Time and tuition costs no longer need to be an issue for anyone pursuing a career in sign language. Beginning this fall, students enrolled in Eastern Iowa Community Colleges’ American Sign Language (ASL) - English Interpreting program will be able to complete the majority of their coursework online. On-campus class will be continue to be offered as well.

As the only college in Iowa to offer a Deaf Studies Certificate and an American Sign Language - English Interpreting Associate in Applied Science Degree, this new online modality will provide greater flexibility for students interested in pursuing ASL as a career.

Plus, there’s never been a better time to start—the need for ASL interpreters is at an all-time high. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. ASL jobs can be found in hospitals, schools, business offices, courtrooms and freelance interpreting services, among others.

“Our students are getting jobs immediately after successful completion of the program, many with great starting salaries. It’s the perfect profession for anyone who likes variety in their work day and helping people and their communities,” said Diane Roebuck, ASL - English Interpreting Instructor.

Students will be able to access their class lectures and assignments through the college’s online course management system, Canvas. Textbooks and instructional videos will also be provided by DawnSignPress, the nation’s leading publisher of ASL and deaf film, literature and software, based in San Diego, California.

And as a communicative field requiring face-to-face interactions, all online students, regardless of geographic location, are required to complete an in-person workshop totaling two-days each semester. The workshops give students the chance to practice their skills face-to-face and communicate with members of the deaf community as well as fellow peers in the classroom. The curriculum includes topics ranging from linguistic structures and cultural norms to professional ethical standards and areas of specialty. 

Upon successful completion of the program, students are prepared to sit for the following exams:

  • Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA)
  • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC)
  • Board of Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) certification

These certifications are required for licensure.

Tuition-free Degree

Iowa residents can take advantage of Iowa’s Last-Dollar Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition for both the ASL – English Interpreter AAS Degree and Deaf Studies Certification. After filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the state will then cover the remaining balance beyond the aid for which you are eligible.

Out-of-state residents can take advantage of the college’s already low tuition rate, scholarships and financial aid.

For more information, visiteicc.edu/asl or give us a call toll-free at 1-888-336-3907, email eiccinfo@eicc.edu