Jun 30, 2022  
2019-2020 Catalog 
2019-2020 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

American Sign Language Admission Requirements

Step 1: Want to be an interpreter? Complete your American Sign Language certificate program first.

The three semester, American Sign Language Certificate program provides language training and cultural enrichment for people who wish to learn ASL and the uniqueness of deaf culture. This program will not prepare students to become interpreters but is designed to introduce students to the language and culture. Students who complete this certificate are eligible to enroll in CCAC's credit Interpreting program, which does lead to employment in the interpreting field.

Step 2: If I don't complete the ASL certificate, how can I get into the Interpreting program?

The American Sign Language Interpreting degree centers on providing students with the superior language skills and ethical competencies needed by today's interpreters. Through interpreting labs, observations in schools, the community and internship placement, students become highly skilled professionals. Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared to sit for the Pennsylvania Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) license or the National Interpreter Certification (NIC). Students holding a bachelor's degree would be permitted to sit for the NIC exam.

The program includes a practicum experience. Prior to the practicum requirement, students must be eligible for clearance through the Federal Criminal History Record (ACT114), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Check (ACT34), Pennsylvania Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance Act (ACT151) and meet local requirements of the practicum placement site. CCAC's utilizes a Certified Background third-party to manage these required documents. Practicum sites should be based on whether or not you plan to be a community interpreter (and have a Bachelor's degree) or an educational interpreter. Although the program is an evening one, practicum experiences may need to be during the day during typical work hours as schools and businesses often operate during day hours. You will work with your practicum supervisor to locate an appropriate work site.

Please note that placement testing is required for all students registering for English or math classes. Placement tests can be scheduled through Appointment Central. Students may also attempt to test out of/CLEP out of classes. CLEP tests may take up to 3 weeks to score so please keep this in mind while scheduling your classes.

Admission Requirements

If students have not completed CCAC's American Sign Language certificate but believe that they have the skills to enter the Interpreting program, then they may sit for a CCAC Administered ASL proficiency exam. Students must receive a minimum level 2 score from this examination. This exam is administered each summer. Only students who have not completed CCAC's 17 credit American Sign Language program may sit for this free examination. The examination may be taken one time only.  In order to successfully  meet this minimum, only students who believe that they have the skill level of ASL 201/ ASL 3 should register for this exam. The syllabus for ASL 201 is listed at this website. The examination consists of a 30 minute 1:1 examination/interview. Details on the examination are listed below. 

Email M. J. Shahen at mshahen@ccac.edu to make arrangements for the proficiency exam.

If students do not pass CCAC's ASL administered proficiency exam, then they may register for the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) and must achieve a minimum of a level 2 on this examination. CCAC does not administer this examination; students must contact Galludet University on details related to this examination; however, it is important to note that results from the examination may take several months. Please check the Galludet University ASLPI web page for information. This is not a free examination. After your results have been received, please present registration with photo ID and proof of attaining a minimum level 2 American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) score. This exam is not administered by CCAC.

CCAC Interpreting Pre-Admission Proficiency Examination Procedures:

  1. The examination is free.
  2. The examination is held at North Campus: 8701 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.
  3. The examination is held in room 1126A at North Campus. Meet the examiner at the front information desk; she will take you to the room.
  4. Students will be permitted to take the CCAC administered exam one time only.
  5. Students must score 2 or higher on a 0-5 scale.
  6. Examination is 30 minutes in length.
  7. Students will receive a document indicating whether or not they have passed the exam, directly following the exam.
  8. Students will provide registration with an examiner-verified level 2 document. This document  will enable them to register for the program.

To register for the CCAC administered exam, email Dr. Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki at gmullinsawicki@ccac.edu and indicate the date you prefer. A 30-minute time slot will be assigned to you.

Step 3: Ready to register for interpreting classes?

If you have met the admission criteria for the program, you may now register for interpreting classes. Be sure to take all of your placement tests prior to registering for your English and math classes. The Interpreting program runs each Fall only. Students may take classes on a part-time basis; however, classes are run through sequence (see program page) and program completion will be doubled in length. It is important to note that for your last semester, an interpreting practicum experience is a requirement of the interpreting program. Practicum experiences are typically offered in the Spring semesters only. These interpreting experiences require a student to work during day times; however, our faculty will work with students' schedules to provide as much flexibility as possible. Students are required to complete 180 hours of practicum field interpreting experience. This time includes classroom meetings, one hour a week.

Interested in the interpreting program but not accepted yet?

Students may register for ITP 105 Introduction to Interpreting, ITP 107 Interpreting Theory and ITP 206 Interpreter Ethics without being accepted into the program since these courses are not skill based but theory based classes. All other require students to adhere to the interpreting admission requirements. 

MJ Shahen is the coordinator for the American Sign Language program. She may be reached at mshahen@ccac.edu.
Jennifer Flaggs is the coordinator for the Interpreting program. She may be reached at jflaggs@ccac.edu
Jeff Thomas is the academic dean overseeing the program. He may be reached at jthomas@ccac.edu
Dr. Mary Jo Guercio oversees Professional Development for Current Interpreters. She may be reached by phone at 412-237-2723  or by email at mguercio@ccac.edu