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​CSPG 41 - American Sign Language (ASL) PK-12

​Instructional Area Code 4003
Modified: August 1, 2023

American Sign Language (ASL) is identified as a world language in the Pennsylvania Public School Code.  American Sign Language is a complete and autonomous human language with its own unique grammar and is frequently used as a form of visual-spatial communication. 

A person holding a valid certificate for ASL is qualified to teach ASL courses to students in grades PK-12.

Certification Assignment

An educator holding a valid ASL PK-12 certificate may teach ASL courses and programs to students in grades PK-12 for world language credit, as elective credit, or as non-credit exploratory courses, including fundamental concepts and structures of communication, culture, and traditions of the communities using ASL.


  • An American Sign Language PK-12 (4003) certificate is required when course credit is awarded.
  • The Hearing-Impaired PK-12 (9205) instructional certificate is required to teach deaf and hearing-impaired students with an Individualized Education Plan.
  • Only Hearing-Impaired PK-12 (9205) instructional certificate holders who pass the ASL content test may apply to add the subject area to their certificate without completing a ASL preparation program.

Special Considerations 

  • World language certificate holders, including ASL certified teachers, may teach non-credit exploratory courses in any language including the culture and tradition of the particular communities using that language, including ASL. 
  • An educator certified in this field may:
    • Provide professional development in their area of collegial studies.
    • Serve in the role of mentor/advisor; and
    • Assist students in understanding how to read content area materials. 


24 P.S. §15-1524 Recognition of American Sign Language courses; CSPG #62 – Hearing Impaired PK-12 (12/1/2014); CSPG #45 – World Languages PK-12 (5/1/2014).

Related References

§14.105 Personnel (a) Paraprofessionals. (4)(b) Educational Interpreters. 

This revision supersedes all earlier CSPGs carrying this number and/or addressing this subject. Previous printing dates on this subject: June 1, 2015.

Summary of Changes

​Date of Revisions
​Major Changes to CSPG #41
  • ​Updated formatting and terminology.
  • Clarified that ASL certification is required to teach ASL courses for credit.
  • Clarified that any world language-certified teacher may teach exploratory, non-credit ASL courses.
  • Updated the pathways to certification.
  • Updated the staffing restrictions and information.
  • Created the first ASL CSPG.
  • Listed proposed pathways to certification.