Major ID: 049A (624A)
Program Start Dates: Fall
The Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree program prepares individuals to work as interpreter transliterators facilitating and mediating communication between Deaf/ Hard of Hearing/Deaf-Blind and hearing people. Interpreters must convey accurate messages, feelings and attitudes of participants, whether those messages are spoken or signed. To accomplish this, competency in English and in American Sign Language are necessary. A strong academic background, traits that demonstrate maturity, responsibility, flexibility, and the ability to work well under pressure, are assets.
The curriculum requires both general education courses as well as courses specifically related to the Deaf Community and interpreting. The program covers a variety of subject areas which include: ASL linguistics and language development, interpreting process theory and application, interpreter roles/responsibilities, interpreter’s Code of Professional Conduct, history of deaf people and their culture, and the historical evolvement of the interpreting profession. Interpreting and Transliterating skills courses provide guided practice in developing the skills necessary to effectively interpret/transliterate. Students will experience a variety of learning environments including classroom work, laboratory practice and field placement. Students will be required to have both in-class and out- of-class experiences with members of the Deaf Community to further develop ASL fluency and cultural awareness.
Graduates will be qualified for careers as entry-level sign language interpreters with social service agencies, educational programs, community-based settings, or recreational situations. The employment outlook, due to accessibility legislation, has increased the need for interpreters.
Graduates will have opportunities to further their education and to specialize in their work through professional affiliations or by obtaining national certification. Graduates who plan to work in K-12 educational settings must hold a Provisional Certificate which allows them to become a practitioner for a maximum of two years or until they obtain national certification.
- Graduates will have an understanding and knowledge about the theoretical, ethical, and practical foundations of the interpreting field needed to pass the NAD-RID National Interpreter Certification (NIC) written test.
- Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to interpret between American Sign Language and English.
- Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to transliterate between spoken English and a signed form of English.
- Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to function as cross-cultural mediators in order to transmit and transfer culturally-based linguistic and non-linguistic information.
- Graduates will be informed of the necessary employment knowledge, and professional behaviors that are requisite for employment as Sign Language Interpreters/Transliterators.
- Graduates will sit for national certification within two years of graduation.
The Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program is one of the original six interpreter programs in the United States. It was established in 1972.
Program-Specific Admission Process
The Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator program has a program-specific admission process.
Admission requirements include completing the following course work before submitting the Program Major Application:
Program Major Application Form Submission
The Program Major Application form is called the “Application to Sign Language Interpreter/ Transliterator AAS Degree Major” and is available on the program Web page. On the Program Major Application form, students verify satisfactory completion or courses in progress of the above requirements.
Above average skills on college assessment tests for reading and writing English are used to determine entry into the program.
ASL Courses must have been taken within the past five years. The last ASL course must be within the past 18 months of date of application. Applicants must ensure that all technical credits submitted for review have been received within five years of application date. Technical credits are valid for five years. This includes transfer technical credits, which are used for specific technical program requirements. Students who have not had recent ASL courses (within the past 18 months) at date of application will need to refresh their skills by repeating their last ASL course or by taking ASL 5 during the summer term prior to beginning the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program.
The Credit by Examination/Test-Out is available for ASL 1 and ASL 2 only. Credit by Examination/ Test-Out are not transferable from another educational institution.
Saint Paul College has transfer agreements & partnerships between many post-secondary institutions. For more information please go to saintpaul.edu/Transfer.