Gwen Gallagher Visits Spartans!


Rose Figueroa, Staff Writer

Last Tuesday I had the privilege of meeting Ms. Gwen Gallagher. Ms.Gallagher is a teacher at Solano Community College, she  teaches American Sign Language. She brought one of her amazing ASL 2 students who worked as an interpreter for our class. In her presentation, she first discussed her life and what it was like growing up deaf. She talked about her college experience and what it was like not knowing sign language until she got college. Ms. Gallagher gave very helpful information for students who may wish to add another language to their college degree or major in sign language.  She provided a lot information about the ASL program offered at Solano Community College.

Here is what you need to know if this sounds like something that may peak your interest. The Solano ASL Program offers a fundamental base for students trying to obtain an interpreting license. Solano offers an Associates Degree in American Sign Language for those who eventually want to transfer to a four year college. In order to achieve this degree at Solano, you must complete 27 units directly tied to the major and a couple of general education courses. Some of the courses include: American Sign Language 1, American Sign Language 2, American Sign Language 3, American Sign Language 4, American Deaf Culture, Linguistics of American Sign Language, Fingerspelling, Classifiers, and Numbers, Introduction to American Sign Language Interpreting, ASL Interpreting Field Work, and Occupational Work Experience. All of these classes provide the fundamental skills needed for an entry level interpreter. From learning about professional ethics, Deaf Culture, to educational standard,  this school offers it all! Ms. Gallagher also stated that the  college works closely with an interpreting agency to better help their students studying in this specific field. I would recommend taking the time to research this job as a career choice to EVERYONE, whether you take ASL or not, this job is definitely one you should look into. With an expected employment growth rate of 29 percent   by the year 2024 (released by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics) – the demand for employees in this field will grow. I would highly recommend that students give Sign Language a chance if this seems like something that you could see yourself doing in the future. There are many routes that can be taken with this degree, depending on your interests. Some employment opportunities include: interpreting jobs in the legal field, medical field, interpreting live recorded videos through Video Relay Services, and more! I urge everyone to look into this field of work and making a difference in the world!