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ASLEI: Frequently Asked Questions

Female ASLEI student signing in class.

The following includes updated details regarding the ASLEI program.

You can major in Community or Educational Interpreting.

The on-campus American Sign Language-English Interpretation (ASLEI) program offers a traditional college experience on UNC's campus in Greeley, CO. You will learn face-to-face with students and faculty as well as engage with the UNC community.

The online ASLEI program offers students the option to take fall and spring courses through UNC's Extended Campus learning with students across the country and with nationally recognized faculty.

  • What courses are involved in the majors?

    The ASLEI program consists of three parts, totaling 120 credit hours:

    • 40 Liberal Arts Core
    • 62 major core hours
    • 18 concentration hours

    The major is completed in four year or 12 consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer).

    The ASLEI curriculum focuses on developing your ASL and English skills in Year 1 and 2 and developing your interpreting skills in Year 3 and 4. Beginning in Year 3, you will take 18 credits of specialized coursework honing your ability to provide interpreting services in community or educational settings.

  • What does a three semester academic year look like?

    The on campus and online ASLEI programs both uses a three semester academic year.

    If you're an on-campus student, you will attend on campus courses - meeting on consistent days and times throughout the fall and spring semesters. Additionally, you will take accelerated hybrid courses in the summers.

    If you're on online student, you courses are fully online in the fall and spring semesters. You will participate in structured courses using an online learning management system with assignments and due dates. The time of day you do coursework is up to you as long as your work and your interactions with peers and staff are completed on time.

    Summer's accelerated hybrid approach consists of two weeks online (June) plus a four week residential summer session in Greeley, Colorado (July). You will take 6-7 credits providing intensive language, knowledge, and/or interpreting preparation. While on campus during the summer semester, you will be in face-to-face classes from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM on weekdays with daily and weekend assignments.

    During the summer session, the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies brings together the ASLEI program (on campus and online) and the Teaching ASL Masters program to create a learning community of Deaf and hearing students.

    Prior to your summer courses, you will receive information and resources to help you plan a four week campus visit. Most out-of-state students stay in one of UNC's residence halls (approximately $1,000 for the month) and purchase a meal plan through dining services.

    Summer semesters are required of all ASLEI students (on campus and online) as summer courses are the foundation to the following fall and spring courses.

  • What are the academic plans for each major?

    The four year plans outline the timing of the 80 credits within the ASLEI majors.

    The majors begin at ASL V in the fall of Year 1. The coursework will take you four years (12 consecutive semesters) to complete.

    As part of the application process, you will demonstrate your ASL abilities through a Demonstration of Competency Screening (or designated alternative pathway) to ensure your readiness for the major's advance ASL coursework.

    If you are not ready to enter ASL V, you must take the necessary foundational ASL courses (ASL I, II, III, and IV) at UNC or at a college or university of your choice. If you need to add to your ASL skills, it will take you longer than four years (12+ semesters) to complete the program.

    If your ASL competency places you above ASL V and you have transferable courses within the major, you may be able to complete the program in less than four years (fewer than 12 semesters).

    If you are a working interpreter holding interpreting credentials (RID, ED:K-12, or 4.0+ on the EIPA performance and passed the EIPA written) and have 21 or more Liberal Arts  credits to transfer in, the most common entry point is Intro. to Consecutive Interpreting: Skill Development in the summer of Year 2. This entry point may allow you to complete the program in as few as seven semesters.

     

    Upon being accepted into the program, you will be assigned an advisor who will assist you in determining your personalized plan of study based on your ASL competency and any credits being transferred in to UNC.

    The bachelor's degree requires 40 credits of Liberal Arts Core. Using the Liberal Arts Core Checklist, you can complete the general educational courses either at UNC or transfer them from the accredited institution of higher learning of your choice.

  • What is the language of instruction?

    ASL courses (ASL V-VIII and the ASL Self-Directed Lab) are typically taught by qualified Deaf instructors who use ASL as their primary language.

    Interpreting skills courses are taught by certified interpreter practitioners who use both ASL and English.

    ASL VII instructor teaching class.

  • What are the grade requirements?

    You must pass all major courses (INTR course prefixes) with a B or better.

  • How do I apply?

    The ASLEI program accepts first-year students and transfer students.

    To learn more about the application process, see the Learn More webpage. Please note, ASLEI application deadline is April 15th each year.

    As a first-year student ready to enter ASL V, you will complete the academic plan as presented.

    As a transfer student, your previous college credits can count towards the 120 credits needed to graduate with a degree in ASLEI - Community or Educational Interpreting. As part of the application process, you will send official college transcripts to UNC. Your transcripts will be reviewed by the Admission Office and the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies (ASLIS).

    • The Admission Office will accept credits to satisfy UNC's Liberal Arts Core (gen ed) requirements. This process may take up to six weeks depending on the time of year.
    • The ASLIS department will review your ASL and interpreting related coursework. The department will accept credits that align with the ASLEI curriculum.

    Given the reality of transferring classes across programs from different institutions, it's unlikely all  of your sign language and interpreting courses will count towards the 80 credits needed within the major.

    For example, the ASLIS department will not accept the following courses for the ASLEI program:

    • Deaf Culture/Community
    • Manually Coded English
    • 200 level internship experiences

    As a transfer student, your placement within the ASLEI academic plan will be tailored to your ASL competency and accepted transfer credits. The last entry point into the ASLEI program is the summer of Year 2 which begins the courses developing your interpreting skills.

    The courses within the ASLEI program are sequenced and offered once a year. Even with the Liberal Arts Core requirements satisfied, the 80 credits within the major will take four years to complete (unless previous ASL and interpreting coursework aligns with the program's curriculum and are accepted as transfer credits).

  • What technology is required?

    Technology is part of today's learning environment online and on campus. You will use technology in all of your ASLEI courses.

    ASLEI student interpreting via technology with two other students observing.

  • What's the cost of tuition?

    Tuition rates for on campus courses are based on in- and out-of-state residency.

    Tuition rates for online courses can be located on the Extended Campus website.

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  •  What scholarships are available?

    UNC scholarships opportunities are available for students to apply.

    OSEP Scholarship - The Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies was awarded a five year grant (2015-2020) from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to establish the Preparation for Interpreters in Educational Settings (#H325K150213).

    Between 2015-2020, up to 30 qualifying students will be awarded a two-year scholarship (~$28,000) which:

    • Provides an educational stipend for tuition and associated educational expenses, and
    • Covers the cost of taking a national exam (RID or EIPA) within one year of graduation.

    The OSEP scholarship will be offered to qualifying students who declares the Educational Interpreting major (on-campus and online) and are beginning their upper division coursework (Year 3 and 4).

    The grant is awarded through a competitive process and requires a four-year service obligation with an IDEA-eligible student(s) in exchange for the OSEP sponsorship. If you are awarded the scholarship and do not (a) complete the bachelor's degree within the two years of sponsorship or (b) provide four years of service to an IDEA eligible student(s), you must repay all the OSEP monies expended on your education to date.

  • Is there an ASL screening or alternate pathway to show language competence?

    The Demonstration of Competency is one of the steps in applying for the ASLEI program. Learn More about the application process.

    The Demonstration of Competency is a screening determining your placement within the ASLEI program. The ASLEI curriculum begins at ASL V which requires you to be conversational in ASL (equivalent to four semesters of instruction in ASL). 

    The cost of the screening is $150 and is offered three times a year.

    The Demonstration of Competency in an online assessment determining your:

    • knowledge of ASL linguistics and culture,
    • ASL expression, and
    • ASL comprehension.

    The screening is an assessment of your American Sign Language skills; not other forms of signed communication like Signing Exact English (SEE), Pidgin Signed English (PSE), or other contract varieties.

    If you hold interpreting credentials (RID, ED:K-12, or 4.0+ on the EIPA performance and passed the EIPA written), the Demonstration of Competency will be waived as your credentials demonstrate your language competency.

    After submitting the ASLEI application, you will be notified when you are scheduled to take the Demonstration of Competency and how to register. Your UNC student account will be charged once you have registered.