Thank you for your interest in the ASL-English Interpretation program at Columbia College Chicago!
Interpreting between two languages is a richly fulfilling and creative profession, requiring keen intelligence and a sensitivity to the smallest nuances in communication. American Sign Language (ASL) is no different. It is a language of complex linguistic structures, and it has a rich history, just like French, English, or any other spoken language.
The Department of ASL-English Interpretation at Columbia College Chicago is home to the only nationally accredited, BA-granting ASL-English Interpretation program in the Chicago Metropolitan area. We strive to educate students who will serve as leaders in the field of interpretation, role models within the interpreting community, and advocates of the Deaf and Hard of hearing community.
In the first two years of the degree program, students focus on language development and culture while they are introduced to the field of interpretation. Students spend their junior and senior years focusing on practical, hands-on interpretation and theoretical courses.
The curriculum involves two full semesters of practicum, which gives students an opportunity to undertake real-life interpreting assignments, always supervised by professional mentor interpreters. Students experience many different interpreting settings before graduation, including medical, theatrical, educational, and freelance settings. Additionally, students can take a variety of different department electives, including “Creativity and ASL” and “2-D Interpreting: VRS and VRI.”
Our renowned faculty includes internationally known performers, distinguished researchers, nationally certified interpreters, and native Deaf signers. Each faculty member has a strong connection to different facets of the professional world—from the local Deaf community to the international stage of interpreter education—and our faculty members take great strides to welcome students into this exciting world.
The vast majority of graduates from the Department of ASL-English Interpretation are currently working as professionals in the field. Alumni work as freelancers or hold staff positions interpreting in settings such as corporate/business offices, mental health facilities, classrooms, museums, theatres, hospitals, cruises, and courtrooms, among many other fields. Alumni also hold local, state, and national positions with interpreting organizations, helping to shape the future of this dynamic profession.
If you are considering becoming a sign language interpreter, I encourage you to contact the Department of ASL-English Interpretation for more information, for a tour, or to find out about our current events and activities. We are passionate about the fields of interpretation, Deaf Studies, and ASL, and look forward to sharing our commitment to excellent interpreter education with you.
Diana Gorman Jamrozik
Chairperson, Department of ASL-English Interpretation