New Signers Program - Online

Interested in learning American Sign Language? Now it couldn't be easier!

Overview

The New Signers Program (NSP) is an optional one credit, pre-orientation program offered to newly accepted deaf and hard-of-hearing students who have little or no prior skills in American Sign Language. This program is designed to help you learn basic sign skills, so that you will be able to communicate more effectively with RIT/NTID students, faculty, and staff members who use sign language. In addition to sign language instruction, you also will receive an introduction to Deaf culture and awareness, explore the RIT campus virtually, and participate in other fun activities. It's a great way to meet other non-signing deaf and hard-of-hearing students and ease your transition to college life at RIT/NTID.

Virtual: July 27 - August 14, 2020

Application Form

Program FAQs

No, the program is optional, but if you are interested in learning how to sign, we encourage you to participate in this virtual program. You not only will have the opportunity to learn basic sign language skills, immerse in Deaf culture, and meet and develop relationships with other non-signing students, but this program also will help ease your transition as you prepare for your first year at RIT/NTID.

NSP will be offered online and is free. All programming and the tuition for the one-credit course is at no charge.

The online application must be completed by June 30, 2020. You are not accepted into the program until we receive and review your application, and we send you an official acceptance letter. This is when you know you're officially an NSP participant. Please apply early to ensure a spot in the program.

This will start with a Meet and Greet event on Sunday evening from 6-7:30 p.m. Details will be shared with you once you have been accepted to NSP. Classes will run Monday-Friday from Noon-3:30 p.m. with one half-hour break. Evening activities will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7-8 p.m.

All times are in EDT.

This will be a three-week long program that will satisfy the Beginning ASL I course requirement. For the first week, your instructor will guide you with learning ASL. During the second and third week of classes, we will follow a “flipped instruction” method and you will be required to review videos before meeting with the instructor to maximize your application skills in classes.

  • Instructor and students meet online and learn at the same time.
  • Classes meet on a specific day and time.
  • Instruction happens in real time through Zoom video conferencing, live chat, and live videos, and outside of class work follows an assigned timeline schedule.

Yes, this is a credit-bearing program and participants are required to stay the entire program to earn the credit.

Meet and Greet is an opportunity for you to meet faculty and staff and other peers who are involved in NSP.

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students who have identified themselves as non-signers on the NTID Language/Communication Background Questionnaire (L/CBQ). Program seats are limited, and are filled on a first come, first served basis.

Yes, students who are accepted into an associate degree program in the College of NTID are required to attend SVP, and can apply for NSP. The last week of NSP will be included as part of the SVP programming. 

Yes, all deaf and hard-of-hearing students who have little or no prior skills in American Sign Language, and who are accepted into a bachelor's degree program in one of the other colleges at RIT can apply for NSP.

Yes. All incoming freshmen, including international students, are invited to participate. All classes will follow Eastern Daytime Time (EDT). Please keep this in consideration when applying for the program. If you live in a different time zone, you will have to convert to your time zone. Here is a link to help you convert to your time zone: https://savvytime.com/converter.

Yes, you can participate in both. To be successful, the course you want to take cannot overlap NSP’s schedule. Also, you will need to plan additional time in your schedule during the 10 days the two programs overlap (7/27 – 8/5). NSP is an intensive 3-week program that will require a lot of your time. During that period, you should plan 25 hours a week for NSP and an additional 5 hours for the RIT/NTID College Course Kickoff course totaling 30-plus hours during that period.

Yes, you can participate in both. To be successful, the course you want to take cannot overlap NSP’s schedule. Also, you will need to plan additional time in your schedule during the 10 days the two programs overlap (7/27 – 8/5). NSP is an intensive 3-week program that will require a lot of your time. During that period, you should plan 25 hours a week for the NSP and an additional 5-30 hours for the First Class Academy course(s) - depending how many credits the course you are taking and how many courses you are taking - totaling 30-50-plus hours during that period.

It is strongly recommended that you do NOT take Introduction to ASL and Deaf Culture course if you decide to take NSP. Since NSP will be covering all ASL I topics, there is a possibility of some repetition of learned information if you take Introduction to ASL and Deaf Culture course.

A computer or laptop with a webcam and an internet connection is required for our classes and evening activities. Please ensure your Zoom software is fully updated! You can use a computer or an iPad/tablet with a webcam for our activities.

For specific requirements see myCourses, Zoom, and GoReact.

Once you are accepted, you will be required to sign Expectations and Guidelines form for NSP, which follows RIT’s Student Code of Conduct for Computer and RIT’s Student Academic Integrity Policy before starting the program, and you will be requested to sign a media release form.

We will cover six units from the Beginning ASL I course. The topics include: Introduction to ASL, Time and Activities, Relationships, Places of Residence, People and Places on Campus, and Shopping.

At the end of NSP, you will meet these outcomes:

  • Develop change in language perception using visual-gestural modality
  • Develop receptive and expressive communication skills needed to converse about familiar topics using a variety of phrases, simple sentences, and questions
  • Discriminate similarities and differences between the majority United States culture and the Deaf co-culture in the United States
  • Prepare for interaction with members of the Deaf community at a novice level in some very familiar everyday contexts

On the myCourses platform you will find information about your ASL classes and evening activities, including a syllabus, a course schedule, and any other information you need for the ASL classes and evening activities. The point system will be posted in myCourses. Also, there will be a program book that includes contact information for people that you might want to reach.

Yes. RIT/NTID is a welcoming and supportive environment for all learners. Students with low vision or who are blind will work with the Disability Service Office and their instructor to determine the best ways in which to support their needs.

NSP will involve daily group activities in class. You also will interact with them during our evening activities. You can also connect with students in your class from the class list in myCourses.

For the NSP only, students can withdraw from their course up to the last official day of classes, which occurs on August 14.

A point system will be used to track your daily participation and assignments. During NSP, you will receive a weekly progress report to see your standing on participation and assignments. Near the end of program, you will have an opportunity to meet with the instructor to discuss your ASL development and skills. You will receive a letter grade at the end of the program.

Successful students will receive one college credit that will count toward their degree requirements.

Contact Us

Have any questions or concerns? Fill out the form below and we'll get right back to you! You can also contact Marguerite Carrillo at 585-286-4559 or by email at mfcnss@ntid.rit.edu about the NSP program.