Active Learning Opportunities


academics signlanguage
When you observe a sign language interpreter at work, it's easy to recognize the skill, energy, and dedication these professionals bring to their mission of communication. If you value the chance to provide a vital human connection and to grow with an expanding field, Quincy University's Sign Language Interpreter Training program is for you.

Rigorous coursework, hands-on learning opportunities, and dedicated professors prepare you to earn National Interpreting Certification (NIC) and to qualify through the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA). You'll become proficient in American Sign Language, including finger spelling and linguistics. You'll also study Deaf culture and history, as well as the practical and ethical aspects of interpreting. You'll work with a native American Sign Language (ASL) instructor and have opportunities to interact with the Deaf community, sharpening your communication proficiencies.

Our program offers a bachelor of arts degree and an American Sign Language minor.

Contact Us

For more information about the Sign Language Interpreter Training program, feel free to contact:

Jane Meirose
Instructor of Interpreting
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ITP 201     Introduction to Interpreting
Credit Hours: 3
Topics include the history and evolution of the profession, terminology used in the profession, the National Association of the Deaf/Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Code of Ethics, and occupational settings and situations that are frequently used by interpreters and their clients. Taken concurrently with ASL 200.

ITP 202     Perspectives in Deafness: Deaf Culture and History
Credit Hours: 3
The heritage of Deaf persons and the ways in which their social needs are satisfied through affiliation with each other. Also included will be a description of cultural values, norms, traditions, and identities, as well as criteria for membership. Emphasis will be placed on the various subcultures within the larger culture and other cultures of hard of hearing individuals.

ITP 210     Practical and Ethical Applications of Interpreting
Credit Hours: 3
Focuses on the professional and ethical development of the interpreter. Topics covered are decision-making, assignments assessment, and environmental management. This course will provide an in-depth discussion and application of the National Association of the Deaf/Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Professional Code of Ethics as they apply to various situations within the education, religious, legal, performing arts, mental health, medical, rehabilitation/social services, and business settings. Business aspects of interpreting: resumes, cover letters, business cards, portfolios and proper etiquette, as well as how to work as a freelancer, staff interpreter, educational interpreter, VRS interpreter or with an agency and the benefits of each will be explored. Prerequisite: ITP 201.

ITP 215     Interpreting I
Credit Hours: 3
Examines the differences between ASL and English languages, models of interpreting, and equivalence across languages. Study includes theories and topics of spoken language interpreting and sign language interpreting. English skills are enhanced and message analysis is performed in order to interpret from ASL to English and English to ASL. Prerequisite: ASL 200.  Taken concurrently with ASL 250.

ITP 220     Interpreting II
Credit Hours: 3
Assists students with the process of taking a signed message and interpreting it to spoken English. Focus on the voice interpreting process, vocal control, voicing techniques, vocal expression, word choice, and changes that affect context. Emphasis will be given to the development of expressive skills in ASL interpreting. Prerequisite: ITP 215. Taken concurrently with ASL 300.

ITP 285     Practicum
Credit Hours: 3
Field experience in sign language interpreting and voice interpreting. Time will be provided for confidential discussion of ethical and professional challenges in the field experience. Emphasis will be placed on code of ethics, professionalism, interpreting vs. transliterating, and a working knowledge of various interpreting settings and communication dyads.

ITP 302     Interpreting III
Credit Hours: 3
Designed to expand students’ interpreting and transliterating skills and students’ skill of taking a signed message and conveying it into spoken English. The development of the students’ voicing skills with both ASL and sign language system speakers will be continued. Emphasis will be placed on various settings for interpreters, skills in discourse analysis, expanding vocabulary related to technical tasks, vocal control, voicing techniques, word choice, vocal expression, and accessing the mode of communication/language preferred by the deaf consumer. English and ASL idioms will be interpreted. Prerequisite: ITP 220. Taken concurrently with ASL 350.

ITP 310     Interpreting IV
Credit Hours: 3
Provides an expansion of knowledge in the area of interpreting. Vocabulary development in sensitive areas such as human sexuality, anatomy, substance abuse, and crime. Consecutive interpreting will be practiced. How to interpret monologues will be practiced in receptive and expressive interpreting. Interpreting from frozen text will be introduced. The Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) test will be introduced and studied. Prerequisite: ITP  302.

ITP 399     Topics in Interpreting
Credit Hours: 1-6
Focuses on specialized interpreting situations such as medical, legal, education, and theatrical, addressing linguistic and ethical concerns for each of the specialty areas. It will reinforce sign language skills and interpreting principles while looking at the interpreter’s role and responsibility in each setting. Specialty areas vary depending on material and topics most recently studied.  Prerequisite: ITP 220. Course may be repeated for a total of 6 credit  hours.

ITP 410     Interpreting V
Credit Hours: 3
Provides an expansion of knowledge in the area of interpreting. Simultaneous interpreting will be practiced. How to interpret monologues as well as dialogues between Deaf and hearing source text will be practiced in receptive and expressive interpreting. National Interpreter Certification (NIC) test will be introduced and studied. Prerequisite:  ITP 310.

ITP 420     Intensive Interpreting Practice
Credit Hours: 3  
This course focuses on hands-up in class practice with instructor feedback. It will be an intensive lab experience based on the students’ interpreting class level. Monologues and dialogues will be used for practice. Interpreting situations such as medical, legal, educational, theatrical, and music will be practiced. Interpreters’ roles and responsibilities will be discussed with each situation. Prerequisite: ITP 220. May be taken concurrently with ITP 302, ITP 310, ITP 399, or ITP 485. May be repeated.

ITP 485     Professional Experience
Credit Hours: 3-6
This course provides opportunities for students to apply their knowledge, skills, and experience in a variety of interpreting settings in education, business, public service agencies, and as freelance interpreters. Students participate in supervised interpreting field work and receive training on linguistic and ethical questions that may arise during practicum assignments. Prerequisites: Must complete all ASL/ITP coursework. Need to complete 50 clock hours for each one-hour credit taken.

ASL 200     American Sign Language I
Credit Hours: 3
Focuses on the comprehension of American Sign Language, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community. Classroom experiences are conducted without voice. Coursework includes preparation for visual language learning, including vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information. Interpersonal communication is stressed in everyday interaction. The use of culturally appropriate behaviors in a signing environment is stressed. Knowledge of basic sign handshapes, grammar, and syntax is achieved. Each unit builds on the topics, vocabulary, and grammar introduced as students learn how to exchange personal information, i.e. give their names, tell where they live, talk about their families and activities.

ASL 250     American Sign Language II
Credit Hours: 3
Focuses on the continued comprehension of American Sign Language, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community. Classroom activities are conducted without voice. Visual learning and cultural appropriateness are stressed.   Focus is on everyday language and includes the use of a variety of registers in ASL. The development of conversational skills and presentation skills through interactive contexts is emphasized. Prerequisite: ASL 200.

ASL 260     Finger Spelling and Numbers
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides advanced instruction in receptive expressive and grammatical rules of finger spelling and number in ASL. Within a range of contexts, and using a variety of topics, the instructor will guide the students through number and finger spelling practice using dialogues and short stories that include setting up referents by finger spelling in a particular location while emphasizing clear form and transitions.

ASL 300     American Sign Language III
Credit Hours: 3
Focuses on the comprehension of American Sign Language, Deaf culture, and the Deaf community. Classroom activities are conducted without voice. Visual learning and cultural appropriateness are stressed. Semantic accuracy as well as appropriate non-manual behaviors are mastered. Prerequisite: ASL 250.

ASL 350     American Sign Language IV
Credit Hours: 3
Focuses on the maximum comprehension and expression of American Sign Language. Classroom activities are conducted without voice. Activities require the use of learned strategies. Instruction will stress the understanding and use of non-manual aspects of ASL (mouth morphemes) as well as head and body movements. Students will do ASL presentations on stories or topics from news articles, books, and TV shows related to Deafness.  Prerequisite: ASL 300.

ASL 400     American Sign Language V
Credit Hours: 3
This advanced course will evaluate the student’s abilities in interacting with Deaf Individuals. Language will be required in social and professional levels. Students will master native ASL features from concrete subjects to abstract. Prerequisite: ASL 350.

ASL 407     Linguistics of American Sign Language
Credit Hours: 3
Course focuses on the linguistics of American Sign Language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, and language structural aspects.  Both American Sign Language and English are compared and contrasted, providing students with valuable insight into both languages. Prerequisite: ASL 250.

ASL 416     K–12 Sign Language
Credit Hours: 3
This course provides an opportunity to develop skills for increasing vocabulary for K-12 educational interpreters to be more effective. Also this course is to prepare the student for educational interpreting in regards to ethics and skills needed within the K-12 academic settings. Prerequisite: ASL 350 or consent of instructor.

Program Requirements

Degrees Offered: Bachelor of Arts

Sign language interpreters make communication accessible between hearing and Deaf or Hard of Hearing people. Interpreters listen to a spoken message and convert it into a visual message as well as converting the visual message back into a spoken message. A career in interpreting should appeal to those who have a special interest in language and communication and who enjoy working with people. ASL courses may be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement for a BA degree when approved by the specific program. Consult with the Chair of the program for approval.

Program Requirements:

  1. General requirements for a baccalaureate degree, p. 8 of the 2007-2008 Course Catalog.
  2. Required courses: ITP 201. 202, 210, 215, 220, 302, 310, 399, 410, 485
  3. Required support courses: ASL 200, 250, 260, 300, 350, 407, and 416
  4. A grade of "C" or better is required in all ITP courses to count toward major.

Requirements for a Minor:
Students seeking an ASL minor must complete the following courses: ASL 200, 250, 260, 300, 350, and ITP 202.

Active Learning Opportunities

Quincy's focus on practical experience in the workplace is a distinct benefit of the learning process. Through our program, you'll experience at least 150 hours in the field. Under the supervision of a certified professional interpreter, you'll apply your knowledge and skills in a variety of authentic settings including education, business, and public service agencies.

You'll also get signing experience in Quincy's American Sign Language/Interpreting Lab, which is available for individual student use as well as teacher-directed activities. The ASL/Interpreting Lab is equipped with individual work stations, audio/video equipment, and three separate videotaping rooms. The Lab features 12 televisions with DVD and VCR players. Two computer stations are available for in-class feedback, and two workstations are designed for research and web-based receptive practice. Your work in the lab, including videotaping your performance, will enhance and strengthen your skills and accelerate your professional development.

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