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Interpreter Preparation Degree

Offered at: Westminster

The Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) is rigorous and provides a foundation for graduates to meet the high standards essential in the field of sign language interpreting. This program provides high quality American Sign Language (ASL) and sign language interpreting instruction, in a rich learning environment combining classroom instruction, experiential and self-directed learning. We are dedicated to preparing professional interpreters who are competent, ethical, and life-long learners, and promote collaborative involvement as allies within the culturally and linguistically diverse interpreting and Deaf communities.

A.A.S. in Interpreter Preparation


71 credits
(5 semesters)

This A.A.S. degree prepares students for entry-level employment as sign language interpreters.

Students must apply and be accepted into the program. To be accepted, students must demonstrate proficiency in ASL and English, and attend classes on a full-time day schedule (no part-time enrollees).

Interpreter Preparation Degree: See required courses by semester.

See admissions requirements and process.

See interpreter course descriptions.

See sign language course descriptions.

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to demonstrate:

  1. A culturally appropriate personal philosophy, including ethics and values, which will guide interpreting work.
  2. Knowledge and understanding of the values and social norms of the diverse Deaf Community and the source of their cultural beliefs, experiences and languages.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of the values and social norms of the diverse mainstream society and the source of their beliefs, experiences and languages.
  4. The ability to consecutively, simultaneously and accurately interpret from ASL to spoken English.
  5. The ability to consecutively, simultaneously and accurately interpret from spoken English to ASL.
  6. The ability to consecutively, simultaneously and accurately transliterate from spoken English to CASE (Conceptually Accurate Signed English).
  7. The ability to consecutively, simultaneously and accurately transliterate from CASE (Conceptually Accurate Signed English) to English.
  8. The ability to analyze one's own interpreting work, the work of others, giving and accepting constructive feedback while able to analyze own internal biases.
  9. Effective expressive and receptive skills in both ASL and spoken English.
  10. Knowledge and understanding of power, privilege and oppression for addressing cultural differences while interpreting and as allies to the deaf community.

Dedicated Sign Language Facilities

The IPP lab (Room C0208) is open to IPP students from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday - Friday. Students can practice their skills by viewing videos from the lab library that cover fingerspelling and specific interpreting settings (such as legal, health care, medical, children, or other settings). Students can use the Sony Language Learning Software suite of products to record themselves signing, upload the video to the server, and get feedback from their instructors (bookmarked throughout the video).

Special Activities

Future Interpreters of Colorado (FIC)

FIC is the student organization for students pursuing an Interpreter Preparation degree. Upon acceptance into the program, students automatically become honorary members. FIC’s mission is to develop collaborations between the deaf community and FRCC students. FIC raises money for the deaf community and also raises money for the annual Silent Weekend retreat for first-year students.

Silent Weekend

Every March, we hold a two-day Silent Weekend at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies in Estes Park. The purpose of the Silent Weekend is to immerse first-year Interpreter Preparation students in ASL and the deaf culture. The Silent Weekend is mandatory for first-year students.

Transfer Options

All candidates seeking certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) must hold at least a bachelor’s degree (in any field).

Gallaudet University

After earning your A.A.S. at FRCC you can transfer your credits to Gallaudet to earn a B.A. in Interpreting. Gallaudet is the only university in the world that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in American Sign Language-English Interpretation.

Regis University

FRCC has partnered with Regis University so that your A.A.S. degree will transfer into the Bachelor of Applied Science degree program (specialization in Community Interpreting). Learn about transferring to Regis.

Siena Heights University

Transfer your A.A.S.degree in Interpreter Preparation to Siena Heights University in Michigan to earn your Bachelor of Applied Science in Interpreting.

Annual Salary

Jobs Entry Average Experienced
Interpreters & Translators
$39,947
$67,514
$81,298

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (2016)

Learn more about employment and career pathways in this industry.

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