Approximately 1,250 students served every year
ASL Faculty & Staff
- 100% Deaf & Native
- 100% Deaf & Native
- 100% certified
- 100% certified
Our Interpreting Program
offers degree and certificate programs designed to provide students with a strong foundation of knowledge, skills, and practical experience to become successful working interpreters. Courses teach theoretical, ethical, cultural and practical knowledge of the interpreting field, as well as cognitive processing skills to effectively interpret to prepare students for entry-level sign language interpreter positions or to transfer to a four-year institution. Students will develop competency in receptive and expressive skills in ASL and experience a variety of learning ASL environments, including classroom work, get support from ASL lab and internship experience. Students will be required to have both in-class and out-of-class experience with the Deaf community members to further develop bi-lingual fluency and bi-cultural competency. Interpreters must convey accurate messages, tone, and intent of participants, whether those messages are spoken or signed. Above average competency in English and strong American Sign Language skills are necessary. A strong academic background and traits that demonstrate maturity, responsibility, flexibility, and the ability to work well under pressure are assets.
Austin has one of the largest Deaf communities in the state and its proximity creates a high demand for interpreters. ASL Interpreters earn a median salary of $49,350 per year. Salaries typically start from $25,960 and go up to $80,990. Demand for ASL interpreters is expected to grow rapidly, driven by the increasing use of video relay services. The field of interpreting is a rapidly growing profession. Legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) have greatly increased the demand for interpreting services throughout the United States. Today, interpreters can be found in scores of situations such as educational, legal, medical, mental health, educational and theatrical settings. Within these different settings, an interpreter may work for a variety of clients on a “per job” basis as a freelance or private practice interpreter or may hold a full-time interpreting position.
It is intended that graduates will have a broad understanding of the types and scope of support services, which could be or should be available to deaf persons as well as extensive knowledge of Deaf culture Upon graduation, students will be prepared to take BEI Certification test and work as an entry-level interpreter in the field or to continue their studies at a four-year institution with our transfer program and obtain RID National Interpreter Certification.
The A.A.S. degree program is ideal for students who want to become ASL interpreters and do not already hold a degree. The Interpreting Training Level II Certificate program is ideal for students who want to become ASL interpreters, and already hold a degree.
To meet the Career Goal of becoming an ASL Interpreter:
Step One: complete the ASL Studies Level I Certificate (allows the student to become proficient in ASL and attain the pre-requisites for the A.A.S. program).
Step Two: complete the ASL Interpreter Training A.A.S.
Where do I start?
2. Is there an application for Scholarship in this program?
3. Is this program 100% online?
Currently, not all courses are offered online. We have a few ASL and interpreting online courses offered. Check our current semester schedule that is listed under DIL for online classes.
4. I am considering auditing a class.
5. What are the tuition and fee rates?
Courses and Degrees
6. Where can I find Course Descriptions?
8. Where are ASL and interpreting classes located?
9. ASL Placement Test
Every transfer student and prospective ASL student who has ASL knowledge will be required to schedule ASL Placement Test and because of the unique nature of our curriculum, only select course work can be considered for transfer credit for interpreting courses. Eligibility will be evaluated on a course-by-course basis during the placement test.
If you register in class without taking ASL Placement Test, you will be removed from class by 2nd week of semester. Email Fallon.Brizendine@austincc.edu to schedule an ASL Placement Test.
10. ASL Course Challenge Exam
In order to be eligible to take a Course Challenge Exam,
the applicant must be a current or former ACC student and meet the course prerequisites and institutional enrollment requirements. Students must complete at least one college credit awarding course at ACC before challenge exam results will be recorded on an official transcript. The student may not challenge a course more than once. No student may challenge a course for which she/he is currently enrolled or has received a grade of “A, B, C, D, F, I, W” or AU.
You will need to earn an “A” or a “B” on your exam in order to be awarded college-credit for having taken the exam. Credit received by way of the Course Challenge is reflected as a letter grade on your academic transcript, but it is important to note that this letter grade will not be calculated into your overall ACC GPA. However, certain institutions may include this letter grade in their calculations as they evaluate your academic transcript for transfer. As a result, the letter grade may positively impact your candidacy as a transfer student in some instances. If you plan to transfer to another college or university, you should consult that particular institution for more information about their transcript evaluation policies.
In order to take an ACC ASL Course Challenge Exam, please follow these procedures:
- Take an ASL Placement Test. With the result given, register in the class you were placed into. If you did not take ASL Placement Test, you will be either blocked from registration or be removed from class.
- After you complete one full semester at ACC, you may be eligible to get courses waived now. Obtain a Course Challenge Form from a campus Admissions and Records Office.
- Obtain Department Chair’s signature (#1 in form). At this point, Department Chair will assign an instructor to grade the exam.
- Obtain the signature from the instructor assigned by the Department Chair (#2 in form).
- Obtain the signature from the Admissions and Records Office (#3 in form).
- Pay for the exam at the Cashier’s Office. The fee is $10.00 per credit hour ($40.00 for SGNL 1401,1402 and $30.00 for SGNL 2301, 2302). Please make sure the receipt number is written on the form. (#4 in form).
- Finally, take the form back to the instructor who gave you exam to sign the result of your exam.
Please feel free to contact the departmental office with any questions you may have about the Challenge Exam guidelines and procedures. Note: Take ASL Placement Test and complete one full semester at ACC before you pick up Course Challenge Form and do the necessary procedures.
I want to be an Interpreter. What do I need to do?
11. What are the educational requirements to be certified interpreter?
BEI State Certification
The Department for Assistive and Rehabilitative Services Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (DARS-BEI) provides testing for people seeking state certification. At ACC we provide training that enables our interpreting students to pass the Basic level certification test.
More information on state certification can be found here
To prepare for BEI, visit this link.
To register for test, click here.
Educational Requirement: AA degree in any field
RID National Certification
National interpreter certification testing is a joint collaboration between the National Association of the Deaf and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. More information on RID National Certification can be found here.
Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree in any field
12. How long does it take to complete the associate degree and/or certificate programs?
Both the associate degree and the certificate depend on whether you have any language base or not. If there is no language base, then the programs will take you between three and four years (8 semesters) depending if you take summer courses. If a strong ASL base is attained, then the programs will take you 2 years (4 semesters).
13. Can I take two ASL classes concurrently?
No, you will not be able to take two ASL classes at the same time. Please review ACC Degree Tracking Worksheet and understand each course’s pre-requisite.
Our program started in 1997 and since that time it has tripled in size and continues to grow. We currently average of 1,250 students every year. The majority of ASL & Interpreter Training classes are offered at the Rio Grande Campus.
Faculty Advising Appointment
Students who are at beginning ASL classes should meet with an Area of Study Advisor and discuss your plan. Students who have completed at least ASL 3 with at least 30 college credits and are considering taking Interpreting classes should request a Faculty Advising appointment. Email Fallon.Brizendine@austincc.edu.