West Virginia Northern Community College

Offices and Services

Sign Language/Interpreter A.A.S.

Sign Language/Interpreter Training Program
Human Services
Associate in Applied Science
Note: Students who have previously completed Interpreter training outside a normal degree program or from non-collegiate providers may want to consider the Technical Studies or Board of Governor’s AAS flexible degree program, which are designed to credential education and training which individuals obtain outside a normal degree program or from non-collegiate providers.
Academic Advisor(s): WH-Herrington (A-L), McBride (M-Z);
WT-Davis; NM-Britt

The Interpreter Preparation Program is designed to provide students with entry-level skills in sign language interpreting. Students will develop skills in expressive and receptive use of American Sign Language and specific technical skills required to interpret and transliterate. In addition, students will study topics relevant to Deaf people and the field of interpreting. Students will experience a wide variety of learning activities to enhance practical skills as well as theoretical knowledge. These include on-site observations and interviews, attendance at Deaf-related community activities, guest lectures, video and audio lab assignments, and classroom lectures.

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:
• Assess whether their skills match those needed on a particular interpreting assignment;
• Interpret consecutively and simultaneously in a low-key, one-on-one setting;
• Use internal and external cues to maintain accuracy and determine whether interpreting assignment goals are being met;
• Incorporate feedback from a mentor, team interpreter, and/or deaf consumer;
• Adjust language style to match that of consumer’s;
• Function appropriately in an interpreting situation following the interpreter’s Code of Professional Conduct.
• Demonstrate knowledge of human development, exceptionalities, and cultural diversity, especially as it applies to Deaf culture
• Demonstrate adequate broad-based knowledge in liberal arts, including English, humanities, math, science, and the social sciences
Career Highlights
• Interpreters may consider self-employment or private practice positions in the corporate and non-profit sectors, or work placement through an interpreter referral agency.
• Employment opportunities span across the educational, medical, mental health, religious, performing arts, legal and platform settings.
• Currently, qualified interpreters are in demand in all fields

It is important to note that students who successfully complete this program will leave with entry level skills in sign language interpreting and the knowledge necessary to be successful on NIC and EIPA written certification tests. Candidates for certification will need to pursue further education, mentorships, and continue their contact with the Deaf community in order to develop the skills necessary to be successful on the performance sections of any certification exam. Interpreting is a rich and rewarding field and practitioners of the profession truly get of it what they are willing to put in.

First Year - Fall Semester

Cr. Hours
ASL 101 American Sign Language I     3
ENG 101 College Composition I     3
MATH Mathematics Core Requirement     2
PSYC 105 Intro to Psychology     3
SOC 125 Intro to Sociology     3

First Year - Spring Semester

Cr. Hours
ASL 102 American Sign Language II     3
ASL 140 Deaf Culture     3
ASL 190 Intro to Interpreting     3
CIT 117 Microsoft Applications     3
SCI Science Core Requirement   3-4

Second Year - Fall Semester

Cr. Hours
ASL 130 Fingerspelling     1
ASL 203 American Sign Language III     3
ASL 211 Consecutive Interpreting     3
ASL 215 Transliteration     3
ECCE 100 Foundations of Education     3
PSYC 208 Development of Psychology     3

Second Year - Spring Semester

Course Cr. Hours
ASL 204 American Sign Language IV     3
ASL 212 Simultaneous Interpreting     3
ASL 221 Survey of Specialized Interpreting Signs     1
 ASL 230 Interpreting Practicum     3
 PSYC 218 Exeptional Children     3
SPCH 101
Spch 105 Fundamentals of Speech


Total Hours in Program - 61-62

Awards and Accreditations