Central Illinois college plans for new sign language degree

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DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Students at a central Illinois college could soon pursue a degree in American Sign Language.

The (Decatur) Herald and Review reported (http://bit.ly/1JmfClm ) Thursday that Richland Community College is waiting on approval from the Illinois Community College Board to begin offering the degree.

Richland currently offers sign language courses for transferable credit.

Dean Lily Siu says that there is a shortage of those certified in sign language. Interpreters are needed by medical providers, social workers, in schools and the criminal justice field.

Siu says Richland has about 20 students already taking sign classes at the college, and she believes the degree program will attract more.

The degree would become available by the 2015-2016 school year if approved.

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