Sign Language Interpreting

100% employment rate one year from graduation.

The Bethel Experience

Bilingual exposure ... personal attention (1-10 student-teacher ratio) ... tutoring sessions ... platform and theatre interpreting opportunities ... service opportunities in local communities ... practicum coursework around the country.

Our professors are:

  • Nationally certified
  • Have ten or more years of experience
  • Actively interpret in the community

Majors & Minors

asl majors

What can I major in?

The B.A. degree in Sign Language Interpretation emphasizes both theoretical and skill development in the rudiments of interpreting while preparing students with the tools that will enhance their ability to become nationally certified interpreters. Our curriculum aligns with CIT and NAD standards and reflects the skill mastery criteria outlined by RID. At the completion of the program, our students will be foundationally prepared to work in the community as professional interpreters.

Major:

Sign Language Interpreting = 120 credits (54 core + 58 major + 8 electives)

Minor:

Deaf Studies A.A. = 60 credits (27-28 core + 26 major + 6-7 electives)

American Sign Language = 23 credits

Years to complete: four

Program founded: 1995

Number graduated from program: 136

Academic Course Details

Careers & Experiences

jobs in asl

Lawyers ... Missionaries ... Professional Interpreters ... Teachers

The good news is, the job outlook for 2012-2022 has an expected 46 percent growth rate*. Average annual income for ASL majors: $40,000-55,000. Some careers our program graduates have include:

  • Educational interpreters in K-12 and post-secondary institutions
  • Interpreters at video relay services and video remote interpreting companies
  • Interpreting instructors at interpreter training programs
  • Contract interpreters with profit and non-for profit agencies
  • Support Service Providers and interpreters for members of the deaf-blind community
  • Educational interpreters working abroad
  • Full-time missionaries for the deaf in Rwanda, China and Haiti; short-term missions work
  • Attorneys working with disability cases and interpreters holding SC:L certification
*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Alumni Success

gilbert asl lawyer

Heather Gilbert, '02

Sign Language Interpreting

Gilbert Law PLLC, based near Minneapolis, Minn.

“Bethel was the launching pad for sending me out into the world to be an effective, successful trailblazer.”

Alumna Heather Gilbert ’02 advocates for civil rights as the only attorney in Minnesota who is also a court-certified sign language interpreter. She describes her career in interpreting as the launching pad through which she realized her calling to advance the rights to equal access of oppressed minorities, including the deaf and hard of hearing community. She credits her success as a lawyer, in part, to her Bethel education, where courses in apologetics for her biblical studies minor prepared her for practicing law. Read her story in the fall 2016 Bethel Magazine.

Faculty Spotlight

noah buchhholz

Noah Buchholz, M.Div.

Assistant Professor of American Sign Language

“My goal is to show the beauty of Deaf culture and the struggle of Deaf people."

Noah Buchholz, M.Div., dreams of someday starting a seminary for the Deaf. He spent three weeks this summer (2016) in Northern Ireland, teaching interpreter workshops and presenting a seminar on the parables of Jesus and deaf culture. He also spent one week in Israel, where he served as a consultant for the Jerusalem Center for Bible Translators as they prepare to train deaf Bible translators whose job is to translate the Bible into various sign languages. Read his story in the spring 2015 Bethel Magazine.

Get Involved

asl club

The ASL Club is advised by one of our Deaf professors with three student officers running the club. We have monthly meetings to conduct Club business with the students and provide the opportunity for them to practice their signing skills.

asl fb Keep up with the club's activities on Facebook.

Take the Next Step

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Campus entrance

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Staff & Faculty

Angela Myers was educated at Indiana University (B.S. in Education), at the University of New Mexico (B.S. in Sign Language Interpreting), and at Western Maryland College (M.S. in Deaf Education).

She has experience in the community and at previous jobs includes RID Local Test Administrator, ICRID Satellite Coordinator for South Bend, Ind., ICRID Member-at-Large, and ICRID Newsletter Editor. She is credentialed from RID with certificates of interpretation and of transliteration. Also, she has her Indiana Interpreting Certificate. She is a member of RID, ICRID, OCRID and CIT.

Edwin Carrington teaches ASL, Deaf culture, and some interpreting courses. Prior to coming to Bethel in August 2015, Carrington taught ASL I-III to students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for eight years. While he was there, he attended graduate school at the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he earned his master’s degree in Liberal & Integrative Studies: Deaf Material Culture in 2014. Carrington has exclusively focused on collecting and researching original Deafmade contraptions for the past eight years and continuing into the present.