Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for ASL-English Interpreter Preparation

Discover Interpreting.

Two people signing at the Ohlone pond.Q. How long is the Ohlone Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP)?

The Ohlone College IPP is a two-year full time program. Classes are schedule two-three days per week but the days are long. First year classes are Monday/Wednesday/Friday while second year classes meet Tuesday/Thursday.

Q. Can I go part time? Do you have evening classes?

Currently, going part time is not an option. We strongly believe in the value of a cohort and this model of curriculum design. Some of our courses are offered in the evening. Those open to the public (not limited to the cohort) are INT-191 or INT-199 courses.

  • INT-191 courses are offered to advanced signers and working interpreters;
  • INT-199 courses are offered for continuing education for working interpreters (both Deaf and Hearing) with instructor approval.

Q. What does “cohort model” mean?

Cohort model means that all students accepted into the program take all of their classes with the rest of the students in the program for two years. Team development and support is the basis of this model. This yields a supportive community once students graduate from the program.

Q. When can I apply? Can I join in the Spring?

Applications are due in the Spring for the following Fall semester. We offer each class only once during a calendar year; no spring, first semester classes are offered. Applicants must wait until Fall semester to begin our program.

Q. What are the eligibility requirements to apply to the program?

Q. Why do I have to apply to the program and cannot just enroll like other college classes?

Classes are limited to 10 students each year. There is a lot to learn in a short period of time. We screen for students who we feel are ready and more likely to succeed and be ready for entry-level work upon graduation.

Q. What is the terminal degree?

We have more than 20 courses offered. All courses must be taken for either a Certificate of Accomplishment or an Associate in Arts (AA) degree. The difference between the two choices are the addition of the General Education courses required by the college for the AA degree. If a student already has a 2 or 4-year degree from an accredited college, they would most likely qualify for the AA.

Q. Are the classes transferable to a 4-year college?

All IPP classes are transferable to universities in the California State University system. They transfer as electives credits.

Q. Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) requires a Bachelor of Arts (BA) to test for Certification. What is Ohlone doing about that?

This is a new requirement that begins in 2012. Many students in the program already have BA degrees.

Ohlone currently does not have special agreements with local colleges. The BA that is required can be in any field. There is an online program in interpreting at Troy University but local colleges are also viable options. Most students take the RID written test at the end of their third semester at Ohlone’s IPP (and all have passed). Candidates then have 5 years to take and pass the performance part of the test. Those going this route figure they can complete two years of college in the 5-year period. Please visit the RID website at

Q. Is Financial Aid available? Are grants & Scholarship available?

Contact the Financial Aid Office for information. There are some loans, grants and scholarships available from Ohlone College Foundation Scholarships.