NSC Deaf Studies Overview

In the Deaf Studies program, you'll learn American Sign Language (ASL), the basics of interpreting, and the rich history of Deaf culture. As with any language, learning ASL will take hard work and dedication. However, if you are committed, you'll learn a beautiful and expressive language that can help you improve intercultural communication and bridge cultural divides, ultimately reducing inequality and strengthening our community.

To learn more about the BA in Deaf Studies, please contact: 

Gregory Robinson, PhD
Interim Vice Provost
Nevada State College

David and two ASL Students


Why study DeaF Studies at NSC?

There are so many reasons!

A strong combination of ASL, interpreting, and Deaf culture. NSC's Deaf Studies program provides a five-class sequence in basic ASL, a three-class sequence in advanced ASL, a three-class sequence in interpreting, and several classes in Deaf culture. In contrast to interpreter training programs (which focus specifically on interpreting), our program provides you with a broad overview of ASL and the ways an understanding of ASL can help you and others. 

Innovative classes: At NSC, our exceptional faculty offer dynamic and innovative classes that will help you quickly improve your ASL. In a given semester, you could take:

  • AM 300 - Advanced ASL Conversation
  • AM 320 – Professional/Ethical Issues in Interpreting
  • AM 410 - ASL Storytelling, Literature, and Folklore

Exceptional Faculty. Our Deaf Studies instructors are passionate about teaching ASL and helping you succeed. As you progress through the Deaf Studies program, you will have more chances to work with these faculty in small groups or one-on-one.


The most obvious choice for a career in Deaf Studies is working as an interpreter. As any member of the Deaf or Hard of Hearing community in Nevada will tell you, interpreters are in high demand. To be certified as an interpreter, you'll need to pass either the EIPA exam or the RID/NIC exam. The RID/NIC exam, which is a national certification, requires a Bachelor's degree. 

However, it is important to consider how many other careers might benefit from a background in Deaf Studies. The Deaf population in Nevada often lacks crucial services and a support network. A degree in Deaf Studies gives you the ability to communicate with native ASL signers and gives you a deeper understanding of the issues they often face. These skills make you uniquely qualified for a position that regularly involves interacting with the Deaf and hard of hearing community.  

Meet the Faculty

Nicole Dunn holds an MA in Special Education: Multiple Subject Deaf/Hard of Hearing Specialist from CSU Northridge. This is a highly respected school for Deaf Studies. She also holds a Master’s rank from the Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf’s National Interpreter Certification.

Hayley Jeeter holds an MA in Interpreting from Gallaudet University, which is the most well-respected school for Deaf Studies in the nation (it was the first college for the Deaf in the US). She also holds certificates from the Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf.

David Kelsey has an MA in Education from UNLV. David was born Deaf, and is a community advocate for the Deaf citizens of Nevada.

Gregory Robinson, Interim Vice Provost, has been with NSC since 2003 in various roles. He holds an MLIS from LSU and a PhD in English from UNLV. He was one of the principle designers of this degree.