Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ
This collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) provides brief answers to many common questions about the Health Care Interpeting program. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us.
Getting Started - Admissions
Tuition and Payment Options
Do I need any medical experience in order to complete this program?
No. While some knowledge of medical terminology may be helpful, this program covers medical terminology in both English and your target language. By the time you complete this program, you should have a working knowledge of basic medical terminology, concepts and structure.
Are textbooks required for the program?
Yes. Our programs use a variety of textbooks, online materials and readings. Any textbook requirements will be posted on the class schedule as well as your official program registration confirmation materials.
What are the admission requirements for the program?
In order to apply for this program, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Have a high school diploma or GED certificate.
- Be fluent in both English and your target language (Spanish, Russian, etc.).
How do you determine language proficiency?
We follow the Oregon Office of Inclusion and Equity guidelines for language proficiency. You can demonstrate language proficiency in your target language by:
- Holding a Bachelor, Masters, PhD or other degree from an institution of higher education where your target language is spoken.
- Graduating from a high school of the country where your target language is spoken.
- Graduating from a US institution of higher education with a major in your target language.
- Passing a language proficiency test at level high intermediate or above from either Language Line University or Language Testing Solutions.
Is the program completely online?
Some of our classes meet entirely in-person and some are entirely online. But, the majority of our courses are considered "hybrid" because they are taught with a mix of online and in-person lessons. For the hybrid classes, approximately 50% of the lessons are taught online and the remaining 50% are held in-person. The online classes are asynchronous which means they can be completed whenever you have some free time. The in-person classes consist of scenarios, role play exercises and in-person language labs. Please check the course schedule to see which classes are online, face-to-face or hybrid.
How do WOU's online courses work?
WOU uses Moodle as our course management system. Each course is somewhat different in format, depending on the instructor's chosen course design and setup. For more information about our online courses, visit our Online Learning page.
I am not an expert on computers. Will these classes be too difficult for me?
We do expect students to be able to use basic word processing programs (i.e. Microsoft Word), as well as access Internet websites. WOU offers technical assistance in case you have any problems with your course. The majority of students find online classes easy to navigate and conducive to learning.
Do I need special software to take an online course?
For most classes, you will only need an internet connection, a compatible browser (such as Internet Explorer, Google Chrome or Firefox), and a word processing program (i.e. Microsoft Word). Fortunately, most browsers are compatible. A few courses may require other programs and the instructor will give you that information at the beginning of class. For more information, click here: WOU Technical Requirements for computers.
How much does the program cost?
We offer two ways to complete this program. You can enroll in the full interpreter training which takes 5-6 months to complete or take classes individually. Please refer to the course schedule to learn more about class tuition. Tuition can be paid all at once or in payments. Please refer to our Payment Options page to learn more about payment options.
Do I have to pay any tuition when I apply to the program?
No, you do not have to pay anything when you submit the online application. You will select a payment option after you have been accepted to the program and tuition is due before you attend the first class.
Are there any scholarships available?
We don't offer any scholarships directly from WOU. But, if you live in Marion, Polk or Yamhill counties you may be eligible for the Job Growers, Inc. vocational scholarship. Check out our Payment Options page to learn more about this opportunity.
Can I use my financial aid to cover the tuition?
Unfortunately, no. Since this is a non-credit program you cannot apply for federal student aid to cover the cost of tuition. We do have several payment options available and they are listed on our Payment Options page.
What languages are included in this program?
Our program is considered language neutral which means everything is taught in English. We do offer language-specific interpreting practice labs which coincide with the medical terminology classes and will work with you to accomodate the langauges you speak.
In what language is the program taught?
The majority of our program is taught in English. The only portions of the program which are taught in another language are the interpreting practice labs which coincide with the medical terminology classes. For these labs, you will be taking two separate classes: the English medical terminology class and the language-specific practice lab.
Will you help me find work as an interpreter after completing this program?
While many areas are experiencing a shortage of professional interpreters, we cannot guarantee employment after completing this program. To help you learn more about certification and employment opportunities, we hold an interpreting job fair every spring and fall. Announcements about the job fair will be send to program alumni and posted on our Facebook page.
Will I be certified after completing this course?
No. After completing this program, you will receive a Certificate of Completion from Western Oregon University. This means you can say you are a "trained" interpreter but you cannot say you are "certified." This program is designed to give you the basic skills necessary to succeed as a health care interpreter. After completing this program, you should contact the Oregon Office of Equity and Inclusion to begin the process of being qualified and certified as a medical interpreter.
Return to top of the page