ASL/English Interpreting Graduate Program Student Handbook 2. Degree Requirements

2.1 Applying to the Interpreter Education Program

The program requires that if you are not RID certified, one of your previous degrees (either your associate’s or bachelor’s) must be in Interpreting . If you are certified (CSC, CI and CT, NIC, NAD V), you can be admitted with a degree in another field. The program accepts applications for fall semesters only, and the deadline for all materials to be in the Graduate School is July 1.

Gradua te School Application Requires:

NOTE: All these materials are submitted directly to the Graduate School and must be received by July 1 for consideration for Fall admission. 

  • Application Form (please access on the admissions webpage)
  • Letter of intent addressed to Dr. Sherry Shaw that includes a YouTube link to your resume or CV produced in ASL. (Do not provide a document version of your CV.)
  • Two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic background and aptitude for graduate work, specifying in detail your capabilities for future performance and scholarship. At least one letter from a college/university professor is preferred.
  • Written Statement (500-1000 words): What are your professional goals and how will UNF’s Interpreter Education Program help you attain your goals?
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (verbal, quantitative, and writing)
  • Official transcripts of undergraduate and graduate study
  • Application Fee
  • For applicants without RID certification (optional—faculty determine need for samples):

Make arrangements to access a computer with webcam for recording interpreting samples. Source texts are provided once all other application materials are received and eligibility for admission is determined. 

GPA and GRE Requirements

  • GPA of 3.0 in last 60 hours of undergraduate study
  • GRE scores are competitive in all three domains:
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Analytical Writing

Send transcripts, letters of recommendation, application fee, and written statement in one package (if possible) to the Graduate School. Request that your GRE scores be sent to UNF.


At the time you take the GRE, unofficial Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning scores are provided for you. Official scores with your Writing Analysis results usually take 2-3 weeks to arrive at UNF. There are good GRE study materials available on the ETS website.


Once the Graduate School receives all materials, the COEHS Academic Advising office reviews them and eligibility for admission is verified. Then, the electronic files of all your materials become available to the Interpreting Program Director for final decision about admission. When approved, the student receives an official letter of admission (and email message), which is then provided to the respective states for Academic Common Market processing.


All questions regarding admission may be directed to the Graduate School .


NOTE: The program welcomes applicants who are Deaf and aspire to become Certified Deaf Interpreters and teach in Interpreter Education Programs.

2.2 Graduate Programs in ASL/English Interpretting

         -Master of Education in Special Education  


The Master of Education in American Sign Language (ASL)/English Interpreting, is designed to meet the needs of students who are interested in becoming nationally certified sign language interpreters. The program consists of 43 semester hours that include prerequisites, core and major requirements.


If an applicant is not certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., the program requires one previous degree to be in Interpreting (either associate's degree or bachelor's degree) except for deaf applicants.


If applicant is nationally certified (CSC, CI and CT, NIC, NAD, V), a degree in another field is acceptable for admission.

2.3 Master of Education in ASL/English Interpreting Program Description

The program currently consists of 42 graduate credit hours, which includes a 6-credit Internship as the capstone course. Nationally certified interpreters (CSC, CI/CT, NIC, NAD V—not EIPA) are exempt from Internship.

Degree Requirements 

Grades of “B” or better are required in all graduate courses.


- Core requirements: 6 hrs of Foundations


- Major requirements: 30 hrs of Content Specialization


- Internship 6 hrs


Degree Evaluation

Major: Special Education

Concentration : ASL/English Interpreting  

Degree: Master of Education


Core Requirements (6 hrs)*

Grades of "B" or better are required in all graduate courses.

Students must apply to graduate by the published deadline during their final semester.

  • EDF 6607 Education in America     Online or Transfer     3 credits
  • EDF 6480 Found Ed Research       Online or Transfer     3 credits

* core requirements will change once the new MS becomes effective (anticipated Fall 2012)


Major Requirements (30 hrs)

  • INT 5457 Interp. for Diverse Populations     Online     3 credits
  • INT 6911 Appl. Research in Interpreting      Online     3 credits
  • INT 5990 Services Learning     Online (+ project)     3 credits
  • EEX 5595 Interpreting in Healthcare     Online (+1 weekend online, varies by semester)     3 credits
  • EEX 5991 Int Process/Skill Dev II: Mentoring     Online     3 credits
  • INT 6276 Adv. Int Proc/Skill Dev I: Teaching Cognitive Processing     Online (+1 weekend onsite, varies by semester)     3 credits
  • INT 6277 Adv. Int Proc/Skill Dev II: Mental Health Interpreting     Online (+1 weekend)     3 credits
  • ASL 6619 Adv. ASL Conversation     Summer Institute (4-5 days)
  • TSL 6525 Cross Cult. Comm/Know*     Online (+1 weekend; substitute w/Interpreting in Mental Health Settings)     3 credits
  • INT 6932 Special Topics: Legal Interpreting     Online (may have 1 weekend)     3 credits

*TSL 6525 will be removed once the new MS becomes effective (anticipated Fall 2012).  It may be substituted for a course that is related to interpreting or has indirect application to interpreting, such as courses in Adult Education (for students interested in teaching interpreting), Child Development (for students interested in working with young children), Cultural Anthropology, Gender Studies, Sociology, Psychology, and Linguistics.  Approval for a course substitution must be approved by the Program Director prior to taking the course.  Interpreting in Mental Health Settings is available for substitution.


Capstone (6 hrs)

Students with RID NIC, CI/CT, CSC or NAD V are exempt from internship.  Pre-certified students must provide proof of passing the NIC Written Examination prior to graduation.

  • INT 6944 Internship     Field Placement/Online Seminars     6 credits


Students who require accommodations under the ADA or Section 504 should contact Dr. Kristine Webb as soon as possible after admission.

2.4 Course Listings/Descriptions

Interpreting for Diverse Populations (3 credit hours)

This course explores interpreting with diverse populations, including individuals from diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, economic, religious, and social backgrounds. Students identify the role and function of interpreters when working with these populations within the context of ethnographic research and assimilate methods for applying cultural and linguistic competence to a variety of settings. Writing requirement: Ethnography of a non-dominant cultural group.


Applied Research in Interpreting (3 credit hours)

This course introduces students to current research in the field of spoken and signed language interpretation and directs students in conceptualizing research projects. Informed Consent and other requirements of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) process for research approval at UNF are covered. Students are mentored through topic investigation, problem identification, research design, literature review, and IRB application development. Writing requirement: Literature Review and IRB Application, including project design.


Service-Learning in the Deaf Community (3 credit hours)

This course is designed to strengthen the student's ability to (a) acculturate to the rich linguistic and cultural values of the Deaf community through community based learning, and (b) acknowledge personal responsibility as an ally of the Deaf community. Students will contribute to empowerment of the Deaf community and participate in structured experiential settings that are identified using an asset mapping approach to community need identification.


Teaching Cognitive Processing (3 credit hours)

This course presents interpreting process from the perspective of interpretation pedagogy and introduces students to the key concepts of comprehension, working memory, self-assessment of fidelity, cognitive capacity, language availability, and effort models. The course prepares students to integrate interpreting theory into interpreter education through personal skill acquisition and curriculum development.


Interpreting in Healthcare Settings (3 credit hours)

In this course, students will develop a knowledge base of biological and institutional systems encountered in healthcare settings as well as demonstrate an understanding of the legal provision of interpreters and the application of HIPPA requirements. Students will apply this foundation to equivalent linguistic and cultural interpretations in specific healthcare settings with emphasis on substance abuse and addiction, gender-specific health topics, cross-systemic health conditions and end-of-life palliative care.


Mentoring in Interpreter Education (3 credit hours)

This course explores profiles of successful mentors and how to establish a mentoring program, including when, how, and why mentoring supports best practices for job training and career development. Participants will learn the dynamics of a successful mentor relationship and analyze a variety of interpreting work samples to accurately identify patterns of strengths and weaknesses to incorporate into feedback and skill enhancement activities.


ASL Expansion and Compression Technique (3 credit hours)

Students will apply the advanced ASL techniques of expansion and compression for the purpose of analyzing discourse patterns and producing target messages that represent source messages with absolute fidelity. Students will learn how to recognize cues that identify when these techniques are called for in the interpreting process.


Advanced ASL Description and Concepts (3 credit hours)

This course focuses on the advanced ASL skills needed to depict complex concepts specific to medical, mental health, social, and legal situations. Students will learn how to visualize information and use classifiers to describe procedures, conditions, activities, and the environment for persons whose first language is American Sign Language.


Mental Health Interpreting (3 credit hours)

In this course, students will develop a knowledge base of diagnoses and institutional systems encountered in mental health settings as well as demonstrate an understanding of the legal provision of interpreters and the application of HIPPA requirements and Code of Professional Conduct expectations. Students will apply this foundation to the production of equivalent linguistic and cultural interpretations in specific mental health settings with emphasis on12-Step programs, individual, couples and group counseling, and community-based and in-patient treatment.


Legal Interpreting (3 credit hours)

This course is an introduction to interpreting in legal settings, including courtroom proceedings, attorney-client meetings, dispositions, jury duty, and law enforcement venues. Students will develop legal portfolios of qualification to work in these settings and study such concepts as privileged communication and its extension to interpreters, courtroom protocol, applicable laws to interpreter provision, and ethics-based interpreting issues.


Interpreting Internship (6 credit hours)

This capstone course is field-based and requires supervised, mentored experiences with a certified interpreter. Through this internship, students have ongoing opportunities to apply classroom learning and theory with real-world interpreting and experience interpreting in diverse settings. Course requires 200 hours of field-based experience under mentorship of a certified interpreter. Course is waived for RID or AVLIC certified interpreters.


There are eight courses that are specific to the Interpreting Pedagogy Concentration currently underway with VRSII: 


Interpreter Education: Past, Present and Future (3 credit hours)  

Students will review the history of spoken and signed language translator and interpreter education from the 18th century, including key theories and people in the field as well as the social, political and legal perspectives that have influenced the development of interpreter education. They will assess the current state of interpreter education in the U.S., identify current issues, and vision together some strategies to move the field forward.


Distance Learning in Interpreter Education (3 credit hours)

Students in this course will examine current best practices in distance learning and effective teaching skills for both distance and face-to-face instruction.  Topics covered include online instructional design, developing objective and measureable learning outcomes, techniques for assessing student knowledge and skills and how to provide efficient and useful feedback.


Adult and Transformative Learning in Interpreter Education (3 credit hours)

Students are introduced to the body of knowledge concerning adults as learners by focusing on the principles of adult and collaborative education, determining learning styles, and selecting appropriate instructional techniques. Students will review variables that affect adult learning, motivation techniques, appropriate training methodologies, reinforcement of learning, skill transfer, and measurement procedures for identifying learner characteristics.


Mentoring in Interpreter Education (3 credit hours)

Students will explore their interpersonal and communication strengths and learn the necessary dynamics of a successful mentor relationship, including the logistics of mentoring and the challenges encountered. They will explore profiles of successful mentors and identify goals for themselves as mentors. Students will analyze a variety of interpreting samples to accurately identify performance patterns and engage in dialogue with a mentee to determine which patterns should be the focus of skill enhancement activities. They will practice techniques for asking reflective questions so mentees can take the lead in their professional development and skill enhancement activities.


Curriculum Development and Revision (3 credit hours)

Students will synthesize information from previous courses in the program by applying it to curriculum development in interpreter education. Topics include curriculum standards and maps, course goals and performance objectives, and student evaluations, and lesson plans. Students will develop instructional methods and strategies using role-plays, group activities, and case studies. Students will utilize learning theory to develop a teaching module with instructor manual, student materials, and media presentations.


Leadership in Interpreter Education (3 credit hours)

This course introduces the social, political, and economic context in which colleges and universities operate. Historical perspectives on the development of higher education provide students with a background for understanding characteristics of our current system and future trends. A major focus is exploring how leaders of higher education can apply current knowledge to renew their commitment to student learning and more effectively achieve their department mission and goals.


Internship I (3 credit hours)

Students with three years of interpreter education teaching experience at the post-secondary level are exempt. This course mentors students through the teaching experience and provides the opportunity to teach in seminars at VRSII or at UNF during short-term institutes. Course requires onsite attendance in Salt Lake City, UT or Jacksonville, FL for two days and includes online work prior to and following the onsite component.


Internship II (3 credit hours)

This course is designed for experienced interpreter educators to further develop skills in teaching the interpreting process, designing curriculum, and assessing student outcomes. Students will gain mentored experience in online teaching by working as a Teaching Assistant in interpreter education programs that offer distance delivery of courses.


Click here for the current graduate catalog's complete course listings and descriptions