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.
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.
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.
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.
Educational Requirement: Bachelor’s degree in any field
CDI— 40 hours of interpreting training with RID CMP approved