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

katey bartie sign language interpreter

Katey Bartie '07

Sign Language Interpreting Major

What are you currently doing (job/school/etc)?

I work as an independent contracting interpreter for a variety of agencies. Deaf Community Services of San Diego, Inc. is the non-profit agency that recruited me 10 years ago as an intern to fulfill my practicum hours; they later hired me as a staff interpreter and then I transitioned to a freelance interpreter. I also work for CLIP, CareVacations (an agency that provides interpreters for cruises around the world!), and a few other small agencies.

How did Bethel prepare you for this next phase?

Bethel definitely prepared me for my current work through the Sign Language Interpreting program! I was not only trained in ASL, but transliteration as well (allowing words in one language to be understood by those who speak another language). Also, Bethel's focus on philosophy and interpersonal relationships carries into my work on a daily basis. I am constantly meeting new people and convincing them that it's okay that there is another person's voice (mine), speaking on behalf of another.

What are some of your highlights at Bethel?

One of my highlights at Bethel was my roommate. My roommate (for three out of my four years at Bethel) was deaf, and came from Japanese culture. She taught me so much about grace with our communication and cultural differences. Bethel is also where I experienced a lot of healing through counselors and a few close friends. It was such a pivotal chapter in my life.

What are some of your highlights at Bethel specifically in the ASL department?

I specifically remember interpreting a play for the theatre department with a few friends. It was very challenging to pick up on the timing and rhythm of the language (especially in comedic plays)! However, my professor let me come over to their house to practice and run through the lines over and over again. My professors really invested in me!

Read more alumni stories

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.

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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.