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CSUS Summer ASL Immersion: Frequently Asked Questions


Question:  Does this program provide college credit?

Answer:  Yes.  Each course carries actual college credit from a regionally accredited university.  It is hosted by the
College of Continuing Education at California State University Sacramento.  The official course numbers are "EDS 51 (ASL 1)," "EDS 52 (ASL 2)," and "EDS 53 (ASL 3)."


Question: Where can I find this course listed in the CSUS course schedule? 

Answer:  You can find the listing by googling "CSUS CCE ASL" (without the quotes) then in the results listing find the link to the CSUS College of Continuing Education's website. 
The general website is at: http://www.cce.csus.edu/ 

When you go to their website if you see a message that states: "This course is not currently offered. Please check back soon or call 916-278-4433 for information on future offerings."  That doesn't actually mean the course isn't offered, it just means it hasn't been posted to the schedule yet. Just call the College of Continuing Education (916) 278-4433 or (916) 278-6984) and let them know that you want to take "EDS 51 (ASL 1)," "EDS 52 (ASL 2)," and "EDS 53 (ASL 3)" through the College of Continuing Education in the Summer.  Ask them for registration information, tuition information, and payment information.  You can also visit this page: http://www.cce.csus.edu/general_info/Academicregister.htm for more tuition information.

Question: Who teaches this course?

Answer:  While individual teachers may vary you can be assured that the instructor(s) will be a qualified.  For many years now the summer immersion course has been taught and/or
directly supervised by Dr. Bill Vicars.  He holds an accredited doctorate in Deaf Studies from Lamar University in Texas and has over 20 years experience teaching ASL.


Question: How much does each course cost?

Answer:  It is best to
call 916-278-4433 or (916) 278-6984 to find out the most recent pricing information. Call them regarding ANY tuition or registration related questions.  Also, the most recent contact information for the CCE program coordinator over this program was:  cceeducationprograms@csus.edu or call (916) 278-4813. But since you asked, the last I checked, the course was around $370 per unit hour.  Check with the college for any changes to that amount.  Plus there will be a book required. It is around $60.

Question: Can I participate a non-credit version of this same course at a lower cost?

Answer:  No. Make no mistake -- this is a college class, period. It just happens to be offered in an immersion format.


Question: How does the course work?  What about the curriculum?

Answer:  The instructor for several years now has used an online curriculum (Lifeprint.com) for ASL 1 and 2, and the Vista Signing Naturally curriculum (chapters 13 through 17) for ASL 3, as well as the Blackboard Course Management system.  In addition to the classroom sessions you will study certain lessons online and take quizzes online.  About a week prior to the first in-person session you will be granted access to the online quizzes so you can pre-study and begin submitting your quizzes ahead of time. 

Question: Before registering, can I contact the instructor and ask questions or get a copy of the syllabus ahead of time?

Answer: Yes you can contact the instructor. Please keep in mind that it is very important to identify who you are and what exact program or course you are interested in or referring to.  For example, use a subject line such as:  "Mary Smith, CSUS CCE Summer of Sign." 
By stating "CSUS CCE" you will let the instructor to know that you are talking about the CSUS college course.  For contact information see:  Contact Info for Dr. Vicars  Note: the exact syllabus will not be finalized until the end of May, but in general the course will cover lessons 1 through 30 of Lifeprint.com and chapters 13 to 17 of the Signing Naturally Curriculum.


How do I apply?

You can apply directly through the CSUS College of Continuing Education (this is a streamlined process compared to applying to the main CSUS university). The credits though show up the exact same on your transcript and are "accredited" / recognized in the CSU system as full units of actual college credit. To register, call: (916) 278-6984

Is the instructor Deaf?

Dr. Vicars is "Deaf/hard of hearing."  Meaning?  He considers himself to be Deaf and is proud of his "Deafhood" yet realizes that he is physically "hard of hearing" (from birth) and thus "bi-cultural." He prefers to live and work the Deaf Community where visual communication is the norm. His wife, Belinda, is Deaf.

Question: Is there an age requirement? Can people under 18 participate? Can high school students participate?

Answer:  Title 5 regulations require participants to at least be in High School.  If a potential student has completed two semesters or more of ASL (or has an equivalent knowledge of ASL) and can obtain permission from his or her guardian and high school principal that student may register for the immersion program. Students will need a few signatures on a form that can be obtained from the CSUS Admissions Office. I recommend you contact the CCE program coordinator who can walk you through the registration and tuition payment process. (See the "contact" link at the top of the page.) Such students enroll through Open University and pay the regular fees.
For details on "open university" see: http://www.cce.csus.edu/Open_University.htm

Question: Can you place me on a contact list for interested students?

Answer:  Students can be placed on an “interested student” list and will receive emails containing more information as it becomes available. To be placed on the interested student list, contact the CCE program coordinator: cceeducationprograms@csus.edu or call (916) 278-4813.

Question: Is financial aid available?

Answer: The College of Continuing Education is self-supported and unable to offer direct financial aid. Participants are recommended to inquire about the TERI Continuing Education Loan Program now available through the Sacramento State Financial Aid Department. Please call (916) 278-6554 for more information. For additional information on financial assistance, visit these web sites:
* TERI Continuing Education Loan (www.teri.org)
* Key CareerLoan® (www.key.com)
* Wells Fargo Education Connection (www.wellsfargo.com/student)
* Wachovia Education Finance (www.educaid.com)
* Veteran’s Assistance: If you are eligible for veteran’s educational benefits, please contact Information and Registration Services at (916) 278-4433, for information.
For more information regarding financial aid, please visit: http://www.cce.csus.edu/about/financial_info.htm.

Will I get an "ASL Certificate?"

Upon successful completion of the course all participants will receive documentation of participation in the form of an official transcript indicating California State University credit including a letter grade.  This program doesn't grant you any type of certification.  It is only "level 3." People who have had more than two semesters of ASL might want to consider attending a more advanced course elsewhere.

Who is the contact person for the program?
For registration, payment, and site-related topics contact the "CCE Program Coordinator" or visit the California State University Sacramento College of Continuing Education, at Napa Hall, 3000 State University Drive East Sacramento, CA 95819-6103. Call: (916) 278-6984.
For curriculum and instructional topics feel free to contact: Dr. Bill Vicars, Faculty Director, ASL Online and Immersion Programs for CCE.

Is the program Total Immersion?

It is total immersion in the classrooms and while hanging out with the other students at meal times. Keep your voices off when you are around the instructor or other students both when are in class and on breaks. What you do when you are away from class and the other participants is up to you. For example, if you are a mom and need to check in on your kids just go around behind the building and call them on your cell phone.

Are these units transferable to other CSU campuses?

These units are the same as the units offered via the CSUS on-campus course. They are the same classes just in accelerated and/or distance format, therefore they will transfer just as any other CSUS credit. They will appear the same as any other credits on your CSU transcript. CSU is a regionally accredited institution of higher education. So the credits will in general be widely accepted at other regionally accredited institutions.

How likely is it that I will be accepted? I'm currently in my 2nd ASL class at Delta College. Is space really that limited?

"Time is limited" would be a more accurate statement than "space is limited." If students procrastinate signing up and the class gets full you will not be able to take the class. Last year we had right around 25 students.  This year's instructor contract indicates a maximum of 25 students at which point registration will be cut off.  So if 25 people sign up before you -- you are out of luck.

Can I transfer my financial aid from ______ college to pay for the CSUS CCE immersion program?

Please call the Financial Aid Office (916) 278-6554 and have them evaluate your situation and inform you directly as to whether you can or can't transfer your existing financial aid.  Also see: https://webapps1.csus.edu/faid_general/default.asp

My counselor wants to see some official information regarding the course requirements.

For official information contact the College of Continuing Education at CSUS. 
You might want to just google "CSUS CCE ASL" or call the CCE Coordinator and have her (or him if it changes) call your counselor and provide whatever information he needs.

Do these classes qualify for VA (Veterans Assistance)?

Everything that is in the CSUS Catalog is eligible for VA. So, yes, this course qualifies.
Check with your VA counselor for other eligibility criteria. The CSUS Veteran's Office contact for the CCE program (at the time of this writing) is Heather McGowan. Her email is: hmcgowan@csus.edu if she retires or moves on I'm sure you can track down whomever is the new representative via an online search. If your individual counselor needs to see the courses in the catalog, he/she can view them online via the CSUS.edu website. CSUS is an accredited University. The accrediting agency is WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges).

Question: "How can this count as 10 semester credit hours?"

A typical 16 week semester one-credit hour course in the United States requires 15 classroom contact hours plus one hour of testing. That is one hour per week in the classroom plus an hour for the final test.  So a typical semester four-credit hour class requires 60 classroom contact hours.
The CSUS CCE ASL Summer Immersion program consists of 108 hours of residency plus approximately 42 online hours for a total of 150 hours of combined study.

It is important to recognize the huge developmental benefit produced by this combination of online hours and in-person residency. Seat-time isn't really the issue here though. The course is competency based.  If you can't pass the quizzes and exams you will fail the course.  Note: If you are of reasonable intelligence, show up daily, participate with some degree of enthusiasm, and do the online homework -- you will almost certainly pass the courses.

Can I miss a day?

Yes, but doing so would be like missing several weeks of a regular class which would make it challenging to pass the final exam.

I’ve already got a Signing Naturally book covering chapters 13 to 17 from many years ago. Can I use it or has it changed?

Vista did come out with an expanded edition. So the question is if you have the "expanded" edition or not. Since you've taken the class before it might not be that big of a deal to you.

Why are we using the "Level 2 Vista workbook?

We are using the "Signing Naturally Level 2 Student Set." ISBN: 978-1-58121-131-3
See: http://www.dawnsign.com/product_details.php?category_id=62&item_id=10

Or google: Dawn Sign Press Vista Signing Naturally

We are using the level 2 (Chapters 13 through 17) Vista Workbook for our level 3 class.  Why? At some point Vista broke their level 1 book into two parts and thus their titles and books are a bit confusing as they rearrange their curriculum.

Since they are rearranging their curriculum perhaps it is best to refer to the text we are using as "Chapters 13 through 17" of the Vista Signing Naturally curriculum.
Here is the way the textbooks are used at Sac State:
First semester ASL Classes use: Signing Naturally Level 1 Workbook (Chapters 1 through 6)
Second semester ASL Classes use: Signing Naturally Workbook (chapters 7 - 12)
Third semester ASL Class uses: Signing Naturally (the old Level 2 Workbook [Chapters 13 through 17]).  
Fourth semester ASL Class uses: Signing Naturally Level 3 Workbook [Chapter 18 and selected other chapters]

I am inquiring about my high school age son taking your summer intensive class. Last semester he took ASL 1 and is currently taking ASL 2 through the local Community College. They don't offer a summer ASL 3 class. We are hoping he can take it this summer with you through CSUS, College of Continuing Education. I wanted to find out more about the class mid-week requirements. I am just trying to figure out the logistics, since my son can't drive, I'd like to know how often there would be "out of class field experiences" he would need to get to so I can see if my family will be able to make that work.

There will be no out of class field trips. The furthest away we might go would be Denny's which is within walking distance.  There will be a number of online hours required in order to approximate the same exposure a student would receive if taking the class in a more traditional format.