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Saint Paul College A Community & Technical College

Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator

Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Associate in Applied Science Degree

Program Overview

The Sign Language Interpreter / Transliterator Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Degree program prepares individuals to work as interpreter transliterators facilitating and mediating communication between Deaf/Hard of Hearing / Deaf-Blind and hearing people. Interpreters must convey accurate messages, feelings and attitudes of participants, whether those messages are spoken or signed. To accomplish this, competency in English and in American Sign Language are necessary. A strong academic background, traits that demonstrate maturity, responsibility, flexibility, and the ability to work well under pressure, are assets. ​

Students will experience a variety of learning environments including classroom work, laboratory practice and field placement. Students will be required to have both in-class and out-of-class experiences with members of the Deaf Community to further develop ASL fluency and cultural awareness.

This degree program covers a variety of subjects which include: ASL linguistics and language development, interpreting process theory and application, interpreter roles/responsibilities, interpreter’s Code of Professional Conduct, history of deaf people and their culture, and the historical evolvement of the interpreting profession. ​​​  

The Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program is one of the original six interpreter programs in the United States. It was established in 1972.

Program Delivery Methods
Online, hybrid, traditional in-class courses and hands-on training in state-of-the-art lab on Saint Paul College campus, St. Paul, MN​​, and field placement in various Metro locations.

What You'll Learn

  • Theoretical, ethical, cultural, and practical knowledge of the interpreting field needed to pass the NAD/RID National Interpreter Certification knowledge written test.
  • Major linguistic features of ASL and English and the major cultural features of Deaf and non-Deaf communities.
  • Cognitive processing skills to effectively interpret between English and American Sign Language and to transliterate between spoken English and a signed form of English.
  • Different modes of interpreting/transliterating (i.e. consecutive and simultaneous) and to choose the appropriate mode in a given setting/situation.
  • Accurate and appropriate transfer of a message from a source language into a target language from the point of view of style, culture, and the linguistic needs of the consumers.
  • Techniques and logistics in order to manage the setting.​

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Program Details

  • Program Requirements

    Program Requirements Guides
    View the Program Requirement Guide to learn about Minimum Program Entry Requirements, Recommended Course Sequence and Program Outcomes:

    General Education/MnTC Requirements
    The Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) is the general education curriculum for the Minnesota State system. Choose MnTC courses according to the requirements listed on your Program Requirements Guide. Refer to the MnTC course list for each Goal Area:

    Minnesota Transfer Curriculum (MnTC) list.pdf

    View all course descriptions

    ​Program-Specific Admission Process
    The Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator program has a program-specific application form and admission process.

    On the Application to Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator Program​ form, students verify satisfactory completion or courses in progress of the below requirements:

    • American Sign Language 1 with a “C” or better
    • American Sign Language 2 with a “C” or better
    • American Sign Language 3 with a combined GPA of 3.0 in ASL 3 & ASL 4
    • American Sign Language 4 with a combined GPA of 3.0 in ASL 3 & ASL 4
    • English Composition 1 (ENGL 1711 or comparable course) with a “C” or better
    • Psychology Throughout the Lifespan (PSYC 1720) preferred; General Psychology (PSYC 1710) accepted. Course must be completed with a “C” or better
  • Career Settings

    • ​Education: K-12, 
    • College/university Community service organizations 
    • Human/Social services agencies 
    • Vocational Rehabilitation​
    Potential Employers
    • K-12 school districts
    • Colleges and universities
    • Minnesota Department of Human Services
    • Minnesota Department of Economic Security
    • Minnesota Employment Center ​
  • Transfer Pathways

    Saint Paul College has transfer articulation agreements between the following program and post-secondary institutions for the baccalaureate degree programs listed below. For more information please contact a transfer specialist or go to ​www.saintpaul.edu/Transfer.​

    Sign Language Interpreter/Transliterator AAS​ Degree

    • BA Individualized Studies, Metropolitan State University 
    • BS Applied Organizational Studies, Minnesota State University, Mankato​ 
    • BS Healthcare and Human Service Management, Saint Mary’s University-Twin Cities Campus
    • BA Health Care Administration, Concordia University-St. Paul

  • Related Programs

  • Additional Benefits

    • Learn from faculty with expertise in areas of teaching interpreting/transliterating

    • Acquire knowledge of community resources that serve and/or are run by Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf/Blind people

    • Apply interpreting/transliterating skills and professional responsibilities during a supervised internship experience

    • Enhance knowledge and appreciation of multicultural features of society

    • Learn the culture and history of Deaf people to better facilitate communication between Deaf and Hearing individuals

  • Program Advisor

  • Meet the Faculty

Career Information

Information provided by www.careerwise.mnscu.edu.

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