Academics
Areas of Study

Overview

Get a JumpStart on the immersive American Sign Language (ASL) and English experience you’ll encounter at Gallaudet before the start of your first semester. This four-week program is packed with Deaf Culture, ASL, and alike peers to get you comfortable and confident as a new signer. At Gallaudet University, the primary languages used on campus are American Sign Language (ASL) and written English. To support the bilingual mission of the university, all students are expected to develop proficiency in both ASL and written English. However, not all students are fluent in ASL when they come to campus. JumpStart-ASL is an opportunity for deaf and hard-of-hearing undergraduates who are new to the Deaf community and Deaf culture to learn and develop their ASL skills in a community of peers with similar backgrounds. JumpStart: ASL, is a four-week immersion program for emerging signers held each summer before the start of the Fall semester. It provides incoming students with courses in Deaf Culture, American Sign Language (ASL), and Visual and Gestural Communication. The goal is to provide a foundational understanding of the ASL language to help students develop their confidence as new signers. This ensures that students can communicate with peers, staff, and faculty as the Fall semester begins. Learn ASL Develop your ASL skills with an immersive experience leading up to your first semester. NEW AND EMERGING SIGNERS Make Friends Discover new friendships and get involved before the Fall Semester even starts! LIFE @ GU Explore DC Get familiar with your home away from home with four weeks to explore Washington, D.C. before classes begin. WASHINGTON, D.C.

The JumpStart Program is from July 17 to August 11, 2023.

Arrival Day: Sunday, July 16, 2023 Gallaudet University will require all Gallaudet students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to be admitted to campus. For more information regarding the vaccination requirement, please visit the COVID-19 website. Students who are interested in science, technology, or mathematics are also encouraged to join our Summer Stamp Bridge program.
Learn ASL

Develop your ASL skills with an immersive experience leading up to your first semester.

Make Friends

Discover new friendships and get involved before the Fall Semester even starts!

Explore DC

Get familiar with your home away from home with four weeks to explore Washington, D.C. before classes begin.

Programs

JumpStart: American Sign Language
JumpStart: ASL is an American Sign Language (ASL) immersion program for students new to the Deaf community and American Sign Language. Students participating JumpStart: ASL have an opportunity to learn and develop their sign language skills within a community of peers prior to the start...

FAQs

Common Questions
First-year students will be paired with a peer mentor in GSR 101: First-Year Seminar course. Students who participate in JumpStart programs are automatically enrolled in the Peer Mentorship program.
That depends. Some students pick it up quickly, and others find it necessary to spend more time studying and practicing with friends. Like any other language, there are other factors involved in the speed of acquisition. For example, your level of immersion, peers’ language choice, comfort level, and motivation will all likely play a part in how smoothly your transition progresses.
Saying you were “mainstreamed” or come from a “mainstream” program means you attended a school with hearing peers, rather than a school serving only deaf or hard of hearing students. Mainstream programs vary widely, from smaller classrooms containing deaf or hard of hearing peers found within public or private schools to a single deaf or hard of hearing student attending his or her local high school— either with or without interpreters and other support services.
The program usually has 40 to 60 students with many not knowing any signs and others knowing fingerspelling or a few conversational signs. All students who enroll in the program receive the same support and services in order to transition into a visual environment.
Services and Support
The JumpStart: American Sign Language (ASL) Program recognizes the learning curve involved in transitioning to a visual environment. We will work with you, via instruction and mentorship, to get you more comfortable with ASL throughout the program and your first year. In the meantime, we will also work with you to arrange service that supports your access, like voice interpreters, mobile captioning, and CART providers.
Campus Life Questions
Absolutely. There are also students with cochlear implants, students who use Cued Speech, students who are hearing, and students who recently lost their hearing.
Of course! Earbud wires and headphones are a common sight on campus. Quite a few Gallaudet students— of varying hearing abilitie— like to get their groove on. Cell phone etiquette is the same here as any other academic environment. When using your phone, be respectful of those around you.
You bet! Gallaudet is a university that embraces the diversity found in the campus community. We think everyone is unique, and there is always common ground to be found. This is true of students’ communication styles as well. We admit students each year with a variety of educational and language backgrounds.

Contact Us

JumpStart

Jerri Lyn Dorminy

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