College Record 2019-2020

ASL-English Interpreting

The ASL-English Interpreting major prepares students to become entry-level professional interpreters, proficient in ASL, English, and the process of interpretation for the purpose of facilitating communication between ASL and non-ASL users in a variety of education, medical, legal, human services, and performing arts settings.

According to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), there are 28 million Deaf and hard of hearing Americans who are entitled to qualified interpreters under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). In addition, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act requires all healthcare providers receiving Federal aid to provide language services to non-English speakers, including Deaf people. Currently, the demand for qualified interpreters far exceeds the number of trained professionals in the field.

An interpreter must be both bilingual and bicultural: that is, able to communicate with above average proficiency in both ASL and English - as well as to be knowledgeable about both Deaf and non-Deaf cultures - in order to render culturally based linguistic and non-linguistic information appropriately. An interpreter must also be versatile, mature, and flexible to work successfully in a wide variety of situations and settings with people from a variety of backgrounds with diverse communication needs. Since the interpreting occasion often contains sensitive and personal issues, it is imperative that interpreters be of high moral character, nonjudgmental, and well- informed in order to meet the challenges which arise in these diverse and ever- changing situations.

Training begins with ASL, English, English to ASL translations, and ASL to English translations, and Deaf and non-Deaf cultures. Juniors then begin intensive training in cognitive processing skills, translating skills, consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting skills. Practical experience is gained through Field Periods and 12-credit of Senior Internship. The ASL-English Interpreting major is designed to provide students with the academic preparation needed to pass the written portion of the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exam before graduation. Graduates are expected to be able to complete the NIC process within two years of employment as a full-time interpreter.

Students graduating with a degree in ASL-English Interpreting will demonstrate the following:

  1. knowledge and skill in the art of interpreting between American Sign Language and English;
  2. theoretical and practical knowledge of the interpreting field;
  3. knowledge of the culture and community of the Deaf;
  4. evidence of compliance with ethical and performance standards expected of an interpreter and knowledge of pertinent legislation;
  5. knowledge and skill to function as a cross-cultural mediator in order to transmit and transfer culturally based linguistic and non-linguistic information.

Criteria for acceptance into the interpreting program:

  1. Completion of ASL-212 American Sign Language IV or equivalent level of skill.
  2. Successfully complete the ASL Proficiency Exam.
  3. Demonstrate written English language skills with a minimum of a C+ in ENG-112.
  4. GPA of 3.0 in prerequisite American Sign Language courses.
  5. Overall GPA: 3.0.
  6. Approval of the ASL-English Interpreting faculty.

Transfer Students:

An outside transfer into the program must submit a video recording that demonstrates ASL proficiency in addition to meeting the above criteria.