College Record 2023-2024

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 consumers in a variety of education, medical, human services, legal, 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 Act requires all healthcare providers receiving Federal aid to provide language services to non-English users, including Deaf people. Currently, the demand for qualified interpreters far exceeds the number of educated and trained professionals in the field. 

An interpreter must be bilingual and bi-cultural: that is, able to communicate with above average proficiency in both ASL and English, as well as 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. 

Education begins with ASL, English, English to ASL translations, ASL to English translations, and non-speaking and speaking 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 a 12-credit 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. Formulate proficient and cognitive interpretation between two languages of American Sign Language & English
  2. Apply knowledge of the history, culture, values, and diversity of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/Deaf/Blind communities in interpreting practice.
  3. Engage in professional best practices about interpreting, linguistics, cultural, ethical, and professionalism components based on researched evidence.
  4. Construct strategies for problem solving in interpreting practice, such as anxiety management, self-monitoring, self-correction in personal and professional development
  5. Interpret in settings appropriate to entry-level interpreters.