According to the Deaf Resource Library, “American Sign Language (ASL) is a complex visual-spatial language that is used by the Deaf community in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. It is a linguistically complete, natural language. It is the native language of many Deaf men and women, as well as some hearing children born into Deaf families. ASL shares no grammatical similarities to English and should not be considered in any way to be a broken, mimed, or gestural form of English.”
About the Coursework
The four-year sign language interpreting degree program is designed to prepare graduates for a professional interpreting career and to use their skills in service to the community and the church. Upon completion of the B.A. degree, students will have taken the written portion of the National Registry of Interpreters for Deaf evaluation and have a sound base on which to build their interpreting skills. Most of our past graduates are working as interpreters while a few are involved in different roles with the Deaf community.
Possible ASL courses include:
- Intermediate ASL I & II
- Deaf American Literature
- Linguistics of ASL
- Intro to the Interpreting Profession
- North American Deaf Culture
Possible Career Paths
The possible career choices are broad for every major, and sign language interpreting alumni work successfully in many different careers. The list below will provide you with several career options, but it is not exhaustive. These careers do not require any additional training.
- Community Interpreter (staff or self-employed)
- Educational Interpreter
- Medical Interpreter
- Mental Health Interpreter
- Legal Interpreter
- Interpreter for Deaf-Blind Individuals
- Performance Interpreter
- Conference Interpreter
- Video Relay Interpreter
- Interpreter Coordinator
When students graduate from the ASL Interpreting program, they have the skills and experience they need to become interpreting professionals. Most of our graduates are working as interpreters, though some are involved in different roles with the Deaf community.
You might find our graduates:
- in local Indiana public schools system interpreting at all grade levels
- in private practice interpreting an assignment in doctor’s offices, staff meetings, job training, concerts, courts, etc.
- working as an interpreter coordinator for an interpreter referral agency
- working as the program coordinator for Anabaptist Deaf Ministries
- employed as a case worker with First Steps supporting Deaf parents and their infants (disabled)
- interpreting in the Alaska school system
- interpreting for video relay companies
from the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers
From the Occupational Outlook Handbook: