The Bachelor of Arts in American Sign Language-English Interpretation (ASLEI) is a four-year program designed to graduate entry-level interpreters for the community or educational settings. 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.
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 community or educational 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 other than community or educational interpreting is referred to sister institutions.
The ASLEI program is 120 credits (80 credits within the major plus 40 credits of Liberal Arts Core) 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 18 credits of specialized coursework honing your ability to provide interpreting services in either community or educational settings.
The ASLEI program offers two majors:
Community interpreting focuses on working with adult consumers in a variety of different settings including business, medical, social services, and interpreting via distance technologies.
Educational interpreting focuses on working with students who are deaf and hard of hearing in the school environment including academic K-12 settings as well as extracurricular activities.
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.
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). Click here for Summer 2020 Logistics.
During 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.
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.
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).
2020 ASLEI-BA Honor Students
Laurel Apodaca (IL) majors in ASL-English Interpretation with an emphasis in educational interpreting, and a minor in ASL. Laurel is an OSEP Scholar committed to working with K-12 students who are deaf and hard of hearing. She is highly receptive to feedback, actively seeking opportunities to apply the learning to greater depth. She handles conflict with courage, leads by example, remains focused on her work, and encourages others to do the same. Laurel has already begun to have an impact on the field as she volunteered to develop quarterly newsletters, called In the Trenches, that are disseminated nationwide for the RID Member Section of the Interpreters in Education and Instructional Settings. Laurel’s dedication to be a lifelong learner is indicative of her potential to become a leader who will make a difference in the profession.
Gabriella Hollinshead (CO) majors in ASL-English Interpretation with an emphasis in educational interpreting, and a minor in ASL. As an OSEP Scholar committed to working with K-12 students who are deaf and hard of hearing, Gabby is engaged in her learning, digging deep into the activities, discussions, and assignments to show her critical thinking and reflective practice. Her consistently high-quality work is done in a timely manner. With Deaf parents, Gabby approaches the curriculum with a unique perspective of a native linguistic-cultural background; yet she remains humble, encouraging and motivating to her peers. In addition, she welcomes instructor feedback and demonstrates a willingness to stretch professionally well beyond all her previous influences. Gabby is moving toward her work as an interpreter-practitioner who will take her place as a change-agent and leader in the field.
Interested in an ASL Minor?
The ASL Minor is a perfect pairing with the ASL-English Interpretation program. The ASL Minor is designed to develop your fluency in ASL and your knowledge of Deaf Culture.