The Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies at California State University, Fresno has offered an option in Sign Language Interpreting since the fall of 2000. The Interpreting option is for those who desire a career working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing populations in many fields such as education, social work, counseling, and other human services. The Interpreting program consists of 41 units of coursework with the culminating experience being a 150-hour internship that places students in a variety of interpreting situations (CDDS 80, 93, 94S, 95, 106, 136, 138, 139, 141, 166, 169, 170, 175, 188T). Interpreters need access to professionals and need to develop the relationships which will help them achieve ASL fluency, mandatory to gaining the skills necessary to achieve NIC and/or EIPA certification.
The program is small, making it possible to build strong relationships with faculty members. It is built on the backbone of ASL classes, which are taught by numerous Deaf instructors. The benefits for students are in the quality of linguistic input students receive, the added cultural dynamic to the instruction, and the opportunities for building relationships with Deaf role models. The low student/teacher ratio lends itself to more quality instruction, one on one attention, better learning, and more practical application of theoretical and practical knowledge. Local interpreters and community members are interested in promoting the profession. Currently there are approximately 40 working interpreters in the Fresno area that hold certification. There is a collective leadership and sharing of responsibilities as many of these interpreters are committed to developing quality internships and have a vested interest in the students.
Please visit the CSU, Fresno online catalog for Interpreting for additional information.