Sign Language

Sign Language Interpreter

The OCC Sign Language Interpreter program is committed to providing students with a high quality education in interpretation between American Sign Language and English through rigorous academic courses and community service activities. The OCC Sign Language Interpreter program recognizes that language is a human right; that American Sign Language is a true language; and that individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing and deaf blind have the inalienable right to use the language of their choice.  Therefore, the foundational principle of the program include respect for individuals, inter-cultural competency, academic and ethical integrity, critical thinking, professional conduct, and effective communication and interpretation.

The Sign Language Interpreter program (SLI) is a two and half year program designed to train entry level interpreters for community or educational setting.  OCC is one of the four associate degree programs in the nation that is accredited through The Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE). OCC's program was judged by the CCIE under the same standards as a bachelor's program including curriculum design, rigor, research requirements, and more than 300 hours of mandated practicum experience. OCC curriculum prepares graduates to take the state certification exams which graduates must pass in order to work as a certified interpreter in educational, medical, legal, governmental, and community settings. 

In accordance with the new rules implemented by the State of Michigan governing certified interpreters, our program strives to produce the best of the best, not just skill-wise but also the attitudes and ethics of our students.  They are trained by our diverse faculty base.

Did you know? Interpreters work in settings such as schools, hospitals, courtrooms, meeting rooms, and conference centers.  Some work for translation and interpretation companies, individual organizations, or private clients. Many translators also work remotely.  Self-employed interpreters and translators frequently have variable work schedules. Most interpreters and translators work full time during regular business hours.  *Bureau of Labor Statistics 

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This program is offered on the Highland Lakes campus. Supporting courses may be taken on all campuses.

Prospective students must meet standard OCC eligibility requirements - there is an open admissions policy and placement tests and new student orientation are required in most cases.  Students should meet with an OCC counselor before attempting this plan of study.