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Center for Experiential Learning

What Can You Do with an ASL-English Interpreting Degree?

Did you know the number of deaf and hard of hearing Americans who are entitled to "qualified interpreters" exceeds the population of every state except California? 

According to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), more than 28 million people in America depend on ASL-English interpreters to help bridge the gap between those who are deaf and those who can hear. Interpreters work in schools, hospitals, businesses, judicial settings, conferences, national parks, and government agencies.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the demand for nationally certified interpreters is significantly greater than the number of professionals in the field and that demand has recently been intensified, thanks to the introduction of at least nine video relay service (VRS).   

Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to increase 24 percent from 2006 to 2016, much faster than the average for other occupations. This growth will be driven partly by strong demands in health care and homeland security.

Our Program

Our ASL-English Interpreting program is geared toward hearing students who wish to make a difference in the lives of those who are either unable to, or have difficulty, communicating aurally.

Once you graduate, you'll have the necessary preparation to pass Level One of the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) interpreting certification exam. Interpreters who pass the written part (Level One) of certification are considered "pre-certified." Starting in 2012, a bachelor's degree will be required for interpreters to take the certification exam.

Keuka College's ASL-English Interpreting program will teach you to be both bilingual and bicultural; you will learn to communicate with above-average proficiency in American Sign Language and English. Additionally, more than 756 hours of hands-on experience will assist you in applying your classroom learning to the real world.

ASL interpreters must be fluent in English and ASL, which combines signing, finger-spelling, and specific grammar. ASL has its own grammatical rules, sentence structure, idioms, historical contexts, and cultural nuances.  ASL interpreting, like foreign language interpreting, involves more than simply replacing a word of spoken English with a sign representing that word.

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Learn more about majoring in ASL-English Interpreting at Keuka College.

ASL-English Interpreting Internships & Field Periods

Students working toward an asl-english interpreting degree at Keuka College must complete a 140-hour internship each year—we call this Field Period.

Here's where some of our asl-english interpreting students have recently done their Field Periods. All of these organizations have indicated they'd be interested in hosting Keuka students in the future.

Alabama Department of Mental Health Services of the Deaf
Mobile, Ala.
Camp Mark 7
Old Forge, N.Y.
Canandaigua Dance Studio
Canandaigua, N.Y.
Janice Capitouto Center for the Deaf (JCCD)
Montgomery, Ala.
Living Resources
Albany, N.Y.
Maize Police Department
Maize, Kan.
Northeast Metro 916
Little Canada, Minn.
Penn Yan Central School District
Penn Yan, N.Y.
Prattsburgh Central School
Prattsburgh, N.Y.
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rochester, N.Y.
Summit Ministries
Manitou Springs, Colo.
Town of Cheektowaga Parks, Recreation and Youth Services
Cheektowaga, N.Y.

What Can I Do with an ASL-English Interpreting Degree?

With an ASL-English Interpreting degree, you can find a career in the following:

  • *Interpreter Coordinator - School districts or colleges
  • amusement parks
  • four-year institutions and larger universities *Rehabilitator - (usually hired through an interpreting agency or deaf service agency) Assist new hires in the first few transitional weeks of a new job with training and orientation
  • interpreters for plays
  • matches interpreter schedules with students
  • plans and/or develops professional development for interpreters *Deaf Accessibility Specialist - Large companies or colleges
  • skits and other performance pieces Interpretation includes not just spoken word but music
  • stage direction and special effects Training with the company and performance skills may also be required *Professor of ASL – Teach at junior colleges
  • works with event coordinator to ensure that events or meetings are accessible for deaf clients and employees Advocate for deaf employees *Performance Interpretation - Theatre companies

Average Annual Salary

$17.10 per hour for Interpreters