Jun 19, 2024  
Catalog 2023-2024 
Catalog 2023-2024 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Associate of Applied Science Degree

Location(s): In Person

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Program Overview

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.

Career Opportunities

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.

Program Outcomes

  1. 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.
  2. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to interpret between American Sign Language and English.
  3. Graduates will have the knowledge and skills to transliterate between spoken English and a signed form of English.
  4. 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.
  5. Graduates will be informed of the necessary employment knowledge, and professional behaviors that are requisite for employment as Sign Language Interpreters/Transliterators.
  6. Graduates will sit for national certification within two years of graduation.

Program Faculty

Linda Gill

Special Features

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. 

Transfer Opportunities

Saint Paul College has transfer agreements & partnerships between many post-secondary institutions. For more information please go to saintpaul.edu/Transfer.

Program Requirements

Program Prerequisites

Pre-Core Program General Education Courses

Prior to Official Acceptance into Program

In addition to completing the Program Prerequisites above, the following two General Education courses must be completed, or in progress with, a “C” or better grade prior to submitting your Program Major Application called the Application to Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS Degree Major form.

Pre-Core General Education Requirements: 7 Credits

2 credits must be taken from the following electives:

Core Credits: 51

Remaining General Education/MnTC Requirements

Must complete at least 9 remaining credits from the Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) Course List  

  • Goal 1: Communication 3 Credits

    COMM 17XX 3 Credits
  • Goal 3 or Goal 4 3 Credits

    Goal 3: Natural Sciences
    Goal 4: Mathematical/Logical Reasoning
  • Goal 6: Humanities and Fine Arts 3 Credits

Remaining General Education Requirements: 9 Credits

Course Sequence

The following sequence is recommended for a full-time student. Students are encouraged to take a portion of their general education requirements in the summer term during their program in order to lessen their academic load during the school year.

Part-time day courses are available during the fall and spring of the first year of the 2-year program. The summer course between first and second year is day programming. The second year of the program must be taken full-time, days. Not all courses are offered each semester; a selection of courses are offered summer term.

Required General Education Courses to be taken prior, or in progress, to submitting Program Major Application:

Any Semester prior to Program Acceptance: 7 Credits

With Official Acceptance into the Program, students begin taking INTP/ASLS Core Courses as follows:

First Semester

Total Semester Credits: 14

Second Semester

Total Semester Credits: 13

Third Term

Total Semester Credits: 7

Total Semester Credits: 13

Total Semester Credits: 13

Total Program Credits: 67

All INTP core courses as well as ASLS courses require a grade of “C” or better.

Information is subject to change.This Program Requirements Guide is not a contract.

Minimum Program Entry Requirements
Complete prerequisite ASL 1 and ASL 2 with grade of “C” or better, ASL 3 and ASL 4 with a combined GPA of 3.0. Complete prerequisite of Composition 1 (ENGL 1711 ) and Lifespan Development (PSYC 1720 ) preferred; General Psychology (PSYC 1710 ) accepted. Course must be completed with “C” grade or better.

It is necessary for students in the Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program to be able to process auditory and visual information.

Reading: Score of 250+ or grade of “C” or better in READ 0722  or READ 0724  or EAPP 0900  

Writing: Score of 250+ on Reading Comprehension or grade of “C” or better in ENGL 0922  or EAPP 0900  

Arithmetic: Score of 250+ or grade of “C” or better in MATH 0745  

Assessment Results and Prerequisites: Students admitted into Saint Paul College programs may need to complete additional courses based on assessment results and course prerequisite requirements. Certain MATH, READ, and ENGL courses have additional prerequisites.

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