CAA to vote on potential new foreign language


Rob Le Cates

Billy Hung, Associate Professor in Biological Sciences, inquires about asynchronous and synchronous courses.

Corryn Brock, Editor-in-Chief

The Council on Academic Affairs will vote on potentially adding two American Sign Language courses to the course catalog during its meeting Thursday at 2 p.m. in the Witters Conference Room.

ASL I would be offered in the Spring 2022 semester if approved.

The catalog description for the course describes says students will be introduced to foundational skills in visual communication, work on accuracy and fluency with receptive and expressive signing skills and learn ASL vocabulary and grammar, among other things.

Currently, ASL is required for the communication disorders and sciences major, but it is not offered at Eastern, which was discussed in the rationale for the first class.

The rationale stated:

“A number of EIU students in programs including Recreation Administration, Special Education, and Communication Disorders and Sciences are known to take American Sign Language (ASL) as a foreign language option through community colleges. ASL is also taken as an elective course by students in these and similar majors who may already have met the foreign language requirement. Offering this course (along with the ASL II course also proposed) at EIU would provide the opportunity for these students to take the course without the need to transfer the credits from another institution. A second ASL course would allow students to take the two-course sequence and fully meet the foreign language requirement in ASL at EIU. ASL is recognized by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) as a foreign language, and standards exist for ASL that align with the ACTFL “5 Cs”: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. These standards have been used in developing this course and are aligned with the learning objectives of the course.”

The second course, ASL II, be offered in Fall 2022 if approved.

Both courses will be listed in the catalog in two ways: WLA 1101/CDS 1101 and WLA 1102/CDS 1102. The WLA courses will be open for all students and the CDS courses will only be offered to communication disorders and sciences majors.

The council will also vote on a proposal for a public health course on medical cannabis. The course description describes it as a course that “will investigate the therapeutic effects of cannabis on various medical conditions by exploring the interaction of cannabinoids, terpenes and flavonoids. Routes of administration beneficial to medical cannabis patients will be explored.”

The course will allow students enrolled in it to look into the uses for medical cannabis and the controversies surrounding it.

A course titled “Health Disparities of Gender and Sexually Diverse Populations” will also be voted on during the meeting.

The course catalog description states:

“The expansion of health care in the United States and increased awareness of gender and sexually diverse populations have created a need for anyone working in the field of health care (as a practitioner, an administrator, an insurer, or a non-profit) to understand the specific health care needs of GSD persons and common biases against them. This course provides students with knowledge about the unique healthcare needs of GSD populations and the past and ongoing discrimination faced in society and the healthcare field.”

The rationale for the proposal explains that the reasoning for the course is due to the stigma and discrimination many GSD people face.

The council will also follow up on allowing capstone courses to be taken in place of senior seminars by voting on updating the course proposal form.


Corryn Brock can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]