One of just two four-year degree programs in the eastern U.S., this program provides specialized training for students seeking to become American Sign Language interpreters.

American Sign Language and English Interpreting (B.S.)

American Sign Language (ASL)/English interpreters for the Deaf/hard of hearing prepares you for a variety of job settings such as legal, educational, medical, etc. It's an austere and highly competitive course of study, requiring copious amounts of hands-on training that's obtained through in-class practice and personal interaction with the local Deaf population.

Degrees & Offerings
  • Minor
  • B.S.
Department
College
Program Contact
ASL Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Exceptionality Programs
illustration of Carver Hall

A combination of empirical knowledge as well as practical application will be employed in order to achieve the level of excellence required in this field. Our American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting program has 30 students per graduating class each year.

One of just two ASL degree programs in eastern U.S.

This program provides specialized training for students seeking to become American Sign Language interpreters. In addition to learning to interpret, students also receive strong education in deaf culture and related communication issues. As an ASL/English interpreting major, you'll take six semesters of ASL courses and learn about the linguistics of ASL and the deaf culture. Interpreter training courses include introductory classes, translation, transliteration, and interpreting in consecutive and simultaneous interpreting, as well as a seminar and practicum.

 

Career Preparation

You'll study public speaking, history, education and guidance for the deaf, practical grammar and usage, with electives in visual and gestural communication, interpreting in the education setting, oral and tactile interpreting.

Courses and Curriculum

Our interpreting program offers a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Interpreting for the Deaf. It's a vigorous four-year program requiring several out of class hours interacting with the Deaf community and attending Deaf events.

In addition to 53 semester hours in general education requirements, the major in interpreting requires 24 semester hours in American Sign Language and culture and 24-27 semester hours in interpreting; the remaining 16-19 semester hours required for a bachelor's degree come from elective courses.

Students are encouraged to also minor or have a concentration in another content area.

Students desiring to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in ASL/English Interpreting should familiarize themselves with this document. Questions concerning the procedures should be directed to the student’s advisor or the Program Coordinator of the ASL/English Interpreting Program.

The following are admission, monitoring and exit procedures and requirements for all students who major in ASL/English Interpreting at Bloomsburg University. In setting these requirements, attention was given to all national standards and criteria for interpreter candidates.

 

Due to cohort design and structure of the course sequence, the number of transfer students accepted into the American Sign Language/ English Interpreting Program is limited. This program may typically be completed in four years. Transferring into this program may extend this length of time.

To apply, students must complete the appropriate requirements for admission (see the Admission, Monitoring and Exit Procedures packet). Transfer students must complete 20 hours of certified interpreter observation and 10 hours of community service during the first year they are at Bloomsburg University.

Please contact the program coordinator for details on these requirements. Prior to admission, transfer students must participate in an interview with the faculty. If transferring ASL course work from another institution, an ASL placement test is required. This will ensure competency in an appropriate level of ASL coursework.

Please note that all students must pass an ASL proficiency examination at the completion of ASL III in order to advance within the program. The American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) is administered through Gallaudet University.

All students who wish to continue into ASL IV or other advanced-level interpreting course work must take the ASLPI and achieve a level 2 out of 5. Failure to pass this performance examination will require remediation, corrective action and/or re-examination. This will delay matriculation and limit access to advanced coursework.

Before transferring you will need to take a placement test so we know where to best place you in our program.

Transfer Application

The minor in sign language will involve a developmental sequence of 15 credit hours in sign language courses and three credit hours in Deaf Culture. Students outside of the ASL/English Interpreting Program will have an opportunity to strengthen an additional skill which will make them more employable and acceptable for graduate programs.

Students may wish to major in an area of their interest and want to work with the deaf/hard of hearing population in that area. Examples could be psychology/sign language, nursing/sign language, and education/sign language. Students must receive advisement from the Department of Exceptionality Programs in regard to course selections.

 

Required Courses

Credits

Grade

Semester

ASLTERP 155 ASL I 3    
ASLTERP 226 ASL II 3    
ASLTERP 257 ASL III 3    
ASLTERP 327 ASL IV 3    
ASLTERP 358 ASL V 3    
ASLTERP 330 Deaf Culture 3    

Total Credits: 18

The practicum experience for Interpreter Training students is one that provides opportunities to observe and participate in major activities required of professional interpreters today.

This practicum is an integral part of the Bachelor of Science degree program in ASL/English Interpreting at Bloomsburg University.  The experience provides the student with the opportunity for carrying out professional responsibilities under appropriate supervision, direct observation and modeling of effective interpretation.

Each practicum experience shall be collaboratively developed and documented by the university supervisor, mentor and student.  All practicum settings shall be conducted in sites equipped to provide the application of concepts learned through university coursework.

These experiences should enhance and extend the experiences provided throughout the program.  The practicum provides experiences with varied groups across the life-span, various language preferences, and various service-delivery models reflective of current practices in the profession.

Philosophy

Bloomsburg University is committed to the preparation of interpreters of high quality.  The development of quality for beginning interpreters is a “team” process.  The competencies developed by practicum students during their practicum are the outcome of a cooperative endeavor between the practicum mentor, university supervisor, and practicum student.  The emphasis of the interpreting practicum experience is on developing broadly educated individuals who are knowledgeable, skilled and professional in a variety of interpreted settings.

Requirements

Coming soon

 

GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF THE INTERPRETING PRACTICUM

To provide the student with professional experiences and competencies under the full-time supervision of certified professionals in a variety of settings.

To provide experiences for understanding of the practical realities, working conditions and professional responsibilities of practicing interpreters.

To provide feedback for the interpreting student through continuous evaluation, skill-based feedback, task modeling and guidance by cooperating supervisors and mentors.
 
To provide opportunities for developing self-direction, professional interests, attitudes, ideas, and techniques of interpreting through self-evaluation.
 
To provide experiences for observation and participation in professional activities related to interpreting such as: RID meetings, NAD meetings, interpreting workshops, and social activities where Deaf people are present.
 
To provide experiences to the interpreting student in recognition of and fostering of individual and cultural differences found among the clientele they will be serving.
 
To provide opportunities for the interpreting student to become aware of the importance of human relations as they apply to Deaf consumers, hearing consumers, and members of the community at large.

Bloomsburg Initial - B -  inside a keystone shape

Bloomsburg Because

Clubs and Organizations

Image is a sign language performance group that consists of members ranging from freshmen to seniors. Our main goal is to promote American Sign Language (ASL) as a true language. To do this, we use American Sign Language with music to make a show that is aesthetically pleasing to your eyes and ears. IMAGE is open to all majors and all signing levels. Our show takes place in the spring semester usually in April but sometimes in March. You can follow us via social media for more information. 

Our Interpreter Club is open to any student but is geared towards the ASL/English Interpreting Majors. We discuss the different interpreting settings, signing techniques, interpreting skills, and other topics related to our program. We hold a conference on campus biannually that involves both students and the interpreting community. Interpreter Club is a great way to meet the other students in the interpreting program and stay involved! 

Signify is a club that meets to practice and improve our American Sign Language skills. Our meetings are held entirely in ASL, and we discuss various topics related to the language and Deaf culture.

Awards and Recognitions

Outstanding Senior Award

Mark Jackowski '03, Lisa Senatore '04, Kathleen M. Bartel '05, Lauren Lewis '08, Kelly Klinedinst '11, Kristen Sharpless '12, Heather Hamilton '13, Audrianna Osorio '14, Dawn Grabowski '15, Alexa Cantalupo '16, Nora Reade '17, Emily Gowin '18, Emily Pearson '19, Kate Andres '20

Licensure and Certification

Professional licensure/certification laws and regulations vary from state to state and are subject to change without notice. If you are planning to pursue a professional credential in a state other than PA, it's highly recommended you contact the appropriate state licensing agency to seek guidance and verify requirements. A BU program that leads to state licensure or certification in PA may not meet requirements in another state. Visit bloomu.edu/state-authorization and rid.org/advocacy-overview for details.

The Husky Difference

Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education was founded in 2006 to promote professionalism in the field of sign language interpreter education.
Our ASL program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education, which was founded in 2006 to promote professionalism in the field of sign language interpreter education.
College of Distinction for Education
College of Distinction
Bloomsburg has earned national recognition as a College of Distinction for its education programs, honored for its quality and high-impact ASL/English interpreter preparation.

Careers

There is a high demand for American Sign Language interpreters, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and demand will continue to grow by 19% through 2028.

Potential Job Opportunities

  • Educational Settings
  • Vocational
  • Video Relay Service
  • Medical
  • Mental Health
  • Religious
  • Legal

Top Skills Employers are Looking For

  • concentration
  • dexterity
  • cultural sensitivity

American Sign Language Deep Dive

ASL and English Interpreting Contacts

Applying to this Program

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