Loyola University Chicago

Student Government of Loyola Chicago

American Sign Language Classes

American Sign Language Classes to be Offered at Loyola By: Former Senator, Gabrielle Robinson ('20)

The American Sign Language Initiative came to Student Government’s attention through Loyola It’s Time, a student feedback website run by SGLC, in fall of 2017. The Academic Affairs Committee took this initiative on with great excitement. Not only would bringing American Sign Language courses to Loyola better prepare some students for their career and expand their knowledge, but it also follows the university’s mission of inclusion and diversity.

After some research, the Academic Affairs Committee found that Loyola allowed students to take American Sign Language at other universities during summer sessions and transfer those courses back to Loyola, so long as they met university requirements. Student Government believed it was important that the courses be taught on Loyola’s campus to provide students easy access.

At the request of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Jackie Long, the Academic Affairs Committee began circulating a petition in which students were asked to sign if they would enroll in the course, pending it be offered. After doing public tabling in Damen Student Center and speaking to the American Sign Language Club on campus, the petition had almost forty signatures. Student Government also gathered significant support for this initiative through the SGLC survey sent out to the whole undergraduate student body.

After proving student interest, Academic Affairs began communication with Chair of the Modern Languages Department, Dr. Susana Cavallo, and Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Lester Manzano. The three obstacles we had to work through were as follows: 1) finding and hiring a qualified professor, 2) producing a syllabus that would be approved by the Academic Council and the Board of Undergraduate Studies, 3) working with the Dean’s Office to ensure ASL 101/102 would fulfill the basic language requirement.

Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Susana Cavallo, a syllabus was prepared and approved by the Academic Council in September 2019 and by the Board of Undergraduate Studies in October 2019. Additionally, the Dean’s Office agreed to accept American Sign Language 101/102 courses as credit towards the basic foreign language requirement.

It is with great excitement that we announce, students will be eligible to take ASL 101 starting in spring of 2020. ASL 101 and ASL 102 will be offered in the fall of 2020 with more sections and levels opening in the following semesters based on student enrollment and interest in the courses.

If American Sign Language is a course that interests you, be sure to look for it during registration next week! For any questions, please, contact your Academic Advisor. 

Click here for the full legislation.