American Sign Language Interpreting Associate in Applied Science

This program is being discontinued. Enrolled students may complete their program of study. Please contact the Academic Advising Office at 313-317-6845 or for more information.

Program Info

Year Established
Program Code
Degree Type
Associate in Applied Science
Office Contact
School of Liberal Arts: 313-845-9624,, Liberal Arts Building, Room: K-201
Faculty Contact
Jennifer Stewart: 313-845-6481,, Liberal Arts Building, Room: K-206

Program Description


Provides students the opportunity to learn about the Deaf Culture and community, the structure of American Sign Language (ASL), and ASL itself, as well as how to interpret from sign to voice and voice to sign. Practicums, which provide students with 200 hours of “hands-on” ASL interpreting experience, combined with intensive ASL course work, equip students for entry-level interpreting jobs and prepare them to take certification tests, required by the State of Michigan Deaf Person’s Interpreter Act (1982 PA 204 amended 2007). Satisfactory scores on these certification exams are required for individuals seeking employment as ASL interpreters.

Program Goals

To provide students with a strong foundation in ASL and interpreting skills in order to prepare them to seek credentialing and employment as ASL interpreters. Geared to students interested in entry-level ASL interpreting work or transferring to a 4-year college degree program.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of and respect for the Deaf Culture and community.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in ASL.
  3. Interpret ASL-to-English and English-to-ASL effectively in a variety of settings and with diverse populations.
  4. Employ knowledge of the linguistic structures of ASL and English and ability to think critically about language, including ability to self-critique and analyze own interpreting skills for life-long learning and improvement.
  5. Prepare for ASL certification exam(s).
  6. Articulate and practice the RID (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf) Code of Professional Conduct; create and maintain client/colleague relationships; work effectively as a member of an interpreting team in lead and support roles.
Career Opportunities

ASL interpreters are in high demand. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures increasing employment for credentialed interpreters. Many more opportunities in ASL interpreting are available with advanced education (a 4-year degree) and experience. ASL interpreters can expect employment in:

  • Educational services
  • Video Relay Service (VRS)
  • Health careers
  • Administrative and support services
  • Government services and social assistance
  • Religious settings
  • Legal and financial fields
  • Performing Arts

Registry / Certification / Licensure Exam Information

Successful completion of this program prepares students to apply to take the ASL Michigan interpreting certification tests: the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) and/or the Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) certification test.

As of 2012, a bachelor’s degree is required for National Interpreter Certification (NIC), administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).

Admission Requirements

Additional Program Requirements

Practicum Placements:

Students are required to complete two 100-hour practicums, one in education and one in the community. These practicums involve direct client interpreting through various Metro Detroit area agencies, simulated situations, and/or on-campus interpreting opportunities. Practicum placements may be during the day, afternoon, evening or weekend; students must be able to attend assigned shift. Students who are unable to make arrangements and adjustments in their personal schedules to accommodate practicum assignments will be unable to complete the program.

Degree-Specific Requirements

Computer Technology: Complete any one
Credit Hours

Program Requirements

Required Support Courses
Minimum Total Credit Hours
Requirements are subject to change. The information represented here is effective starting Fall 2018 and applies to the current catalog year. If you were admitted prior to this year, please check your requirements under the My Progress section of HFC Self Service.