ASLEI: Frequently Asked Questions
The following includes updated details regarding the ASLEI program.
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.
Grade success in ASL courses does not ensure readiness toward ASLEI-BA program entry. Combining elements learned in courses to achieve ASL fluency is assessed in the Demonstration of Competencies (DOC) screening required of all candidates prior to program entry at ASL V.
Read important information about the essential functions of an ASL-English Interpreter
Essential Functions of an ASL-English Interpreter
- What courses are involved in the majors?
The ASLEI program consists of three parts, totaling 120 credit hours:
- 31 Liberal Arts Core (Starting Fall 2021)
- 73 major core hours
- 16 concentration hours
The major is completed in four years 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 16 credits of specialized coursework honing your ability to provide interpreting services.
- What does a three semester academic year look like?
The on campus and online ASLEI programs both use 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. *Note: If campus cohort numbers are low, students will be expected to move to the online delivery system.
If you're on online student, your 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, typically (June), plus a four week residential summer session in Greeley, Colorado, typically (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 approximately from 8:00 AM to 4:00 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 $1,300 for the month) and either purchase a meal plan through dining services or your own food from local restaurants and grocery stores. Meals are an added cost for summer sessions.
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 is the academic plan for this major?
The four year plan outlines the timing of the credits within the ASLEI major.
The major begins 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 Competencies 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. Grade success in ASL I-IV does not ensure ASL fluency and ASLEI-BA program entry readiness.
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 (ASL version & PSE versions only), 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.
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 31 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 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.
- What are the grade requirements?
You must pass all major courses (INTR course prefixes) with a B or better.
- How do I apply?
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 ASL-English Interpretation. 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 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 89 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.
- What's the cost of tuition?
- What scholarship opportunities are available?
UNC offers many scholarships. Additional information is available here.
- Is there an ASL screening or alternate pathway to show language competence?
The Demonstration of Competencies is one of the steps in applying for the ASLEI program. Learn More about the application process.
The Demonstration of Competencies 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 $175 and is offered a limited number of times a year.
The Demonstration of Competencies in an online assessment determining your:
- knowledge of ASL linguistics and culture,
- ASL expression,
- ASL comprehension,
- written & spoken English.
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 contact varieties. Grade success in ASL I-IV courses does not ensure readiness for ASLEI-BA program entry.
If you hold interpreting credentials (RID, ED:K-12 (ASL & PSE versions only) or 4.0+ on the EIPA performance and passed the EIPA written), the Demonstration of Competencies 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 Competencies and how to register.
- I am a current online ASLEI student, how do I access the Extended Campus webpage?
Current ASLEI students who are enrolled in the program online can access UNC's ASLEI Extended Campus webpage for CRN numbers and additional program related information. You can also learn more about being an online student and how to set up your Ursa account in the Student Guide. Great information is also located on the Student Guide & How to... web page at Extended Campus.