Are you interested in learning conversational American Sign Language (ASL)? Do you know others who are interested? There are many reasons to learn ASL:

  • Communicate effectively with family and friends who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.
  • Enhance your job skills – learning ASL will give you additional language skills for your current job or may open doors to new employment opportunities.
  • Learn a second language and spur your intellectual growth. (ASL is used internationally as a lingua franca, or bridge language.)


Format: Classroom or Online

Hours: 20  

Credits: 2.0 CEUs

Where: Athens & Gwinnett

When: Various dates

Cost: $225 Each



Conversational American Sign Language Classes

In Level I, you will become familiar with basic fingerspelling, as well as ASL vocabulary and grammar to construct simple sentences. You will also participate in visual and receptive skill-building and learn about the Deaf/Hard of Hearing culture.

In Level 2, you will further your fingerspelling skills and deepen your knowledge of ASL grammar and vocabulary to express more complex ideas and sentences. Additional information on the Deaf/Hard of Hearing culture will be shared.

In Level 3, you will focus on intensive vocabulary building, ASL sentence construction and storytelling for conversations. You will learn the proper way of using classifiers, topicalizing subjects and objects, and basic skills for informative storytelling.

In Level 4, you will develop vocabulary and build confidence in signing sentences and conversing in ASL. You will expand your skills for describing a sequence of activities and expressing ideas, opinions, and preferences.

Conversational American Sign Language Certificate

Earn your Certificate by completing the requirements for Levels 1 – 4.

If no prior American Sign Language course work or experience:

  1. Register for Level 1
  2. Attend at least 8 out of 10 class sessions for each level.
  3. Pass the Expressive Skills assessment (for Levels 3 & 4 only)
  4. Pass the Receptive Skills assessment with a score of 80% or higher for each level.
  5. Present a final project for each level.

If you have prior American Sign Language course work or experience, you may be eligible to fast-track certificate completion. To determine your eligibility:

  1. Register for the Level 2 class.
  2. Take the assessment given on the first day of class.
  3. Meet with your instructor for placement recommendation.
  4. Transfer into recommended level, as needed. Earning the certificate is still achievable with just completing Levels 3 and 4.

The two-part Certificate program was phased out in Fall 2023.

Who Should Attend?

  • Individuals interested in learning basic conversational American Sign Language (ASL) vocabulary, finger-spelling, and ASL grammar

The class is open to students 18 years of age and up. Minors ages 15 to 17 may attend class but must be accompanied by a parent or a guardian who must be present with the student at all times in the classroom if class is face-to-face or in the room if class is online. We highly recommend that parents or guardians take advantage of this learning opportunity by signing up with their students. Please note that a request and agreement form for registration of a minor is required to complete the application. Call (706) 542-3537 for more information.

Course Information

Course Date Info: 

Online Classes

Summer Level 2 – Register now
June 4 - August 13, 2024
No class July 2.
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Summer Level 3 – Register now
June 5 - August 14, 2024
No class July 3.
Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Summer Level 4 – Register now
June 6 - August 15, 2024
No class July 4.
Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Fall Level 1 – Register now
September 12 - November 14, 2024
Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Course format: 

Classroom or Online

Location Info: 

UGA Center for Continuing Education & Hotel
1197 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602
United States
See map: Google Maps

University of Georgia Gwinnett Campus
2530 Sever Rd NW, Lawrenceville, GA 30043
United States
See map: Google Maps 

Course Fee(s): 

$225 – Standard Fee for each level


Lori Fugere is originally from Johnston, RI. She is currently a full time teacher for students who are Deaf/ Hard of Hearing and those who are Visually Impaired for Hall County and has worked in special education for the past 26 years. Her experience with American Sign Language began over 30 years ago at the University of Pittsburgh and continued at Florida State where she graduated with a degree in special education. When she and her parents were living in Tallahassee, FL, a man who worked with her mother was deaf. He invited her to Deaf Club meetings. While going to Florida State, she met some interpreters at church, who asked her if she would be interested in learning to interpret at church. She agreed and has been working for the Catholic Archdiocese both in Georgia and Florida for the past 27 years. Following graduation, she lived in Clearwater, Florida twice and both times her neighbors were deaf. She is passionate about American Sign Language and the Deaf Culture and, in her role as ASL teacher, wants to share her passion and love for this wonderful and unique language.

Jeff Graham has been involved in ASL since 1985. He studied ASL at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and then continued with their interpreter training program as well. He was a working interpreter in the Boston area for many years. In Georgia he has worked for GACHI: the Georgia Council for the Hearing Impaired as their main educator, working with deaf adults teaching and tutoring literacy, GED, and general college courses, etc. Under the pen name J. Lee Graham, Jeff has written five novels.

Carletta Tucker was born and raised in Atlanta. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Georgia, as well as a bachelor’s degree in French Literature from Georgia State University. In 2005, she was introduced to American Sign Language through a formal program, with continuing education courses through the years. She began interpreting for elementary and middle school students in 2012, and recently began doing so online as well. Over the years, she has had the privilege of helping Deaf people of various ages and cultures learn their language.

McKenzie “Lynn” Gossett graduated with a B.S. degree from Gallaudet University in Washington DC. She is Deaf and is married to John who is also Deaf. Together, they have 2 grown sons. The oldest one graduated from UGA and now attends UT in Austin, Tx. for law school and their youngest has just started his third year at GCSU in Milledgeville. Lynn's favorite hobby is playing pickleball. She has been a substitute teacher in Forsyth County for approximately 19 years. Lynn instructed for Summer Academy at UGA and loved it. She is looking forward to teaching adults in the American Sign Language Program and being a part of UGA. Go Dawgs!

Theresa Dearman is a licensed sign language interpreter with over 20 years of experience in the field. She currently works full time as an educational interpreter for Northeast Georgia RESA. She has degrees from Georgia Southern University and Georgia Perimeter College. Along with interpreting, she has taught ASL classes for educators and community members. Outside the classroom, she has had the opportunity to interpret for students involved in football, soccer, basketball, track, drama and numerous other extra-curricular activities. She is passionate about creating accessible educational materials for Deaf/Hard of Hearing students and has written grants for equipment to use in the classroom. Theresa is married with two grown sons who both live in the Athens area. Her hobbies include competing in triathlons, participating in a cornhole league, and videography.