American Sign Language and Interpreter Training

Program Level: Degrees, Certificates, Pre-Majors/Transfer
Department: Creative and Communication Arts
Institute: Creative & Communication Arts
College: SAC

American Sign Language and Interpreter Training Academic Advising Labs Faculty and Staff

What is the American Sign Language and Interpreting program?

The American Sign Language and Interpreting Program within the Languages @SAC Department is designed to provide quality ASL and Interpreter education by offering a comprehensive series of classes including, but not limited to ASL, Deaf Culture, and the interpreting process. The department strives to provide an environment where students become fully prepared to work as interpreters and deaf support specialist for members of this unique population.

What will I learn?

Interpreting students will acquire an awareness and understanding of:

  • ASL
  • Deaf culture
  • the interpreting profession
  • the interpreting process
  • specialized interpreting settings

DSS students will acquire an awareness and understanding of:

  • ASL
  • Deaf culture
  • Role of a DSS in the community and educational settings
  • Advocacy, job coaching and mentoring

students become fully prepared to work as interpreters and deaf support specialists

What can I do with this course of study?

The demand for interpreters allows for a variety of job opportunities, either part-time or full-time. There are a number of settings for an ASL interpreter to find employment such as educational, community, video relay, medical, legal, mental health/psychiatric, religious and performing arts. An interpreter also has the opportunity to be self-employed and work for various companies and/or government agencies. The pay rate for an ASL interpreter will depend on certification level, degrees held, location (urban vs. rural) and years of experience.

What can deaf support specialists do with their degree?

A DSS function as paraprofessionals within the work place, and can also work in various vocational rehabilitation roles such as job coaches and regional specialists. They are often involved working with people who face additional challenges in conjunction with their Deafness.

What is special about our program?

  • Program accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education
  • Program rated Exemplary by Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
  • Eleven full time faculty
  • More than 180 declared majors
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services part of the department
  • Only program in Texas requiring students to pass the State certification Exam as a graduation requirement

Careers

  • A qualified Sign Language Interpreter is responsible for facilitating communication between consumers that are Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing by interpreting between English and American Sign Language. Interpreting refers to the process of preserving the meaning from one natural language to another natural language. When we interpret, it involves the unrehearsed, not written (i.e., spoken or signed) conversion of a message from one language (called the source language) to a second language (called the target language). (Department of Linguistics and Interpreting Gallaudet University, 1991) A Sign Language Interpreter must also act as a cultural mediator when working with consumers who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing.

    The demand for interpreters allows for a variety of job opportunities, either part-time or full-time. There are a number of settings for a Sign Language Interpreter to find employment such as educational, community, video relay, medical, legal, mental health/psychiatric, religious and performing arts. An interpreter also has the opportunity to be self-employed and work as an Independent Contractor or a Freelance Interpreter for various companies and/or government agencies. The pay rate for a Sign Language Interpreter will depend on certification level, degrees held, location (urban vs. rural) and years of experience.

    Below are additional web sites you may want to visit.

    http://www.discoverinterpreting.com

    http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes273091.htm#ind

    http://www.deaflinx.com/Interpreting/jobdescription.html

    Certified Deaf/Intermediary Interpreter

    For more information contact :

    Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services

  • A Deaf Support Specialist (DSS) is responsible for advocating, educating and promoting community awareness on the issues that pertain to the Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing communities. Their duties involve assisting Deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers with independent living skills, informing them of community services, and educating them in terms of their rights as they relate to the Americans with Disabilities Act. Additionally they can assist in locating the latest rehabilitative and/or assistive technological devices. A DSS is not a Sign Language Interpreter; although, some interpreting may be required which is why our program requires that DSS take Interpreting I to become familiar with the interpreting process. A DSS may also work as a cultural mediator when working with consumers who are Deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing.

    A DSS may find employment in a variety of settings. They can work in the educational field as a paraprofessional, tutor or educator. Additionally they can also work as a job coach for companies or government agencies that employ Deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals. They may also have the opportunity to work for an agency or organization that provides an array of services for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

    This degree may also benefit students who plan on pursuing their Bachelor’s degree in a field where they  encounter deaf or hard-of-hearing consumers. Those occupations may include Deaf education or special education teacher, social worker, counselor, and vocational rehabilitation counselor.

    The pay rate for a Deaf Support Specialist will depend on degrees and/or certifications held as well as years of experience.

Degrees and Certificates

American Sign Language: Deaf Support Specialist, A.A.S.

The Associate of Applied Science degree in American Sign Language (ASL): Deaf Support Specialist is for individuals seeking employment as an advocate, job coach, mentor and/or paraprofessional to Deaf consumers. Graduates will be knowledgeable of linguistic and cultural aspects pertinent to the Deaf community and will have proficiency in expression and comprehension of American Sign Language. Graduates are encouraged to seek further academic studies.

American Sign Language: Sign Language Interpreter, A.A.S.

The Associate of Applied Science degree in American Sign Language (ASL): Sign Language Interpreter prepares individuals to interpret between Deaf and hearing individuals. The settings are various and include, educational, medical, legal, mental health, and community based employment. Interpreters may be either freelance contractors or hold staff positions with benefits. This degree prepares interpreters for entry-level positions. Further skill development and study are necessary for high-risk settings like legal, medical, and mental health.

Please Note: Students cannot apply for an Enhanced Certificate until they have completed one of the above AAS degrees.

American Sign Language Training Enhanced Certificate in Educational Interpreting

The Enhanced Certificate (EC) in Specialized Interpreting engages students who want to increase their knowledge of specialized interpreting genres and transliteration skills.

American Sign Language Training Enhanced Certificate in Specialized Interpreting

The Enhanced Certificate (EC) in Specialized Interpreting engages students who want to increase their knowledge of specialized interpreting genres and transliteration skills.

Trilingual Interpreter, Advanced Technical Certificate

The Trilingual Interpreter Advanced Technical Certificate was created to strengthen an interpreter’s skill who is currently utilizing the three languages of ASL, English and spoken Spanish in their professional work.   

Contact Us

Lauri Metcalf
Chairperson
lmetcalf@alamo.edu
Location:
Nail Technical Center (NTC-114)
Phone:
210-486-1106