This program provides students with knowledge in the area of deafness and Deaf Culture, as well as skills in American Sign Language (ASL), other sign language systems, methods of interpreting/transliterating and ethical aspects of the interpreting field. The curriculum is divided into two areas of study - Advanced American Sign Language and Interpreter Training. Sign Language courses will provide the knowledge of ASL as a foreign language and English-based sign systems, while DIS courses provide the interpreting/transliterating skills necessary for students to seek K-12 state licensure upon graduation and National Interpreter Certification (NIC) after gaining experience working as an interpreter. Graduates of the program may work as an interpreter in a myriad of community-based settings, specializing in the areas of medicine, business, vocational, educational and/or a variety of other settings. Graduates would be employed either as a freelance provider or an agency employee. Other career opportunities include video relay interpreting (VRS) and K-12 educational interpreting.

Program contact: Learn more

Learn more about how certificate credits apply to the related degree.

Program Admission Requirements

  • DIS program application and additional admission details located on the DIS program website http://www.tri-c.edu/programs/deaf-interpretive-services/index.html
  • High School Diploma/GED
  • ENG-1010 College Composition I or ENG-101H Honors College Composition I (“B” grade or higher)
  • Screenings/consideration for DIS admission are conducted annually in late fall, after mid-term progress reporting. Applications will be considered once students have completed the DIS application packet, to include the following:
    • Complete My Plan.com Career Assessment http://www.tri-c.edu/career-services/student-career-services/career-exploration.html and meet with a counselor to review Assessment results. Include MyPlan Career Match results in DIS application packet.
    • Complete a DIS Academic Plan with a counselor and submit to DIS.
    • Previously completed and/or be currently enrolled in program pre-requisite courses. ASL-1001 Fingerspelling, ASL-1100 Deaf Culture, DIS-1300 Interpreting Fundamentals ("B" grade or higher in each)
    • Eligibility for ASL-2412 Advanced American Sign Language I via completion of ASL-1010 Beginning American Sign Language I, ASL-1020 Beginning American Sign Language II, ASL-2010 Intermediate American Sign Language I and ASL-2020 Intermediate American Sign Language II (comprehensive GPA of 3.0 or higher), or appropriate assessment exam scoring of either ASLPI level 3 or SLPI Intermediate level. Check program website for further details, including criteria for the DIS ASL Placement/Skill Assessment option http://www.tri-c.edu/programs/deaf-interpretive-services/index.htmlNote: The ASLPI and SLPI are external assessment exams taken outside of the DIS program/college. Check DIS program website for details.

Other Information

  • DIS is a limited admission program. Admission numbers may vary each year, based on anticipated practicum site availability and annual budget considerations. Admission is on a first come, first served basis, providing students have met the admission criteria and followed proper admission protocol.
  • To satisfy the program requirements and earn the Associate of Applied Science degree, all students pursuing an AAS degree for Deaf Interpretive Services, are required to have earned a grade of a “C” or higher in DIS-2940 Field Experience II and its companion lab course, DIS-2740 Field Experience Lab II.
  • Non-DIS degree students may enroll for individual DIS courses, providing they meet the course specific prerequisites and/or have received permission from the DIS Program Manager.
  • Placement Evaluations may be required of certain students to determine both receptive and expressive ASL skills. Evaluations assess knowledge of proper ASL vocabulary, proper parameters and ASL grammar and structures. DIS degree seeking students requiring Placement Evaluations includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Any student who has not taken ASL classes for one academic year or more
    • All transfer students with previous ASL college credit
  • Grade repeat may occur only once for any course that is required for the DIS degree. “W” grades are counted as an attempt. It is recommended that students contact the DIS Program Manager before repeating a course.
  • All DIS students entering into Field Experiences should expect that sites may not be immediately local or convenient. Traveling is a necessary part of Field Experiences and students must begin preparing for reliable transportation to sites and substantial time commitments to complete Field Experiences.
  • Field Experience placements and their availability occur at varying times throughout the semesters. Delays and changes are expected. Student placements may be changed at the discretion of DIS at any time. Students may need to continue garnering Field Experience hours prior to and/or past semester terms and during holiday breaks to satisfy required hours.
  • All DIS students entering Field Experience courses must undergo fingerprinting and background check to satisfy the K-12 practicum requirement. There is a fee for this screening. Once admitted to the program, students will be provided further instruction for when this screening will occur. Details also available on the DIS program website.

Program Learning Outcomes

This program is designed to prepare students to demonstrate the following learning outcomes:

  1. Interpret in American Sign Language (ASL).
  2. Transliterate in English-based sign systems.
  3. Speak as native English user while interpreting for a person who is deaf.
  4. Conduct yourself professionally and ethically according to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional Conduct.
  5. Be eligible for K-12 state licensure from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
  6. Possess the foundational knowledge and skill-based tools for the NAD-RID National Interpreting Certification (NIC) and understand the process for taking the exam.

Suggested Semester Sequence

Plan of Study Grid
First SemesterCredit Hours
ASL-1001 Fingerspelling 2
ASL-1100 Deaf Culture 3
DIS-1300 Interpreting Fundamentals 3
PHIL-1000 Critical Thinking 3
Select one of the following: 3
College Composition I  
Honors College Composition I  
 Credit Hours14
Second Semester
ASL-2412 Advanced American Sign Language I 4
ASL-xxxx ASL Elective2
DIS-1310 Interpreting I 2
SPCH-1010 Fundamentals of Speech Communication 3
THEA-1500 Acting I 3
 Credit Hours14
Summer Session
ASL-2420 Advanced American Sign Language II 4
DIS-2300 Transliterating 2
DIS-2310 Interpreting II 2
DIS-2320 Educational Interpreting 3
 Credit Hours11
Third Semester
DIS-1402 American Sign Language Linguistics 3
DIS-1740 Field Experience Lab I 1
DIS-1940 Field Experience I 1
DIS-1971 Field Experience Seminar I 1
DIS-2410 Voicing 2
EDUC-1011 Introduction to Education 3
Select one of the following: 3
Medical Terminology I  
Legal Terminology  
 Credit Hours14
Fourth Semester
DIS-2420 Advanced Voicing 2
DIS-2740 Field Experience Lab II 1 1
DIS-2940 Field Experience II 1 1
DIS-2971 Field Experience Seminar II 1
EDUC-1411 Individuals with Exceptionalities 3
MATH-1xxx 1000-level MATH course or higher 3
PE-1430 Physical Relaxation Techniques 1
 Credit Hours12
 Total Credit Hours65