Legal Interpreting Certificate Award Program

The Court Interpreting Entrance Exams will resume in August, 2013 through December, 2013.  Please check back in mid-July, 2013 for specific dates and times.

The Legal Interpreting Certificate Award Program consists of two courses:  Legal Interpreting 101 which is scheduled to begin in summer, 2013 and Legal Interpreting 102 which is scheduled to begin in fall, 2013.

Course information (dates, fees, class number, etc.) about the Legal Interpreting 101 course will available in Mid-April. Participants who passed the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam will be eligible to enrolled in the Legal Interpreting 101 course in summer, 2013.  Admittance to Legal Interpreting Certificate Award Program will not be granted to those participants who have not passed and/or taken the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam.

This program will be offered entirely online through Blackboard.  Java Release 6 is the recommended browser. For more information on supported browers and operation systems for Blackboard, visit the following link: https://blackboard.fresnostate.edu/bb/browers.shtml

The demand for competent and professional interpreters is growing. Part-time or full-time employment opportunities may be available in judicial courts, civil proceedings, state and federal agencies, law offices, education, healthcare, diplomatic services, or you may choose to work as an independent contractor. 

In the State of California, interpreters must pass an examination to become certified to work in criminal cases and in some administrative agencies at the county, state and federal levels. While employment may be available for non-certified interpreters, the best way to increase your job opportunities is to obtain academic training and certification by passing the California Certification Examination.

Starting with Legal Interpreting 101 and followed by Legal Interpreting 102, Fresno State’s Interpreter program will help you become a Professional Certified interpreter. Interpreters will be able to accurately and professionally bridge the communication that facilitates the linking of languages and ideas from one culture to another. Upon becoming a Certified Interpreter, doors will open in the judicial courts, depositions, hospitals, civil proceedings, government law enforcement agencies, conferences, United Nations, translating legal documents, entertainment scripts (such as films, and books) and many more venues.

Who Should Attend:

  • non-certified legal/court interpreters
  • individuals interested in starting a career in interpreting
  • certified interpreters who need an update of their interpreting knowledge and skills
  • lawyers, law enforcement and judicial system personnel desiring to work more effectively with interpreters 
  • anyone interested in the interpreting field

Admission Requirements:

You may be admitted to the full program if you:

  1. have completed at least a high school education or its equivalent,
  2. possess a high level of Spanish and English skills, both oral and written,
  3. are highly motivated,
  4. have the ability to speak in public,
  5. possess people skills, and 
  6. have passed the Entrance Exam in Spanish and English administered by the Testing Services Office on behalf of the Division of Continuing and Global Education at California State University, Fresno.

Certificate of Completion:

You must attend and complete the two courses (Legal Interpreting 101 and 102) to earn a certificate of completion. The certificate does NOT authorize you to use the designation "Certified Court Interpreter."  Only the State can grant you the designation upon passing the state court interpreter's examination.

Court Interpreting Entrance Exam:

The focus of our program is on teaching skills and techniques for those individuals with strong bilingual skills in both Spanish and English. To ensure that participants meet the language requirement, a written entrance exam will be given.

Students successfully completing the exam with a passing score of 70% or higher will gain entrance into the program. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions in both Spanish and English.

The Office of Testing Services will administer the Court Interpreting Entrance Exams on behalf of the Division of Continuing and Global Education. The Office of Testing Services is located in the Family and Food Science Building, Room 110 (1st floor) on the Fresno State campus.  A campus map is linked here for your convenience.

  • Participants who wish to take the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam MUST check-in at the Office of Testing Services.
  • Participants must show a current form of Government Issued Identification Card with a photograph such as a Driver's License and/or State Issued I.D. card.  If you arrive at the Office of Testing Services without a proper form of Government Issued I.D. Card, you will NOT be able to take the entrance exam.  No exceptions will be made.
  • No appointment is necessary to take the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam. The entrance exam can be taken on a "walk-in" basis.
  • The Court Interpreting Entrance Exam is "free" of charge.
  • Participants may take up to 2 hours to complete the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam. If a participant takes longer than 2 hours to complete the exam, the exam will NOT be counted and will be voided.
  • The Court Interpreting Entrance Exam may be taken twice within the specified dates and times listed below:
  • Please give yourself a two-hour block to complete the exam and arrive in the Office of Testing Services with enough time to complete the exam. When the Office of Testing Services closes at the end of their business day, you will be asked to turn in your exam whether you have completed the exam or not.
  • Your Court Interpreting Entrance Exam results will be mailed to the address provided to the Office of Testing Services.  The results will be mailed within two weeks of completing the exam.  Results will not be available the day you take the exam.
  • Important Information to remember when taking the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam, please read the following:
    • No food and drinks allowed.
    • No hats, visors, sunglasses, or hood wearing.
    • Cellphones, iPod, laptops, iPad, etc., turned off and put away.
    • A scan-tron and pencil will be provided.
    • Please be quiet when entering the Testing Center.
  • We recommend that you park your vehicle in Parking Lot Q in the "Green Lot" which has been allocated for Students/Public parking.  You will need to obtain a one-day parking pass for $3.00 at a Daily Parking Permit Dispenser located within Parking Lot Q.  Please see the campus map for further details.  A parking permit is required to park on campus.
  • Please check back in mid-July for specific dates and times in which the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam will be available.  If you do not pass the exam after taking it twice, you will have to wait unit the exams are made available again.
  • Please see the "Frequently Asked Questions" listed below:
    1. Do I have to take the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam in Spanish and English?  Yes. To ensure that participants meet the bilingual language requirement, a written exam must be taken by every participant who wishes to enroll in the Legal Interpreting Certificate Award Program.
    2. What is the content of the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam?  The entrance exam is designed to verify your bilingual proficiency by testing your general knowledge and proficiency in Spanish and English.  The exam will focus on your knowledge of grammar, syntax, vocabulary and reading comprehension.
    3. How do I know if I passed the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam?  Participants successfully completing the exam will a passing score of 70% or higher will gain entrance into the program.  The exam consist of 100 questions in both English and Spanish.
    4. How will I receive my Court Interpreting Entrance Exam results?  Exam results will be mailed to the address you provided to the Office of Testing Services and will be mailed within two weeks of completing the exam.
    5. Can I take the Court Interpreting Entrance Exam again if I didn't pass it the first time?  Yes.  The entrance exam can be taken twice during the times outlined.  If the exam is not passed on the second attempt, participants will have to wait until the entrance exams are available through the Office of Testing Services.
    6. If my language skills are not strong enough to be admitted to the program at this time, what can I do to improve my skills?  We recommend that you read as much as possible in both English and Spanish, including newspapers, magazines, novels, etc.  We encourage you to read Spanish periodicals directly from Spanish-speaking countries rather than ones from the U.S., where styles tend to be heavily influenced by English.  Courses in reading comprehension, composition, and remediation are available through your local Adult Schools, Community Colleges, etc., to assist in improving your skills.
    7. Where can I find out more information about the State of California Certified Court Interpreter Exams and Profession?  The Court Interpreter Program (CIP)  has a web-page at https://www.courts.ca.gov/prograjms-interpreters.htm