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.

If you were enrolled in the ASL Program before Level 1 Fall 2022, you are still subject to the requirements for the ASL Basic and Advanced Certificates discussed in your course Welcome Letter. The two-part Certificate program will be 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 call our office at 706-542-3537 to register and to receive the parent discount. 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

Level 1 – Register now
June 1 - August 3, 2023
Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Level 1 – Register now
June 6 - August 15 , 2023
No class July 4.
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Level 2 – Register now
June 8 - August 10, 2023
Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Level 3 – Register now
June 6 - August 15, 2023
No class July 4.
Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Level 4 – Register now
June 3 - August 5, 2023
Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Gwinnett Classroom Levels

Level 1 – Register now
June 7 - August 9, 2023
Wednesdays, 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

Upon completion of the first course in the certificate program, students will be eligible for a discounted rate on the next course.

If you are a parent registering with a minor child, please call our office (706-542-3537) for the discounted parent fee.

Michael “Mickey” Altman has been interested in American Sign Language since 2009. He has taken ASL classes and has been an instructor of basic and intermediate ASL community classes since 2012. He also has tutored students in ASL. He recently completed a certificate as a Teacher of American Sign Language to Speakers of Other Languages (TASLSOL) from the Canadian Institute of English and has been an ASL instructor with the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education since the beginning of 2014.

Troy Bowman is a Chattanooga, Tennessee native. Upon discovering that he was Deaf, his mother began learning ASL to communicate with him and ended up with a degree in ASL interpreting which gained her employment in education as an interpreter. His experience using ASL started when he signed his first word at the age of 8 months. Upon graduating from Gallaudet University in 2002, his ASL teaching career began. He has taught in diverse settings to include high school, college, interpreter workshops and more. Troy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Gallaudet and Professional development in Foreign Language Education at George Mason University.

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.

Loren Gutierrez has been in the education field for over 10 years. Loren graduated from Gallaudet University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and minor in Family Studies. She then earned her master’s degree in Special Education from Piedmont University. Currently, Loren is serving as a high school Teacher for the Deaf, a freelance ASL interpreter, and has been signing for over 18 years. She cares deeply about the Deaf community and loves sharing about its rich language, culture, and history to anyone that will pay attention. Loren looks forward to enriching and encouraging learners on their new journey!

Dr. Lampra Jones’s interest in ASL began when she was five years old watching a group of Deaf adults signing before the start of a theatrical play. She began learning ASL at the age of five through a Christian school as well as learning on her own. While in college, she earned a degree in American Sign Language/Deaf Studies. Later as an adult, learning ASL became a benefit to her when she lost her hearing to Meniere’s disease. She is considered a Late Deaf in Deaf community as she lost her hearing when she became an adult. For the past seven years, she has been organizing Deaf social events in the metro Atlanta area. In addition, she is known as the Deaf nerd/cosplayer in the cosplay community in Atlanta. She is a part of a Cosplay group called the Cosplay Volunteers of Atlanta that volunteers to visit hospitals, children’s events, parades, hospice, etc. She is the only Deaf person in her group as well as the first Deaf in her group. She has an autistic son who is fluent in ASL and is very much a part of the Deaf community. He’s considered a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adult).

Stephanie R. Kemp is a registered nurse and an honors graduate from North Georgia College and State University. She has worked as a clinical educator for 10 years and holds three national certifications in healthcare and clinical education. Her interest in American Sign Language began with a deaf family member and continued when she was in high school, when a deaf classmate began to teach her ASL. She has taken classes through the Georgia School for the Deaf, medical interpreting classes at Athens Regional Medical Center, St. Mary’s Hospital, and taken online classes and self-study. She also has spent more than 5,000 hours in community service in the education and tutoring of deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind, and deaf-blind adults, children, and their families. Stephanie began medical interpreting in 2010 and teaching basic and intermediate ASL community classes in 2012. She has worked as a consultant with hospitals and other healthcare organizations for 14 years as they serve the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. She is a member of the Georgia Association of the Deaf and has been an instructor with the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education since the beginning of 2014.

Lisa Stevens began learning ASL as a child from her aunt and uncle who were both Deaf. When her daughter was diagnosed with hearing loss, Lisa began taking ASL classes to help with her daughter’s communication as she began attending school. Lisa later enrolled in the Interpreter Training program at Georgia Perimeter College and graduated with an associate’s degree in Interpreting.

After graduating, Lisa began working as a Behavior Specialist with the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. She received her EIPA certification and began working as an interpreter part time. While working with AASD, she also taught ASL classes to parents and the community. She continued with her education and received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. She later completed her master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Deaf Education. She is now working with Northeast Georgia RESA as a teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at the high school level. She is also continuing her post-secondary education by pursuing her Specialist’s degree in Special Education with a focus on Reading Instruction.

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.