Skilled and qualified ASL-English interpreters are in high demand. The Central Piedmont interpreter education program is founded on the belief that Deaf people constitute a linguistic and cultural minority group. American Sign Language (ASL) is the natural and indigenous language of the Deaf Community. Our program uses the approach that interpreters are allies within the Deaf Community and that interpreting is a complex cognitive process.
What You Will Learn
We recognize that not all Deaf people use ASL. We encourage you to broaden your competence and expertise through ongoing association with Deaf persons of diverse backgrounds and a commitment to life-long learning.
The interpreter education program provides a challenging and contemporary academic environment that fosters self-awareness, self-discovery, and active learning. You will acquire the knowledge and master the skills, as well as develop the attitudes, necessary to work as an entry-level interpreter.
When you graduate, you will be prepared to earn a provisional license to interpret in the community and/or to take the Educational Interpreters Performance Assessment (EIPA) to work in k-12 educational settings in NC. Currently, the EIPA requirement is a level 3.3 or higher. Typically, students graduating from our program have been able to attain that outcome or better. The state of North Carolina requires that you be licensed to work as an interpreter.
ASL-English Interpreters must have excellent fluency in both English and ASL excellent concentration abilities, good public speaking abilities, the ability to comprehend language (whether presented auditorily or visually), the ability to express language (verbally or gesturally), strong general knowledge of the world, the ability to be comfortable in different environments with people from different cultures and backgrounds, and the ability to make well-reasoned ethical and linguistic decisions.
Student Learning Objectives
When you finish the interpreter education program, you will be able to demonstrate ASL language and bi-cultural competency, apply meaning-based interpretations and translations, and use professional behaviors and ethical decision making skills in your career.
ASL Communication and Bi-Cultural Competency
You will be able to differentiate and describe cultural differences of a variety of cultures with a special emphasis on mainstream American culture and American Deaf culture.
Meaning Transfer Skills
Demonstrate entry-level meaning transfer skills between ASL and English in both consecutive and simultaneous modalities in a variety of genres, registers, and settings with a variety of consumers. You will be able to analyze and transcribe ASL and English texts for salient linguistic features, non-manual markers, goal and intent of the message, illocutionary force, and will compare your interpretations to the original source text to critique your work for successful transfer of meaning.
Ethical Decision Making Skills
When presented with an ethical scenario related to sign language interpreting, you will be able to analyze the key elements of the scenario, determine whether it is a moral temptation or ethical dilemma, identify stakeholders, formulate potential responses, apply the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct, and predict the potential impact of your response considering both short- and long-term implications of your response on the primary stakeholders.
You will be able to communicate effectively and professionally with peers, colleagues, consumers, and employers. You will demonstrate a commitment to life-long learning by formulating continuing education and professional development plans in pursuit of career goals within the field of sign language interpreting or related fields.
Why Choose Central Piedmont
We are proud to be the first community college in the nation to enter into an articulation agreement with Gallaudet University's Bachelor's in Interpreting program. This agreement addresses the national demand for more skilled ASL interpreters and gives you a:
- clear pathway to complete your four-year degree in ASL-English interpreting
- opportunity to transfer 100% of your academic credits to Gallaudet University
- opportunity to live and study in a Deaf space with Deaf people
All Central Piedmont ASL instructors use ASL to communicate and hold a master’s degree, specifically in Deaf studies, ASL pedagogy, and/or ASL studies. Our instructors hold national RID certification and North Carolina Interpreters and Transliterators Licensing Board (NCITL) state licensure as ASL-English Interpreters; most are certified members of the American Sign Language Teachers Association (ASLTA).
Our interpreter education program is one of the few Associate in Applied Science degree programs that, while taking longer to complete, places a heavy emphasis on ASL acquisition prior to teaching interpreting skills. You must have bilingual and bicultural skills in both ASL and English to begin to have the foundation needed to learn to interpret. You will successfully attain employment working as an interpreter in the community, in K-12 and post secondary educational environments, and in video relay. Many of our students successfully complete National Certification in Interpreting within four to five years of graduating from the program.
You will also have the opportunity to participate in the student iASL Club.
Real World Education
At Central Piedmont, your education goes beyond what you learn in class. We offer numerous opportunities for you to enhance your learning — and to make friends, network, and pursue your passions — through clubs and organizations, sports, events and activities, leadership opportunities, job experience, volunteer experiences, visual and performing arts, and even international experiences.