American Sign Language Classes in Detroit, Michigan - A Comprehensive Guide

Madonna University, pictured here, has a Department of Sign Language Studies offering bachelor's degrees in four specialty areas.
Madonna University, pictured here, has a Department of Sign Language Studies offering bachelor's degrees in four specialty areas. | Source

ASL options in Detroit, Michigan range from introductory ASL classes to degrees in ASL/English interpreting. If you're looking for ASL classes in Michigan outside of the Detroit area, please see the separate Michigan guide here. If you know of other programs not listed, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

Colleges with ASL and Interpreter Training Programs

Baker College of Auburn Hills, Auburn Hills
Baker College is a private, accredited, not-for-profit college with 13 campuses throughout Michigan. The college offers a Bachelor or Associate degree in Interpreter Training (ASL); the program prepares students to take the state of Michigan interpreter certification exam.

Madonna University, Livonia
Madonna University is a private, Catholic liberal arts university located just outside Detroit. The Department of Sign Language Studies offers Bachelor degrees in four areas of study, including ASL Education, Sign Language Interpreting Studies, Deaf Community Studies, and Sign Language Studies.

Schoolcraft College, Livonia
Starting in Fall 2014, Schoolcraft College will begin offering a Sign Language Studies Dual Degree Program with Madonna University. The program allows students to earn an associate of applied science degree after approximately two years of full-time coursework that includes sign language courses, and then complete a bachelor’s degree from Madonna University seamlessly. Students interested in majoring in Sign Language Studies can being taking ASL classes as freshmen.

Oakland Community College, Bloomfield Hills
Located in Oakland County, this community college offers an Associate degree in Sign Language Interpreting. The program can be completed in 2-3 years. The Sign Language Studies program includes courses in ASL, Deaf culture, and interpreting.

Wayne County Community College offers a certificate program in ASL.
Wayne County Community College offers a certificate program in ASL. | Source

Colleges Offering ASL Certificates or Coursework

Macomb Community College, Warren
Offers four courses in American Sign Language, as well as a specialized fingerspelling class. They also offer American Deaf Culture, a course which "deals with the characteristics of sociological subculture among the hearing impaired (both deaf and hard of hearing) individuals as it relates to cultural aspects of deafness."

Oakland University, Rochester
Department of Communication and Journalism offers 4 semesters of American Sign Language

Wayne County Community College District, Detroit
The American Sign Language Institute offers an “American Sign Language College Certificate” consisting of 2 semesters of ASL and several courses on Deaf culture and ASL linguistics. In the first semester, students take American Sign Language I, Structure of American Sign Language, and Visual Gestural Communication. In the second semester, students take American Sign Language II, Orientation to Deafness, and Introduction to the American Deaf Culture.

Wayne State University, Detroit
The Speech-Language Pathology program offers three courses: Elementary Sign Language, Advanced Sign Language, and a course on practical use of ASL.

Community-Sponsored ASL Classes

The Holley Institute, St. John Providence Health System, Detroit, Providence Park, Madison Heights
The Institute is a non-profit organization that provides services and programs for the Deaf, Deaf/Blind, and hard of hearing. It also offers at least three levels of non-accredited ASL courses to the public. Courses meet for 2 hours per week for 10 weeks and cost about $55.

Sign Language Services of Michigan, Shelby Township
This organization offers interpreting services and sign language classes. For $50, you can take a basic 6-week class in American Sign Language covering basic conversational signs, the alphabet, and numbers. For $40, they also offer a 4-week kids class, a basic sign language class focusing on fun vocabulary, the alphabet and numbers with exciting games and activities.

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