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American Sign Language: 
How to take an online ASL course from an accredited school: offers self-study, online lessons to students all over the world.  But sometimes students need/want to take an ASL class from an ACCREDITED institution of higher education.  Such courses tend to cost a little more but they are accepted for credit by pretty much any high school, college, or university nationwide.  If you are not interested in receiving actual college credit and/or just want to self-study using the website then just go to "Lesson 1" and dive in.  But if you are seeking an accredited online ASL course to fulfill local high-school, college, employment, or continuing education requirements then the following information is for you and will help you how to find, register, and pay for an accredited online ASL course.

College of Continuing Education at California State University Sacramento has for many years offered an online "ASL 1" course every Fall Semester and an online "ASL 2" course every Spring semester.

The level one course is: "EDS 051 American Sign Language 1" and is typically listed as section 50.
The level two course is: "EDS 052 American Sign Language 2" and is also typically listed as section 50.

The online versions of these two courses are intended for non-matriculated students and are not usually listed in the main CSUS schedule of classes. Instead the online versions of these courses are usually listed at the CSUS College of Continuing Education's website. The general website for the CCE is at:

Question: How do I register for one of those courses?
Answer: 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) or "EDS 52" (ASL 2) online through the College of Continuing Education. Ask them for registration information, tuition information, and payment information.


Question: Who teaches these two online courses?
Answer:  While individual teachers may vary you can be assured that whomever teaches it will be a qualified ASL instructor.
For quite a few years now these two courses have been taught by Belinda Vicars.  She is Deaf, holds a masters degree, and has over 20 years experience teaching ASL.


Question: How much does each course cost?
Answer:  For the most recent pricing information it is best to
call the College of California State University Sacramento, College of Continuing Education at 916-278-4433 or (916) 278-6984. Call them regarding ANY tuition or registration related questions.  Also here is (at the time of this writing) the contact information for the CCE program coordinator over this program was: or call (916) 278-4813.

Question: How does the course work?  What about the curriculum? Do I have to attend any classes?
Answer:  The instructor for several years now has used the curriculum as well as her own materials (at and the Blackboard course management system.  Physical classroom attendance is not required and the whole course can be completed online. Students must have access to video recording equipment such as a webcam or video recorder.  You study the lessons online and you take quizzes online. As part of the course you may be required to take a receptive final exam with an approved proctor watching (to make sure you do not cheat). You may also need to take one or multiple live webcam-based expressive exams.

Question: Before registering, can
I contact the instructor and ask questions or get a copy of the syllabus ahead of time?
Answer: You can email the instructor. Please keep in mind that it is very important to identify who you are and the program or course in which you are interested or to which you are referring. 
For example, use a subject line such as:  CSUS CCE ASL 1 (online) Mary Smith
By stating "CSUS CCE" you will help Belinda to know that you are talking about the CSUS college course and not the ASLU private course. 
Her email is:


Question:  Can I start the course at any time?
Answer:  No.  The ASL 1 course (EDS 51, section 50 through CSUS's College of Continuing Education) is offered in the Fall (it typically starts around the second week of September).  The level 2 course is offered in the Spring.

Question:  The CSUS CCE web page says that the course is not currently offered.  Has it been canceled?
Answer:   What that usually means is that the time of year is not close enough to Fall or Spring semester for the college to post the course.  Call the CSUS College of Continuing Education directly (916) 278-6984 and ask to speak to the person who coordinates the American Sign Language classes. 


Question: Is the program live or something that I can do on my own schedule?
Answer: The CSUS EDS 51 ASL 1 Online course as offered via the College of Continuing Education is for the most part, self-paced and can be done whenever is convenient for the student to access the internet. However there are certain deadlines that must be met and the whole course must be completed in approximately 3 months. See the official CSUS schedule and/or the course syllabus for specifics.

Question: Is your course fully captioned?
Answer: The course uses no audio and thus needs no captioning.

Question: My daughter is in high school and has never taken a signing course. She does have some basic skills from signing books that we have purchased as well as many songs she has learned signing through her music program, but it is very remedial. Would this be a good starting place for a beginner?
Answer: Yes. The EDS 51 "ASL 1" course is intended for beginners.

Question: How do you do the grading?
Answer: Grading is based on completion of online quizzes or assignments, a video project, and a proctored receptive final evaluation.

Question:  Do we need to have access to Skype?
Answer:  Last semester students needed to be able to video conference. You need to be prepared to invest in a relatively good web cam and make sure you have access to high-speed internet. You will also need to be able to record and upload one or more videos to a service such as ""

Question: I live in the Sacramento, California area. Are there any meetings for this course that I can attend in person?
Answer:  It is likely that since you are in the Sacramento area the instructor can provide information regarding and or access to opportunities for in-person practice. But many people successfully complete this course totally online.


Fall 2012 / Spring 2013 Course information:

Registration for ASL 1 online course begins July 9th 2012.
Please see updated schedule below:

2012 - 2013 Program Schedule
American Sign Language

EDS 051 50 “American Sign Language 1”
Units: 3.0 academic credits
Dates: Monday, August 27, 2012 – Monday, November 19, 2012 (12 weeks)
First Day of Instruction/Orientation: Monday, August 27, 2012
Last Day of Instruction: Saturday Nov. 17, 2012
Final Exam: Monday, November 19
Cost: $1107

EDS 052 50 “American Sign Language 2”
Units: 3.0 academic credits
Dates: Monday, January 28, 2013 – Monday, April 15, 2013 (12 weeks)
First Day of Instruction/Orientation: Monday, January 28, 2013
Last Day of Instruction: Saturday, April 20, 2013
Final Exam: Monday, April 15, 2013
Cost: $1107

Please call or e-mail if you have any questions:
Liz Arellanes
Program Coordinator
College of Continuing Education, 3000 State University Drive East, Sacramento, CA 95819-6103