Can Do for You

While most sign language certificate programs online are designed for personal enrichment purposes, some individuals may use this as a stepping stone towards further study in the field. Associate and bachelor’s degrees are also available for those interested in becoming interpreters. For most positions in this field, candidates will need at least a bachelor’s degree, though not necessarily in American Sign Language. After completing an appropriate post-baccalaureate training program and meeting all the requirements for certification by the National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, graduates are eligible to seek work in social services, health care, education, and technical services.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for interpreters and translators is expected to increase by 42% over the projection period of 2010 to 2020. This is much faster than the 14% growth expected for jobs overall during this time frame. In 2010, the median annual salary for interpreters and translators was $43,300. The majority of jobs were found with technical and professional service companies, followed by junior colleges and hospitals. Note that these statistics are estimates. Actual starting pay and the availability of jobs can vary based on location, level of professional experience, educational background, and the specific position and employer.

Online Certificate Programs by School

Herzing University
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Herzing University - Herzing's online certificate program offers the flexibility, personalization, and support you need to succeed in today's ever-changing job market. Discover Herzing's hands-on coursework, experienced faculty, and student-first approach which sets them apart from other online universities.

Ultimate Medical Academy
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Ultimate Medical Academy -
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our two campuses in the Tampa Bay area of Florida. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.

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Penn Foster

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Penn Foster Career School - Penn Foster Career School offers over 85 online career diploma and certificate programs that can help students prepare for a career path in some of today’s fastest growing fields. If you are looking for training in allied health, business, education, or the trades, then Penn Foster Career School is a great choice. Penn Foster Career School is regionally accredited by the Commission on Secondary Schools of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission.