press release


WOU’s ASL/English interpreting program receives full accreditation

for release: April 9 , 2010

MONMOUTH – The Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) awarded full accreditation to Western Oregon University’s American Sign Language/English interpreting program through March 31, 2020. WOU’s program is one of only a handful of undergraduate programs in ASL studies within the United States. CCIE’s decision was based on a self study report submitted by WOU in June 2009 and a site team visit that took place in February 2010. CCIE acknowledged the strengths of WOU’s program in areas of professional development, faculty/student ratios, and expertise of the staff.

Since 1976, WOU has been preparing students to meet the growing demand for professional interpreters. In 1993 WOU began to offer a bachelor's degree in education (non-teaching) with a major in American Sign Language/English interpreting. The program offers a broad-based liberal arts education that provides the foundation for professional study and lifelong learning. The interpreting curriculum includes classes in theory, skill development, and professional application. Nationwide, the need for qualified interpreters exceeds the supply and the demand for interpreting services continues to rise. Graduates of the WOU program become professionals who provide direct interpreting services to meet this demand, work as effective members of service delivery teams, and participate in state and national professional development organizations.

The Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) was founded in 2006 to promote professionalism in the field of sign language interpreter education through the process of accreditation. CCIE was established after nearly two decades of collaborative efforts of six stakeholder organizations, the National Alliance of Black Interpreters, Inc., National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, National Association of the Deaf, Conference of Interpreter Trainers, Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada and the American Sign Language Teachers Association. In 2008, CCIE became a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

The CCIE Standards identify the knowledge, skills, and perspectives students need to gain in order to enter the field of professional interpreting. The standardsgive students, faculty, curriculum developers, administrators, employers, and consumers a common set of expectations about what basic knowledge and competencies interpreting students should acquire. For existing programs, the standards provide benchmarks for assessing and enhancing student outcomes, evaluating and updating faculty, and improving curricula and related practices.

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