Interpreter Preparation Program
FRCC has an exciting new AA degree that is a general associate degree with an American Sign Language and Deaf culture foundation. Students who complete this AA degree will obtain the required general education coursework and will have the opportunity to complete levels 1-6 of ASL as well as instruction in Deaf Culture, ASL discourse analysis, and an introduction to interpreting.
Students are required to begin the AA with demonstrated ASL 122 (ASL 2) competency. In the state of Colorado, obtaining this AA degree will allow students to transfer to any public four-year college with the general education requirements met by this degree as they move on to pursue a Bachelor’s degree.
If a student is interested in becoming an ASL-English interpreter, this AA degree will transfer to UNC as the foundation for their BA in ASL-English interpreting, with the recent 2019 articulation agreement between the two colleges.
FRCC recently sunsetted our former 2-year Interpreter Preparation Program during May of 2020. As the national interpreting professional organization, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, requires a four-year degree for national certification, FRCC made the decision to develop a two-year language and culture foundation AA degree to best prepare future interpreters. An articulation with UNC is now in place to support the interpreting field’s best practices for training interpreters within a Bachelor of Arts context.
For students who are intrigued by ASL and Deaf Culture who are unsure what they would like to pursue in college, this AA degree is a perfect foundation that will transfer to a four-year college to fulfill the general education requirements as the student pursues their desired major.
Some students may find that this general AA prepares them to work directly with Deaf individuals in supportive roles such as school paraprofessional, child care provider, health and human services provider, recreation instructor, etc. Knowing American Sign Language and understanding Deaf culture allows the student to have unique supportive skills for direct communication (but not interpreting) in their work.
This AA degree does not prepare a student to become an interpreter upon graduation. For a student who is interested in becoming an interpreter, they will need to transfer to a four-year interpreting program, and the FRCC-UNC articulation is an excellent way to continue on to learn the skills of interpreting.