Agreement Established with ACC and FRCC Expected to Boost Opportunities for Future ASL Interpreters

On September 10, 2015, Gallaudet University announced it has established collaborative agreements with Austin Community College (ACC) in Austin, Texas, and Front Range Community College (FRCC) in Westminster, CO, to boost educational opportunities for future sign language interpreters.

The partnership allows students in the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Interpreter Training program at ACC and the two-year Associate in Applied Science degree in Interpreter Education at FRCC to transfer credits into Gallaudet’s four-year Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation (BAI) program. Students will live and study with deaf and hard of hearing people from the United States and abroad on Gallaudet’s bilingual campus. Gallaudet signed a similar agreement last year with Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C.

Gallaudet is the only university in the world to offer interpretation programs from the bachelor’s level to the doctorate level within a sign language immersive environment. Gallaudet’s award-winning interactive interpretation laboratories prepare students for a high-demand career through hands-on training in a variety of medical, business, education, and government settings.

“Gallaudet offers interpretation students an unparalleled immersion experience, both linguistically and culturally,” said Dr. Melanie Metzger, chair of the Gallaudet Department of Interpretation. “Students will receive their education from our experienced faculty who have worked and studied the field of interpretation and they will have the opportunity to participate in activities sponsored by our Center for the Advancement of Interpretation and Translation Research which is dedicated to advancing the investigation of interpretation and translation products and processes.”

“This agreement creates a new educational pathway for ACC graduates,” said Emily Anderson, ACC professor of interpreting. “This collaboration is an amazing opportunity for our students to maintain their momentum, continue their education, and prepare them for national certification.”

“We are delighted to open a transfer partnership with Gallaudet University,” said Therese Brown, vice president of Front Range Community College’s Westminster Campus, where FRCC’s Interpreter Preparation Program is located. “Just as Gallaudet is nationally respected for educating deaf and hard of hearing students, so, too, is FRCC respected nationally for preparing interpreters to serve the deaf and hard of hearing.”

“Deaf and hard of hearing people around the country face hardships each time they must deal with an interpreter who is not qualified during doctor’s appointments, in classes, and the workplace,” said Gallaudet President T. Alan Hurwitz. “These collaborations mean that deaf and hard of hearing people around the country will have better access to skilled and trained interpreters.”

Graduates from Gallaudet’s interpretation degree programs work in a variety of settings for organizations, individuals, and government agencies. Alumni of the programs work in settings such as business, education, government, theatre, medicine, law, health care, and video relay.

“Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in interpretation from Gallaudet University is a ticket to many job and leadership opportunities,” said Dr. Keith Cagle, associate professor, and coordinator of the BAI program. “Graduates will interact and collaborate with deaf communities across the U.S. and around the world.”

The interpretation classes are optimized for ASL medium teaching and classrooms are equipped to serve the needs of the rapidly advancing field of interpretation. The department’s amenities include tools that allow for recording live and interactive interpreting role play, video conferencing for national and global collaboration among students and faculty, and private recording booths and central computer stations for individual and class activities. The Center for the Advancement of Interpretation and Translation Research includes a library, filming rooms, video relay services (VRS) simulation center, and student research bays with video and statistical software.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Front Range Community College (FRCC), the largest community college in Colorado, offers more than a hundred degree and certificate programs from locations in Brighton, Fort Collins, Longmont, and Westminster, CO, and online. FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.

Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. ACC is focused on student success and providing affordable, flexible pathways to help students reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their careers. The college currently enrolls more than 40,000 credit students and serves an additional 15,000 students each year through noncredit programs. Check out their inspiring stories at

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