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About You About the Program About the Field
  Do I need to have an appointment with someone before I can register for a class? | Top  
No. If you are taking Sign Language for the first time, we suggest you begin with American Sign Language 1 (ASL 1140C). If you would like to take an additional class, Survey of Deaf Studies (ASL 1000), a lecture course, would be a valuable addition to your initial learning.
  How do I register for one of the courses offered in the program? | Top  
Complete a college application and mail or bring it to the campus nearest you.  You will receive or be sent a student identification number.  After you have obtained a number you may register on campus. Returning students are given priority in registering. First time students may register only after the designated date for new students, which are established each term.
  What is the cost of a class? | Top  
You must be a Florida resident for one year to be eligible for the state rate.  Courses range from 3 to 4 credits.
  Is financial aid available? | Top  
You must be a full time student, enrolling for a minimum of 12 credits hours during a major term (fall or winter) to be eligible.  The application process in lengthy so you are advised to being early.  For information, call the Financial Aid Office at (305) 237-1058.
  What classes are available? | Top  
Classes in American Sign Language, skill-building courses in the interpreting process and lecture classes dealing with aspects of deaf studies and Deaf culture and are offered.
  When are the classes offered? | Top  
Currently, program classes are offered in the evening. Available courses can be found online in the Open Class Listing for each semester. Call 305-237-1249 or 305-237-1300.
  Can the classes be audited rather than taking them for credit? | Top  
Yes, you may register to audit a course.  However, students registering for credit have first priority in registering.  The enrollment period for those who wish to audit courses is AFTER that.  For more information contact the Registration Department, (305) 237-1111.
  Are non-credit classes available or classes which cost less? | Top  
The Interpretation Program offers ONLY credit classes. For possible non-credit classes contact the Community Education (night school) program of your choice to see if classes are available. You may also wish to contact Deaf Services Bureau of Miami to see whether classes are available.
  Are classes offered at the other campuses? | Top  
Yes, depending on the availability of instructors. Contact the Foreign Language Departments at Wolfson and Kendall Campuses.
  Can courses in American Sign Language be used as part of an A.A. degree? | Top  
American Sign Language 3 (ASL 2160C) and American Sign Language 4 (ASL 2200C) can be used as elective credits.
  Can American Sign Language be used to fulfill the foreign language requirement of colleges and universities? | Top  
Many colleges and universities are accepting such courses.  Some schools will accept first year courses while others may require upper level ones.  Check with the college you plan to attend.  
  How long is the program? | Top  
The Associate in Science (A.S.) degree in Sign Language Interpretation totals 72 credits, which usually takes full-time students approximately two years to complete. However, most of our students work full-time and attend the college on a part time basis. For these students, three years is usually the length of time required.
  What courses are offered for the Associate in Science degree in Sign Language Interpretation? | Top  
Three types of courses are required for the degree. - 50 credits in the subject major, 7 credits in the elective category and 15 credits in the general education category. (See our 3-page description of the program for specifics.)
  If already have some signing skills do I have to start in the lowest class? | Top  
No.  If you have previously acquired skill, contact the department, who will assist you in determining the appropriate course for you.
  If I have taken ASL or other courses from another college, can these be transferred to M-DC to apply toward my degree. | Top  
Yes, in most cases this can be done.  This would need to be arranged on an individual basis and will be done in consultation with the department.
  Do I need to be evaluated before I can enter the interpretation program? | Top  
If you are registering for the elective course, American Sign Language 1, you do NOT need to be evaluated.  If you wish to enroll in ASL2 or higher, you need to be evaluated.  Contact the department for more information.
  Do I need to pursue a degree or can I take classes for my own interest? | Top  
No, you do NOT need to pursue the degree. You may take classes for your own personal interest.
  Do I need a degree to become a Sign Language Interpreter? | Top  
No, you do not. You need the skills and knowledge. However, for those who have not previously attended college, we encourage you to think about pursuing this important goal.  You would be preparing yourself for employment as an interpreter and also be achieving a well-rounded education. Furthermore, more and more employers are providing additional compensation for those interpreters who possess college degrees in addition to having passed interpreter evaluation systems.

Also, testing systems for professional interpreters are beginning to require advanced education before those applying can take such tests.
  How long will it take me to learn American Sign Language and is it difficult to master? | Top  
It is extremely difficult if not impossible to state how long it would take YOU to learn the language or how difficult it will be for YOU, personally.  Individual language mastery depends on many factors including your natural aptitude for learning languages, hand / eye coordination, motivation and effort, and the degree of exposure and interaction with native deaf signers.  Expertise in American Sign Language, like any other language, can be achieved with education, practice and experience.  However, as with any language, ASL can be learned and non-native communicators can acquire a great deal of knowledge and skill.
  How is the job market and pay for interpreters? | Top  
At the present time there is a tremendous need for both full and part-time interpreters, working in educational, social service, medical, employment, entertainment, religious and other settings. Current job listings are posted in the program office and our staff will assist with job placement for students.  Job availability and salaries depend on individual interpreter qualifications and on the geographic location.
  Are there employment opportunities which utilize persons with signing skills? | Top  
Teachers of hearing impaired children, Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselors, personnel of deaf service centers and others employed in social service agencies, which deal with deaf and hard of hearing persons, all use Sign Language to communicate.
  What kind of salaries are available? | Top  
Salaries will vary depending on factors such as the geographical location, employment setting, amount of education, your experience and your credentials.   Full-time interpreting positions may pay anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000 annually. The highest salaries are given to interpreters with national certification. Hourly rates with a two-hour minimum generally range from $15.00 to $50.00 per hour.
  What qualifications do I need to work as an interpreter? | Top  
The state and national professional organizations for sign language interpreters have established evaluation systems for assessing interpreting competency.  For most interpreting positions it is necessary to have taken and passed one of these.  While our program can not guarantee that you will pass such tests, we have found that the vast majority of our students who have communicated with and interpreted for deaf and hard of hearing persons on a regular basis, have passed within one year of completing their coursework.  Furthermore, many students have passed an evaluation before completing their coursework.  

The evaluations available include:

  • The Quality Assurance (QA) of the Florida Registry of Interpreter for the Deaf (F.R.I.D.)
    Levels 1, 2 and 3 (the highest)
  • The Educational Interpreter Evaluation (E.I.E.) of the F.R.I. D.
    Levels 1, 2 and 3 (the highest)
  • National Association of the Deaf and Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (NAD-RID)
    National Interpreter Certificate (N.I.C.)

Campus Information
Miami Dade College North Campus
11380 NW 27 Avenue
Miami, Fl 33167
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 Ask MDC

English Department
11380 NW 27th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33167 USA

Building 7, Third Floor
Room 7323
Miami, Fl 33167
(305) 237-1300


Dr. Michaela Tomova

Phone: 305-237-1305

Ellen Milmed
Assistant to the Chairperson

Phone: 305-237-1318

Feliza Gomez

Phone: 305-237-8131

Main Deparment Number
Phone: 305-237-1300

For more information, please contact
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