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Language School in Salt Lake City with Program Overviews

There are six schools in the Salt Lake City area that have language programs. To find out which one is right for you, read an overview of the program and admission requirements at three colleges located within about 20 miles of downtown Salt Lake.

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Salt Lake City Language Programs

There are multiple schools with language programs in the Salt Lake City, Utah area. Students who want to earn a degree can choose from languages that include Chinese, Spanish, German, and Italian, in addition to American Sign Language (ASL). This article focuses on the program requirements and focus areas at three colleges that are within a half-hour drive of the city center. Be sure to also look over a table of statistics on the profiled institutions as well as some info on a few other area school options.

  • Salt Lake City Community College offers two American Sign Language associate's degree programs, one of which emphasizes English interpreting skills. The school, located about 10 miles from the downtown area, also offers an associate's degree in language and culture.
  • Only about three miles from central Salt Lake City, the University of Utah has bachelor's and master's degree programs that offer students the chance to intensely study a particular language. A master's degree in language pedagogy and a doctoral-level program in Spanish are also available.
  • In nearby Kaysville, students can find a certificate program in ASL interpreting at Davis Applied Technology College. The campus is situated about 21 miles from downtown Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College has 13 different campuses in Salt Lake Valley; online courses are also offered. The more than 30,000 students enrolled can complete associate's, certificate, and diploma programs. A variety of language programs are available.

Associate of Arts in American Sign Language

The Associate of Arts in American Sign Language program is intended primarily to be a transfer degree for students who wish to continue their studies at a 4-year college. Students take basic and advanced courses in American Sign Language. They also study ASL literature and deaf art, film, and culture.

Associate of Applied Science in American Sign Language/English Interpreting

This 2-year degree program trains individuals for careers in interpreting sign language. Courses cover topics like interpreting, ethical and professional standards, and comparative linguistics. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Utah State Interpreter Certification exam, the National Interpreter Certification, or the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment.

Associate of Arts in Language and Culture

Students enrolled in the language and culture program will learn basic conversational, reading, and writing skills in several languages. They will also study the culture and heritage that surrounds each language. The college offers courses in many languages, including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Navajo, Portuguese, Russian, Samoan, Spanish, and Tongan.

University of Utah

The University of Utah is a large public school that enrolls more than 30,000 students. Prospective students can find language degrees through the university's Department of Language and Literature.

Bachelor of Arts in Language

The University of Utah offers students the chance to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in one of seven language areas: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and classic languages with an emphasis on Greek or Latin. Students majoring in one of these languages will study the literature, history, and heritage that surrounds the language as well. Graduates from one of the university's language programs will be prepared for further graduate study if they choose.

Master of Arts in Language

Students can earn a Master of Arts in one of three languages: French, German, or Spanish. They are required to complete at least 10 courses from the language department, including 7 courses in the student's language area and 3 courses in literary criticism from antiquity to the present. There are both thesis and non-thesis study options.

Master of Arts in Language Pedagogy

This two-year program has an emphasis in Spanish, and candidates must have advanced proficiency in Spanish, German, or French to enroll. Courses include language, literature and culture, methodology and instructional design, and curriculum development for adult learners. Language pedagogy students will have the opportunity to spend a year studying in Spain if they wish.

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Spanish

Students enrolled in the PhD in Spanish program will need to take at least 10 courses beyond what is required for the master's degree in Spanish option. Candidates are required to prove standard proficiency in two languages other than English and Spanish. Alternatively, they can choose to prove advanced proficiency in one additional language. Students are required to complete a dissertation and a public oral defense.

Davis Applied Technology College

Davis Applied Technical College is a public 2-year institution that awards certificates and associate's degrees. It offers an ASL program through the School of Service Professions.

Certificate in American Sign Language - Interpreting

The American Sign Language program at Davis Applied Technology College is designed to be completed in 28 months. Students will complete 1320 hours of course work, with each course being worth between 30 and 90 hours. Some required courses cover linguistics, interpreting, and workplace relations.

Comparison of Schools

The profiled schools offer differing learning environments in terms of campus setting and the number of enrolled students. Get specific figures on these, and other areas like tuition and graduation numbers, in this table.

Salt Lake Community College University of Utah Davis Applied Technology College
School Type 2-year, Public 4-year, Public 2-year, Public
Total Enrollment (2011) 33,420* 31,660* 3,746*
Campus Setting Large suburb Midsize city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $3,052, in-state; $9,604 out-of-state* $6,762 in-state; $21,388 out-of-state* $4,600*
% of Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2010-2011) 66%* 56%* 70%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) Open admissions 83%* Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 57% full-time* 87% full-time* 43% full-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Overall) 24%* 55%* 34%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

Other Schools

Students interested in earning a degree in language may also want to explore the programs at Utah Valley University in Orem, Weber State University in Ogden, or Brigham Young University in Provo.

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