ACC, Gallaudet create bachelor’s degree pathway

The Austin Community College District is launching a new partnership with Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., that will allow students in the ACC American Sign Language and Interpreter Training (ASLIT) Program an opportunity to continue their education with a bachelor’s degree.

“This agreement creates a new educational pathway for ACC graduates,” says Emily Anderson, ACC professor of interpreting. “This collaboration is an amazing opportunity for our students to maintain their momentum, continue their education, and prepare them for national certification.”

ACC students who transfer to Gallaudet will live, study, and interact with Deaf and hard of hearing people across the nation and abroad.

“Our ultimate goal is to prepare our interpreting students for a successful, rewarding career,” says Fallon Brizendine, ACC department chair of ASLIT. “Austin Community College’s partnership with the Gallaudet University Interpreter Training Program will give our students a fresh, interactive dimension in their pursuit of a BA in Interpreting. A four-year program will prepare our students to qualify for National RID Certification.”

IMG_3598The articulation agreement, effective in fall 2015, establishes a joint admissions process, offering students who complete the associate degree program at ACC the opportunity to enter Gallaudet University and pursue a bachelor’s degree. Gallaudet is the world’s only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate Deaf and hard of hearing students.

“Deaf and hard of hearing people around the country face hardships each time they must deal with an interpreter who is not qualified during doctor’s appointments, in classes, and in the workplace,” says T. Alan Hurwitz, Gallaudet president. “This collaboration means that deaf and hard of hearing people around the country will have better access to skilled and trained interpreters.”

ACC offers American Sign Language courses at its Highland, Rio Grande, Pinnacle, South Austin, and Cypress Creek campuses. In the 2014-2015 academic year, approximately 700 students were enrolled in ASLIT classes and the college graduated more than a dozen associate degree students.

For more information on the college’s ASLIT Program visit or contact Fallon Brizendine at 512-271-2446 or

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