Interpreter Education

Becoming an American Sign Language - English interpreter
Students who wish to become a professional sign language interpreter must develop fluency in at least two languages. The Interpreter Education curriculum prepares individuals to work as entry-level American Sign Language - English interpreters who provide communication access for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing within a variety of interactive settings. An AAS Degree in Interpreter Education (A55300) is available for students wanting to become ASL-English Interpreters.

The curriculum also provides excellent opportunities for interpreters already working in the field who want to enhance their knowledge and interpretation skills or work toward achieving National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) certification.

Certification in Basic ASL Communication
Some students take ASL classes to satisfy foreign/modern language requirements in other degree programs and only take 2 or 3 semesters of ASL instruction. Some students seek more in depth ASL instruction, but do not wish to become ASL-English Interpreters. For those students, a Certificate in Basic ASL Communication Skills (C55300-C6) is available to document a social level of ASL proficiency for a variety of employment or personal reasons.  ASL 111, ASL 181, ASL 112, ASL 182, ASL 211, ASL 281, ASL 212, ASL 282 are transferable courses under the Comprehensive Articulation Agreement.

Little or No Experience in American Sign Language
Students entering the program with little or no experience in communicating in American Sign Language (ASL) must complete ASL foundational courses prior to enrolling in courses for the Interpreter Education Program. Students who have never taken a college-level American Sign Language course are required to start with Beginning ASL 111 and ASL 181 (lab).

The AAS in Interpreter Education is a 76-credit program that typically takes up to eight semesters to complete because foundational ASL skills must be acquired before learning to interpret between ASL and English.  Because the program is spread out over eight semesters, the program is essentially part- time with most semesters requiring between 9 and 11 credits of study. Because of course sequencing, students wishing to complete the AAS in Interpreter Education are strongly encouraged to begin their studies with ASL 111 and ASL 181 in the Fall term.  Students also are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising directly from the program to discuss their program of study and career goals with program faculty.

Prior College-Level ASL Courses
Students who have taken at least four semesters of college-level ASL course(s) at a regionally accredited institution and possess at least an intermediate level of fluency in American Sign Language, as demonstrated by both the ASL placement test and an intermediate score on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI Gallaudet), may be able to complete the Interpreter Education program in four semesters. Student who do not have formal collegiate-level ASL course credits must begin their ASL studies in ASL 111 and ASL 181 (lab).  There is no credit-by-exam available for ASL courses.

Employment Opportunities
Entry-level employment for professional interpreters is available in a variety of community and educational settings. Interpreters may consider part-time, full-time, self-employment and private practice positions or apply American Sign Language skills to other related areas of human services.

AAS in Interpreter Education graduates interested in working in the K-12 educational setting are able to be qualified to work in NC Public Schools by obtaining a 3.0 or better on the Educational Interpreters Performance Assessment (EIPA).

AAS Interpreter Education graduates working in settings other than educational or religious, including medical, business, mental health, legal, performing arts, community and video relay/remote settings in NC, must be licensed by the NC Interpreters and Transliterators Licensing Board (NCITLB). Graduation with an AAS in Interpreter Education is one pathway to obtain a provisional license to begin entry-level employment.  Provisional licenses are renewable for a limited number of years. To convert a provisional NCITLB license to a full license, interpreters must obtain National Interpreter Certification (NIC) through the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). To sit for NIC, interpreters must have a BA/BS degree in any field or a demonstrated equivalency of credits through the RID alternate pathway.  Multiple avenues are available for students to meet the requirements for NIC testing that should be discussed with a program advisor. 

For specific information about potential positions and wages in Interpreter Education employment, visit the Central Piedmont Career Coach website.

Interpreter Education (A55300)

Degree Awarded

The Associate in Applied Science (A55300) degree - Interpreter Education is awarded by the college upon completion of this program.

Admissions

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required.
  • Central Piedmont placement tests are required in English, reading and mathematics. Students must take and pass ENG 111 with a grade of “C” or better, successfully pass a credit by exam, or transfer an ENG 111 equivalent course.
  • Students must attain a minimum required score on the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI Gallaudet) in order to major in the Interpreter Education program and take advanced ASL, IPP or WBL prefix courses: ASL 250, IPP 112, IPP 130, IPP 152, IPP 153, IPP 161, and IPP 245.
    Eligible Scores: ASLPI ratings older than one year cannot be accepted for admission into the program.

Expired Placement Tests

  • Students for whom ASL placement or ASLPI tests have expired, must repeat and pass the placement test and/or achieve an intermediate score on the ASLPI to enter or return to the Interpreter Education program.

Coursework

Many courses have prerequisites or co-requisites; check the Courses section for details.

Coursework includes: 

  • Acquisition of American Sign Language (ASL): grammar, structure and socio-linguistic properties, cognitive processes associated with interpretation between ASL and English, and Deaf culture
  • Ethical decision-making, and
  • Acquisition of consecutive and simultaneous interpreting skills.
  • Students must earn a grade “C” or better in all ASL, IPP, and WBL prefix courses in order to advance to the next level of courses and for those course credits to count toward satisfying degree completion requirements.  

See the Interpreter Education Program website for more information.

Lapse in Proficiency

  • Students for whom two or more consecutive terms have lapsed since taking an ASL course, must take a placement interview prior to registering for ASL courses (except for ASL 111 and 181, Beginning ASL 1) to determine proper placement in ASL and IPP (Interpreting) courses. Courses may need to be repeated, if skills have declined significantly.  This requirement includes students transferring ASL credit from another college or university.

A student must receive a final grade of “C” or higher in all ASL, IPP, or WBL courses in order to receive credit for that course toward an Interpreter Education A.A.S. (A55300) degree or to advance to the next level of coursework.

Articulation Agreement

An articulation agreement is in place between the Central Piedmont Interpreter Education program and Gallaudet University - Bachelor degree in Interpretation (BAI).  At Gallaudet University, students must apply for acceptance into the program and pass an ASL placement test. Once accepted, Gallaudet guarantees the transfer of Central Piedmont college-level credits with a grade of “C” or equivalent and requires that a grade of "B" or higher be maintained in all interpreting courses.

Contact Information

The Interpreter Education program is in the Professional Careers Division at the Cato Campus. For more information about the Interpreting degree or Interpreting courses, ASL courses, ASL placement testing or the ASLPI, contact Program Chair, Ms. Martha Ingel, M.S.Ed., CI/CT at martha.ingel@cpcc.edu.

General Education Requirements
ENG 111Writing and Inquiry3.0
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Writing and Research in the Disciplines
Literature-Based Research
Professional Research & Reporting
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Introduction to Communication
Public Speaking
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Mathematical Measurement and Literacy
Algebra/Trigonometry I
Quantitative Literacy
Statistical Methods I
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Art Appreciation
Art History Survey I
Art History Survey II
Cultural Studies
Myth in Human Culture
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Jazz
Philosophical Issues
Introduction to Ethics
World Religions
Select 3 credits of the following:3.0
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
World Civilizations I
World Civilizations II
American History I
American History II
American Government
General Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Major Requirements
ASL 111Elementary ASL I3.0
ASL 112Elementary ASL II3.0
ASL 211Intermediate ASL I3.0
ASL 250Linguistics of American Sign Language3.0
IPP 111Introduction to Interpretation3.0
IPP 112Comparative Cultures3.0
IPP 152ASL/English Translation3.0
IPP 161Consecutive Interpreting5.0
IPP 221Simultaneous Interpreting I5.0
WBL 111Work-Based Learning I1.0
WBL 115Work-Based Learning Seminar I1.0
Other Major Requirements
ASL 181ASL Lab 11.0
ASL 182ASL Lab 21.0
ASL 212Intermediate ASL II3.0
ASL 281ASL Lab 31.0
ASL 282ASL Lab 41.0
IPP 153Introduction to Discourse Analysis3.0
IPP 222Simultaneous Interpreting II5.0
IPP 240Ethical Standards and Practices3.0
WBL 121Work-Based Learning II1.0
WBL 125Work-Based Learning Seminar II1.0
Select 5 credits of the following:5.0
Visual Gestural Communication
Numbers and Fingerspelling
Advanced American Sign Language I
Advanced American Sign Language II
Global Deaf Community
American Sign Language Classifiers
American Sign Language Non-Manual Signals
American Sign Language Semantics
Analytical Skills for Interpreting
Educational Interpreting Issues
Introduction to Computers
Basic PC Literacy
Total Credits76

No diplomas are offered in Interpreter Education.

Interpreter Education Certificate (C55300)

Interpreter Education Certificate Specialization in Basic ASL Communication Skills (C55300-C6)

This certificate is available through the Career & College Promise program.

The Basic ASL Communication Skills Certificate (C55300-C6) is designed to provide students with the foundational ASL skills needed to continue in the Interpreter Education Program (A55300) AAS degree. It also serves to demonstrate basic ASL Communication proficiency for students whose primary goal is to develop ASL communication skills for either personal or employment-related reasons.

This certificate may be used to demonstrate a particular level of proficiency in ASL to employers, but it will not qualify students to work as Sign Language Interpreters in any setting in the state of NC. Students obtaining the Basic ASL Communication Skills Certificate (C55300-C6), who desire work as interpreters, must continue their studies to complete the degree requirements for the AAS (A55300) Interpreter Education degree.  

Middle College and High School students taking the Basic ASL Communication Skills Certificate (C55300-C6), who ultimately wish to complete the AAS (A55300) degree in Interpreter Education, should meet with a program advisor in the Interpreter Education program to discuss degree map and course sequencing to foster correct course registration and sequence.

Major Requirements
ASL 111Elementary ASL I3.0
ASL 112Elementary ASL II3.0
ASL 151Numbers and Fingerspelling1.0
ASL 211Intermediate ASL I3.0
ASL 181ASL Lab 11.0
ASL 182ASL Lab 21.0
ASL 212Intermediate ASL II3.0
ASL 253American Sign Language Non-Manual Signals1.0
ASL 281ASL Lab 31.0
ASL 282ASL Lab 41.0
Total Credits18

American Sign Language Courses

ASL 110. Visual Gestural Communication. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the comprehension and expression of visual-gestural aspects of non-verbal communication in American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on hand shapes, facial expression, pantomime and body language with activities that create visual, motor and cognitive readiness for signed languages. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate improved visual gestural communication and comprehension of facial expressions, body language and use of space.

ASL 111. Elementary ASL I. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the fundamental elements of American Sign Language within a cultural context. Emphasis is placed on the development of basic expressive and receptive skills. Upon completion, students will be able to comprehend and respond with grammatical accuracy to expressive American Sign Language and demonstrate cultural awareness.

Corequisites: Take ASL 181

ASL 112. Elementary ASL II. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is a continuation of ASL 111 focusing on the fundamental elements of American Sign Language in a cultural context. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of expressive and receptive skills. Upon completion, the students should be able to comprehend and respond with increasing accuracy to expressive American Sign Language and demonstrate cultural awareness.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 111 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 182

ASL 120. ASL for the Workplace. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course offers applied American Sign Language (ASL) for the workplace to facilitate basic communication with people whose native language is ASL. Emphasis is placed on expressive and receptive communication and career-specific vocabulary that targets health, business, and/or public service professions. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate at a functional level with native speakers and to demonstrate cultural sensitivity.

ASL 151. Numbers and Fingerspelling. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an in-depth study of number systems and fingerspelling techniques in ASL. Emphasis is placed on generating and receiving numbers and fingerspelling in context. Upon completion, students should be able to accurately express and receive numbers and fingerspelling.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 111 Minimum grade C

ASL 181. ASL Lab 1. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance acquisition of the fundamental elements of American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of basic expressive and receptive skills through the use of supplementary learning media and materials. Upon completion, students should be able to comprehend and respond with grammatical accuracy to expressive American Sign Language and demonstrate cultural awareness.

ASL 182. ASL Lab 2. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance acquisition of the fundamental elements of American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of basic expressive and receptive skills through the use of supplementary learning media and materials. Upon completion, students should be able to comprehend and respond with increasing proficiency to expressive American Sign Language and demonstrate cultural awareness.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 181 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 112

ASL 211. Intermediate ASL I. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a review and expansion of the essential skills of American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of expressive and receptive skills, study of authentic and representative literacy and cultural texts. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate effectively, accurately, and creatively using American Sign Language about the past, present, and future.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 112 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 281

ASL 212. Intermediate ASL II. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a continuation of ASL 211. Emphasis is placed on the continuing development of expressive and receptive skills, with study of authentic and representative literary and cultural texts. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate spontaneously and accurately with increasing complexity and sophistication.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 211 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 282

ASL 221. Advanced American Sign Language I. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an expansion of the essential and advanced skills of ASL, including advanced vocabulary, lexicalized fingerspelling, and complex grammatical structures. Emphasis is placed on the advanced development of expressive, receptive and conversational skills, study of authentic and representative literacy and cultural texts. Upon completion, students will communicate more accurately with advanced complexity, and to present the topics in the various registers, pragmatics and genres of ASL.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 Minimum grade C

ASL 222. Advanced American Sign Language II. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides more expansion of the essential and advanced skills of ASL, including advanced vocabulary, lexicalized fingerspelling, story telling, and complex grammatical structures. Emphasis is placed on the more advanced development of expressive, receptive, conversational and presentational skills in a variety of discourse genres. Upon completion, students should be able to debate and lecture with advanced complexity, create story telling, and to present the complementary issues of Deaf community.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 221 Minimum grade C

ASL 225. Global Deaf Community. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an overview of issues related to D/deaf people focusing on Deaf history, causes of deafness, communication, and attitudes toward D/deaf people globally. Emphasis is placed on deaf history, causes of deafness, communication, and attitude toward D/deaf people. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss significant issues related to deafness.

ASL 250. Linguistics of American Sign Language. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to increase knowledge and skills necessary to linguistically analyze ASL. Emphasis is placed on applying phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse and socio- linguistics of ASL. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic linguistics of ASL through a variety of assessment methods.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 and IPP 111 with a minimum grade of C Passing ASLPI score

ASL 252. American Sign Language Classifiers. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance the use of principles of ASL classifiers and to expand the use of ASL classifiers. Emphasis is placed on using different categories of classifiers including bodypart, descriptive, element, instrument and semantic classifiers. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate effectively, accurately, and creatively incorporating ASL classifiers.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 Minimum grade C

ASL 253. American Sign Language Non-Manual Signals. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance and expand the essential skills of ASL's non-manual signals. Emphasis is placed on using different parts of non-manual signals including listener's feedback, ASL mouth morphemes, eye and forehead expressions, and head and shoulder shifts. Upon completion, students should be able to use ASL non-manual signals effectively, accurately and creatively.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 211 Minimum grade C

ASL 260. American Sign Language Semantics. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to build upon students' knowledge of ASL semantic skills in an effort to enhance students' use of ASL with semantic clarity and accuracy. Emphasis is placed on analyzing, practicing, and demonstrating skills in using appropriate semantic meaning in ASL discourse with focus on various levels of ASL register. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of the role of ASL semantics in the linguistic function of ASL and improvement in conveying accurate meaning in ASL.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 250

ASL 281. ASL Lab 3. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance the review and expansion of the essential skills of American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on the progressive development of expressive and receptive skills through the study of authentic and representative literary and cultural texts through the use of various supplementary learning media and materials. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate effectively, accurately, and creatively about the past, present, and future.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 182 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 211

ASL 282. ASL Lab 4. 1.0 Credit. Class-0.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-2.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an opportunity to enhance the review and expansion of the essential skills of American Sign Language. Emphasis is placed on the continuing development of expressive and receptive skills and study of authentic and representative literary and cultural texts thorugh the use of various supplementary learning media and materials. Upon completion, students should be able to communicate spontaneously and accurately with increasing complexity and sophistication.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 281 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take ASL 212

Interpeter Preparation Courses

IPP 111. Introduction to Interpretation. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an orientation to the field of interpreting, interpretation models, cognitive processes associated with interpretation, professional ethical standards, employment opportunities, and working conditions. Topics include specialized jargon, code of ethics, theories, interpreter assessments/qualifications, and protocol associated with various settings. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the rationale for placement of interpreters and apply ethical standards to a variety of working situations.

Prerequisites: Take DRE 098 or ENG 111 with a minimum grade of C

IPP 112. Comparative Cultures. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces various cultural attributes and how they impact the consumers and the interpreting process. Topics include value systems of deaf and non-deaf individuals, enculturation stages, sociolinguistic continuum of language use within the deaf community, and cross-cultural management. Upon completion, students should be able to compare deaf and non-deaf cultures and discuss how attitudes impact communication interactions and interpreting.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 with a minimum grade of C

IPP 130. Analytical Skills for Interpreting. 3.0 Credits. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-4.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to improve cognitive processes associated with interpreting, listening, short-term memory, semantic equivalence, visual/auditory processing, thought organization, and logic. Emphasis is placed on developing skills necessary to generate equivalent messages between ASL and English. Upon completion, students should be able to consecutively interpret non-technical, interactive messages between ASL and English.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 211 Minimum grade C

IPP 152. ASL/English Translation. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides a study of the component parts of a cultural scheme and the manner in which ASL and English differ. Emphasis is placed on analyzing, discussing, and translating basic ASL and English texts. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss and apply techniques of cross-cultural communication and translation between deaf and non-deaf communities.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 112 ASL 212 Minimum grade C

IPP 153. Introduction to Discourse Analysis. 3.0 Credits. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-4.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces discourse types and functions and specialized vocabulary and examines the specific nature of ASL discourse. Emphasis is placed on applying and practicing a model of analysis utilizing specialized vocabulary. Upon completion, students should be able to utilize specialized vocabulary and demonstrate ASL discourse features.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 IPP 111 Minimum grade C Passing ASLPI score

IPP 161. Consecutive Interpreting. 5.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-6.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces the process of ASL/English consecutive interpreting in a variety of interview, meeting, and small conference settings. Emphasis is placed on generating equivalent messages between ASL and English. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss and apply the principles of the protocol of consecutive interpreting.

Prerequisites: Take IPP 152 IPP 153 Minimum grade C

IPP 221. Simultaneous Interpreting I. 5.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-6.0. Work-0.0

This course introduces simultaneous ASL/English interpreting through a variety of expository texts originating in group, meeting, and conference settings. Emphasis is placed on analyzing expository texts, identifying registers, and applying principles of the protocol of interpreting. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the appropriate linguistic and/or cultural adjustments required to generate equivalent messages.

Prerequisites: Take IPP 161 Minimum grade C
Corequisites: Take IPP 240

IPP 222. Simultaneous Interpreting II. 5.0 Credits. Class-2.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-6.0. Work-0.0

This course provides additional experience in interpreting a variety of situations which occur during basic expository presentations. Emphasis is placed on interpreting texts which serve an informational, hortatory, and/or procedural function. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the appropriate linguistic and cultural adjustments necessary to achieve an equivalent register in the interpretation.

Prerequisites: Take IPP 221 IPP 240 Minimum grade C

IPP 224. ASL to English Interpretation. 0.0 Credits. Class-1.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course is designed to improve skills in ASL to English interpretation. Emphasis is placed on receptive skills, equivalent messages, grammatically correct English, and appropriate content, mood, and register. Upon completion, students should be able to generate appropriate English equivalents and apply appropriate linguistic and/or cultural adjustments.

Prerequisites: Take IPP 152

IPP 240. Ethical Standards and Practices. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course develops intellectual and ethical decision-making abilities and considers common ethical dilemmas that arise within the interpreting process. Topics include a model of ethical/intellectual development and the application of the model to interpreting practices. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss ethical resolution to various case studies and apply recognized principles of professional behavior to the interpreting process.

Corequisites: Take IPP 221

IPP 245. Educational Interpreting Issues. 3.0 Credits. Class-3.0. Clinical-0.0. Lab-0.0. Work-0.0

This course provides an overview of educational interpreting in the US and discusses recent trends in the education of deaf students. Topics include history of deaf education, current employment practices and requirements for educational interpreters. Upon completion, students should be able to discuss current issues, become familiar with evaluation practices, and apply professional/ethical standards to the interpreting role.

Prerequisites: Take ASL 212 IPP 111 Minimum grade C