By Lisa Godfrey, Ed.D. CI/CT, Ed:K-12, ASLTA Professional
ASL Honor Society Competitions Coordinator
The National American Sign Language Honor Society (ASLHS) was established in 2006 under the administration of the American Sign Language Teachers Association to provide recognition for ASL academics, but there is so much more that the ASLHS has to offer you and your students. Hosting an ASLHS chapter raises visibility, stature, and respect of your ASL/Interpreting program, while offering scholarships to help retain your best students, providing money for ASL teachers to help purchase materials and pay for expenses, hosting competitions to expand learning opportunities and recognizing student achievement upon graduation.
Every year, the ASLHS offers multiple student scholarships for students majoring or minoring in ASL, Deaf Studies, Deaf Education, or Interpreter Education. Scholarship amounts range from $1,750 – $3,500 or more.
ASLHS sponsors can apply for Teacher Grants up to $500.00. Grants are intended to help ASL teachers enrich students’ learning experience. Grants can be used for guest speaker fees, ASL Festival, Deaf Awareness Week costs, school-wide ASL entertainment, ASL supplies, etc. Six grants are available every year and a school can receive a grant once every other year.
Every year the ASLHS sponsors two competitions. During the fall, we host the Chuck Baird Memorial Art Competition. This year’s spotlight De’VIA artist is Ann Silver. During the spring, we host the Eric “Malz” Malzkuhn Deaf Literature Competition. This year’s spotlight genre is Number Stories as performed by Douglas Ridloff.
- All students receive a certificate of participation
- Classrooms receive a certificate of participation
- Monetary prizes • 1st: $100.00 • 2nd: $75.00 • 3rd: $50.00
- Individual prizes for winning entries
- Classroom prizes for winning entries
While there are no requirements for membership into the ASL Honor Society, there are multiple levels of graduation awards. Graduates who meet minimum requirements can earn Honor Cords, the Laurent Clerc medal and the Alice Cogswell medal. This allows the graduate to stand out at graduation and the recognition can be included on resumes.
Chartering an ASL Honor Society on your campus is easy. Membership is open to any institution that offers at least two semesters of ASL. All a school needs is a willing sponsor who is a member of ASLTA (ASLTA certification is not required). With all the benefits for you and your students, what are you waiting for? Join today! Visit http://aslhonorsociety.org/ for more information.
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