American Sign Language/English Interpreting

Historically, the American Sign Language/English Interpreting (ASEI) Program has been housed as a concentration under Special Education. Due to burgeoning enrollment and disparate missions, the faculty were encouraged to petition the State of Ohio to be recognized as its own major. As of January 2017 the ASEI program was approved by the State of Ohio to be a free standing degree program. Starting in Fall of 2017, students who enter the program will be recognized as being under the new major.

The ASL/English Interpreting Program prepares students to work with children and adults who have hearing loss or are deaf.  The interpreting courses and instructors prepare students to interpret in educational, K-12 settings. Graduates of the KSU program receive licensure from the state of Ohio to interpret in pre-K-12. These skills provide the framework for students to interpret at the post-secondary level.  Students also receive instruction and practice to interpret in community settings. Community interpreting includes medical and mental health venues, social service offices, and employment, to name a few.

The field of interpreting offers flexible life-long career options enabling interpreters to design their professional practice to meet the needs of their changing lifestyle. Technological advances are also increasing opportunities for employment in video relay interpreting and video remote interpreting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the growth will be “forty-six percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations” (

The Kent State ASL/English Interpreting Program is an intensive major, challenging and preparing students for this dynamic field of sign language interpreting.  All of our instructors are nationally certified with extensive and diverse careers as interpreters. The KSU ASL/English Interpreting Program prepares students by developing expertise in a variety of areas, including the following:

  • ASL proficiency: 3 years of language instruction

  • Analytical approaches to professional and ethical decision-making

  • Interpreting process models and self-assessment strategies

  • Interpreting proficiency appropriate for a variety of settings and consumers

  • Comparative analysis of English and ASL through the study of linguistics, discourse structures and features, pragmatics, and sociolinguistics

  • National certification preparation for both the NAD-RID NIC and the EIPA

  • Approximately 500 hours of practicum experiences

The capstone course of the KSU ASL/English Interpreting Program is a semester-long placement with an experienced educational interpreter in a K-12 setting. The goal of this placement is for students to gradually assume all the interpreting duties of the educational interpreter while receiving daily mentoring.  This experience gives our graduates an advantage when applying for jobs since their resume includes a semester of full-time work experience as an interpreter.

Former students have this to say about their final practicum:

“The Kent State University ASL/English Interpreting program is a wonderful program to be a part of and graduate from. I always felt comfortable to discuss things with my professors and the other students in my cohort. The program truly prepares students not only to be great interpreters, but also to become responsible members of the community.” (Kristin, 2014)

“The teachers are the best. It's that simple. I felt comfortable asking my teachers questions and going to them for help. Nothing can prepare you for what it's like to interpret out in the "real world," but the faculty in this program came as close as possible! No program turns out more skilled interpreters!” (Amanda H., 2014)

Program Requirements

  • Undergraduates matriculate into the program as sophomores

  • All professional courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C or better, with the exception of Survey of the Interpreting Profession and Interpreting Processes III (B-)

  • All students must maintain a 2.75 GPA and a 3.0 major GPA or better throughout their coursework

  • All students must pass the Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) at the Intermediate level or higher or the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) with a Level 2 prior to the final practicum