The ASL/English Interpreting (INT) curriculum prepares students to work as professional interpreters with Deaf and non-deaf (hearing) people. The goal of the ASL/English interpreter is to make communication as complete and equal as possible for both Deaf and non-deaf participants by accurately conveying the thoughts, feelings, words, attitudes and meanings of the message, whether it is expressed in spoken English, American Sign Language (ASL) or other forms of signed communication. Thus, interpreters must be bilingual, skilled in both English and ASL, and bicultural, knowledgeable about the cultures of both Deaf and non-deaf people.
A skilled interpreter must also be versatile, mature and flexible in order to successfully work with people from a variety of backgrounds with diverse communication needs. The field encompasses a multitude of situations and settings, including medical, legal and psychological, that frequently contain sensitive and personal issues. In responding to these situations it is the interpreter's professional responsibility to thoroughly understand, and adhere to, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. Code of Professional Conduct. It is therefore imperative that interpreters also be of high moral character, nonjudgmental and well-informed in order to be able to meet the challenges which arise in these sensitive, diverse and ever-changing situations.
The INT curriculum covers a variety of subject areas, including Deaf culture, structure of ASL, comparative English and ASL, professional practices and ethics, interpreting processes in theory and application, and guided skill development in ASL and interpreting with diagnostic feedback. The INT lab offers practice opportunities in both video and digital formats in a small group, supportive environment.
In addition to traditional classroom lectures and laboratory activities, the curriculum utilizes hands-on experience through fieldwork, guest lectures, observations and internships. Cooperative relationships with professional and community agencies and organizations are maintained to provide opportunities for networking and interaction with the Deaf community, as well as the professional interpreting community.
The INT program prepares students for entry-level work as interpreters. It also prepares students for the national certification evaluation given by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID). For the majority of students, however, several years of professional work experience after graduation are needed before certification can be attained. Students completing the curriculum receive an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree. Beginning July 1st, 2012 RID will require a Bachelor's degree in any major in order to take the national certification exam. In order to meet that requirement, CCP has developed collaborations with baccalaureate institutions to provide suitable options to students graduating with the A.A.S.