The Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language-English Interpretation (ASLEI) is a four-year program designed to graduate entry-level interpreters. The ASLEI program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education. If you want to become an interpreter or to build on your two-year interpreting program and/or your professional credentials, the ASLEI program will prepare you to meet your goal. The program's curriculum is based on 34 performance standards, called the Entry-to-Practice Competencies, encompassing (1) theory and knowledge, (2) human relations, (3) language skills, (4) interpreting skills, and (5) professionalism. The Entry-to-Practice Competencies allow you to confidently provide interpreting services in a range of low-risk settings with professional autonomy. Upon graduation, you will be work-ready and can confidently approach professional credentials within a year.
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The ASL-English Interpretation program at UNC is founded on the principles of bilingual/bicultural interpreter education. Essential components of the program include native/near-native competencies in both American Sign Language (receptive and expressive) and English (written and spoken). UNC's ASL-English Interpretation program will prepare you to interpret in settings that require you to be able to quickly and accurately integrate visual and auditory information providing linguistic and cultural equivalency appropriate to both languages (ASL and English).
The program recognizes there are additional specialties in the field of interpreting; deaf-blind interpreting, certified deaf interpreting, trilingual interpreting, medical interpreting, and so forth. Interest in specialties are often gained by working experience and certification programs beyond the ASLEI-BA program.
ASL-English Interpretation (ASLEI) Bachelor Degree
The ASLEI program is 120 credits (73 credits within the major, plus 31credits of Liberal Arts Curriculum (LAC), plus 16 credits of specialized coursework) requiring 12 consecutive semesters (fall, spring, and summer) to complete. The program's 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 16 credits of specialized coursework honing your ability to provide interpreting services in either community or educational settings.
People working as American Sign Language – English interpreters must possess specific skills, experience, education and abilities required to successfully provide professional services. This includes the ability to perform essential job functions. The ASL English Interpretation (ASLEI) program in the ASL & Interpreting Studies (ASLIS) department at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) has gathered the following list of essential functions for sign language interpreters. This information is informed by the state of Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters, which is referenced at the end of this document. Click here to read more:
The ASLEI program is offered on campus or online. The curriculum for both on campus and online are the same. The delivery method is different. Additionally, the ASL-English Interpretation program uses a three semester academic year (fall, spring, and summer). Summer semesters are required of all on campus and online students.
On campus courses offers a traditional learning experience with UNC students and faculty. On campus courses meet face-to-face on consistent days and times throughout each fall and spring semesters. Summer semesters consist of an accelerated hybrid term (2 weeks online + 4 weeks on campus). An online learning management system is incorporated into on campus courses.
Online courses offers a nontraditional learning experience with students and faculty from across the United States. Online courses are offered by UNC Extended Campus with a structured online learning management system with assignments and due dates. Courses are fully online during the fall and spring semesters while summer semesters consists of 2 weeks online + 4 week residential summer session on the Greeley campus.
The ASLEI programs includes a six week hybrid semester each summer. During the summer semester, you will begin your courses online (2 weeks) and then finish up the courses on campus with a four week residence summer session. While on campus, you will be in class from approximately 8:00 am to 4:00 pm weekdays with daily and weekend assignments.
Previous summer 2019 students enjoying the time together on our beautiful UNC campus.
Summer 2021 dates will be from June 1- July 16. Due to COVID-19 summer session will be delivered at a distance. Virtual meetings will be held on Tuesday & Thursday evenings by Zoom. Summer Logisitics pages will be posted soon with more details.
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 $1,300 for the month). * Note: Information will be sent to current ASLEI-BA students with details describing the online delivery requirements for summer 2021.
During normal operating conditions of the month long campus visit, the Department of ASL & Interpreting Studies brings together the ASL-English Interpretation BA program (on campus and online) and the Teaching ASL program MA program (online) to create a learning community of Deaf and hearing students. Due to the pandemic, learning communities will be established for summer 2021 through online connections using the latest video technology. Students will be able to work together and network with classmates in live sessions across the nation.
ASLEI-BA seniors with their instructor using technology to stay connected and create a rich learning environment.
ASLEI Program Begins at ASL V
Interpreting requires a strong language base in ASL and English in order to complete essential job functions (seeing, hearing, signing, and speaking). Therefore, the ASLEI program begins at American Sign Language V. Grade success in ASL I-IV courses does not ensure readiness for ASLEI-BA program placement in ASL V and will be assessed through the required Demonstration of Competencies (DOC) screening process.
If you are not ready to enter ASL V (either from academic coursework or life experiences), you must complete the foundational language competence (equivalent to ASL IV) and this will require more than four years to complete the program. Grade success in ASL I-IV courses does not ensure ASL fluency and readiness to enter the ASLEI-BA program.
2020 ASLEI-BA Honor Students
When the pandemic hit and schools moved to remote instruction, Miranda applied her learning through her position as an ASL-English educational interpreter by creating a website that provides resources and strategies for teachers working with ASL students and interpreters. She also actively supported multilingualism with Deaf and hard of hearing students whose families communicate using English and/or Spanish. Her critical thinking, writing skills and passion for the profession will make a difference in her home state of Texas.
Jordan’s academic work has always been exceptional. He is a critical thinker who applies theory to practice throughout the program and his interpreting skills have developed well beyond expectations. He demonstrates humility while always seeking to grow and improve. He is committed to serving communities in rural Colorado and will be an asset to the ASL English interpreting profession.
Interested in an ASL Minor?
The ASL Minor is a perfect pairing with many various majors as well as the ASL-English Interpretation program. The ASL Minor is designed to develop your fluency in ASL and your knowledge of Deaf Culture. An ASL Minor does not equip you with the skills needed to interpret.
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