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Foundational American Sign Language Undergraduate Badge

Badge Image

A digital badge, or badge, is a record of achievement that recognizes a student's completion of a coherent and meaningful academic experience. GVSU offers both credit and non-credit bearing badges as digital credentials. Credit-bearing badges include anywhere from 0.5 to 15 academic credits and may include additional noncredit criteria. Credit-bearing badges are also posted to the academic transcript.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

This badge signifies competency in the foundational skills required to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL). This badge is not a credential for providing interpreting services to Deaf/Hard of Hearing individuals. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs administers credentials for interpreting in Michigan.

Anyone admitted to Grand Valley as a degree-seeking or nondegree seeking learner may complete this badge.

Why Earn a Foundational ASL Badge at Grand Valley?

  • Learn a unique visual, spatial language.
  • Learn about the rich culture of the American Deaf community.
  • Develop the language skills to communicate with future Deaf clients/patients/customers.
  • Boost personal cognitive function, creative and abstract thinking, and hand-eye coordination.
  • Completing a badge is an opportunity to highlight marketable and desirable skills to potential employers while enhancing your education.
  • Badges are an efficient way to obtain a specialization, and can be completed in a year.

Career Insights

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Admissions to complete a digital badge is open to both degree and nondegree seeking students. If you are not currently a Grand Valley student, start your application here.  

For current GVSU students:

  • Declare your badge via myBanner. Login to Banner Self-Service, click on Student, Student Records, Add a Certificate or Badge to your Program, Select the appropriate badge from the drop down list, and click Submit.
  • Speak with the appropriate badge coordinator to ensure criteria are being met. You will be able to track your progress toward the badge in myPath as well!
  • Once you are done with the requirements, apply to receive the badge via myBanner.
  • Once the completion of your badge has been verified, the badge will be posted to your student record and will be viewable on your transcript. In addition, your digital badge will be posted on

Location & Format

Students in this program of study meet on the GVSU Health Campus, near the Grand Rapids Medical Mile.

  • Face To Face


Coursework for foundational ASL introduces learners to beginning sign vocabulary and grammar, nonverbal grammatical elements, fingerspelling, and immersion into the world of ASL.

The digital badge is comprised of two (three credit) courses, a total of six credits:

  • ASL 201  American Sign Language 1
  • ASL 202  American Sign Language 2

Classes meet downtown on the GVSU Health Campus.

Continue your studies and earn a second badge in Advanced ASL, see program coordinator for details.

For More Information

College of Health Professions

Misti Ryefield, American Sign Language Coordinator
420-M Finkelstein Hall (RFH)
(616) 331-5554
[email protected]

Admissions and Recruitment Office