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

Discover Interpreting.

Female and male students signing.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 and include short-term evening classes. First year classes are typically 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 open courses are offered in the evening. Those open to the public (not limited to the cohort) can be found on the short courses page.

  • INT-191 courses: offered to advanced ASL users and working Deaf and hearing interpreters;
  • INT-199 courses: offered for continuing education for working Deaf and hearing interpreters with instructor approval.

Q. What does "cohort model" mean?

Cohort model means that all students accepted into the program take all of their classes as a group for two years. Team development relating as a community and support are the basis of this model. These connections yield a supportive community long after graduation from the program.

Q. When do I apply? Do new students start in the Spring?

The application process opens each year during Spring semester for the following Fall academic year. Each course in the curriculum is offered only once during the academic year. Applicants begin in the program in the Fall Semester.

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 to the number of students which best allow for the intensive nature of interpreting education. We screen for students who meet the minimum entry requirements so that we are able to offer a course of study and support for academic success.

Q. What is the terminal degree?

We have more than 20 courses currently being 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 and the ability to transfer into a 4-year program. 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. Ohlone and Gallaudet University have a matriculation agreement for transferring to their Bachelor's in Interpreting program. Ohlone also has "sister college" relationships with JASS.

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 began in 2012.

Ohlone currently has an agreement as of 2016 with Gallaudet University for transfer into their BAI, Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting program. The BA that is required by RID can be in any major. There are online programs in interpreting, such as Troy University, and 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 have 5 years after passing the written test to take and pass the performance part of the test. The written test is still open while the performance portion of the exam is on hold. Further information about the RID exam can be found on the for more information on certification requirements.

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