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About the ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program

Established in 1976, Ohlone College boasts the first American Sign Language (ASL)-English interpreter training in Northern California. In the Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP), you will experience small classes, individualized attention, a new Mac lab, and many opportunities to interact with Deaf/Hard of Hearing and ASL students. Two people signing at the Ohlone pond.The IPP currently features a full-time two-year IPP program, as well as tailored workshops aimed at working interpreters and ASL students who hope to become interpreters. Admission to the ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program is by special application.

The IPP's rigorous two-year program prepares students for interpreting work upon graduation. Students begin by taking foundation courses in comparative linguistics, English and ASL discourse, interpreting theory, and discrete skills needed for successful interpretation. The program focuses on translation, consecutive and simultaneous interpreting in both interactive and one-way/monologic situations. Other cornerstones of our program are the study of ethics and decision-making, effective interpersonal skills and how to be a good team interpreter. The program also includes working with special populations such as people who are Deaf and Blind, people who prefer oral communication, people with limited language skills, and people who prefer English contact sign.

Unique to Ohlone's IPP is the 250-hour Deaf mentorship program in the second semester. Students are paired with Deaf/Hard of Hearing professionals in several settings to better understand the Deaf community's diversity and perspectives. Additionally, in the third semester, students go out into the community to practice “phantom” interpreting.  This provides students an opportunity to practice the demands of interpreting in a variety of settings without consumers being dependent on the message.  Finally, an internship course is offered in the final semester that helps bridge classroom knowledge with outside world experience in a variety of settings.

Ohlone College is a unique setting for interpreter preparation because of our large Deaf student population. The Ohlone College Center for Deaf Studies has a staff of Deaf Educators. IPP students have the opportunity to interact with the Deaf Students at the college and become involved in the social and cultural activities of the Deaf Community both on campus and in the Fremont area.

The proximity of the California School for the Deaf and the large Deaf Community in Fremont gives students opportunities to interact with Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and to observe professional interpreters in a wide variety of professional, social, and cultural settings.

See also Vlogs about the ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program.