American Sign Language Honor Society

American Sign Language Honor Society

American Sign Language Honor Society (ASLHS) was established in 2006 by the American Sign Language Teacher Association.  The mission of the society is to encourage and recognize high academic achievement in ASL studies for high school and college/university students. Like honor societies for other languages, the ASLHS seeks to enrich the learning experience of those studying ASL.

Goals and benefits of the ASL Honor Society include:

  • Awarding honor cords and medals based on academic achievement
  • Encouraging service learning projects that benefit the ASL community
  • Hosting the annual Deaf Art and ASL Literature competitions, featuring cash prizes
  • Awarding the only national scholarships to students majoring or minoring in ASL, Deaf Studies, Deaf Education, and Interpreter Education
  • Financially supporting ASL education via grants for teachers, to assist in purchasing equipment or materials for use in the classroom

Awarded Honors

The American Sign Language Honor Society recognizes outstanding academic achievement in ASL studies with three honors:

Honor cords

Honor cords are available only to high school / senior high / secondary programs.


Alice Cogswell Medal

The Alice Cogswell Medal eligibility requirements:

  • Is a student at a community college or
    4-year college /university
  • Has studied ASL for at least two years
  • Possesses an overall grade point average of
    3.5 / B+ in his / her ASL coursework
  • Possesses an overall grade point average of
    3.2 / B in all other subjects
  • Completion of at least five (5) hours
    of community service that benefits
    the Deaf community


Laurent Clerc Medal

The Laurent Clerc Medal eligibility requirements:

  • Is a high school or college student
  • Has studied ASL for at least three years
  • Possesses an overall grade point average of
    3.7 / A- in his / her ASL coursework
  • Possesses an overall grade point average of
    3.5 / B+ in all other subjects
  • Completion of at least ten (10) hours of
    community service that benefits the
    Deaf community

To receive any of the honors, students must meet the minimum eligibility requirements for each, which includes both GPA and community service hours. 

Initiation

  • Eligible students will be identified by an American Sign Language Instructor
  • Eligible students will be invited to be inducted into the ASLHS by an American Sign Language instructor
  • Evaluation of eligibility will be conducted annually at the beginning of spring semester.
  • Invitations for induction will be sent out annually at the beginning of spring semester.
  • An induction ceremony will be conducted annually at the end of spring semester, if there is a sufficient number of eligible students.

Students may contact the full-time American Sign Language instructor for additional details regarding qualification or to express their interest in being considered for induction.  Additional information can be located at www.aslhonorsociety.org

Competitions

The ASLHS conducts two competitions each year.  Cash prizes are awarded to the winners of each competition. Students at all levels of ASL instruction are encouraged to participate.  GPA is not considered for participation.   

Fall Semester Competition: Chuck Baird Memorial Art Competition

This competition is in honor of beloved Deaf artist, Chuck Baird. The mission of the competition is to expose students to the artists, genres, and visual expressions of Deaf culture as expressed through art.

Students interested in participating in the competition must contact Davena Burns-Peters at 909-384-8983 or dburns@valleycollege.edu prior to the entry deadline.

Entry Deadline: November 10, 2017

Winners Announced: December 1, 2017

Entry Guidelines:

There are two categories –

1) Reproduction: Painting or Drawing

• The artwork shall be a reproduction inspired by an event, person, or place that is

important to Deaf culture.

• A source of the original artwork being reproduced must be included to be used as a

comparison. (This can be a website reference or print off of the artwork)

• The artwork can be created in the following mediums: watercolor, colored pencils,

charcoal, acrylic, oil, and pencil sketch.

• The artwork must be entirely of the student’s own creation. Clipart or images taken from

the internet are not acceptable.

2) Original Creation: Painting or Drawing

• The artwork shall be inspired by a work of art reflecting their understanding or

perspective of an event, person, or place that is important to Deaf culture.

• The artwork can be created in the following mediums: watercolor, colored pencils,

crayons, markers, charcoal, acrylic oil, and pencil sketch.

• The artwork must be entirely of the student’s own creation. Clipart or images taken from

the internet are not acceptable

Spring Semester Competition: Eric "Malz" Malzkuhn ASL Literature Competition

This is an ASL literature competition. Named after Eric "Malz" Malzkuhn, one of the early pioneers of ASL storytelling, this competition encourages students to apply what they learn in class to the wider community. 

Students interested in participating in the competition must contact Davena Burns-Peters at 909-384-8983 or dburns@valleycollege.edu prior to the entry deadline.

Entry Deadline: TBA

Winners Announced: TBA

Entry Guidelines: TBA

Scholarships

Applications Available: December 8, 2017 

Submission Deadline: May 11, 2018

The ASL Honor Society is proud to sponsor the first nationwide scholarships available to students majoring or minoring in ASL, Deaf Studies, Deaf Education, and Interpreter Preparation. Current scholarship amounts range between $1,750.00 and $2,500.00 each. Scholarships are offered to students who will begin college in the fall, or are currently enrolled. Applicants must have an active chapter of the ASL Honor Society on campus to be eligible. Under no circumstances will scholarships be awarded to students from campuses that are not members of the ASL Honor Society.

Suggestions for applicants:

  • Document your community service
  • Participate in the Deaf Art and / or the ASL Literature competitions
  • Have someone proof-read your ASL and English essays before submitting your application packet