Sign Language Interpreting

About the Program

Looking for a career that will leave you very satisfied at the end of the day? Check out Iowa Western's Sign Language Interpreting program. There is high demand for sign language interpreters. You can earn an Associate of Applied Science degree and enter this career field immediately upon graduation.

This program is unique; only three other programs are available in Iowa.  Iowa Western has close connections with the deaf community and, in particular, Iowa School for the Deaf, which is located right here in Council Bluffs. Our program is highly interactive, including the use of technology in our language labs and language role models.

In the language lab, performances are captured on video for review and immediate assessment. You’ll gain knowledge in American Sign Language (ASL), the interpreting process, signing Exact English, conceptually accurate signed English, and the transliterating process. High schools and colleges in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area hire many of our graduates.

Career Information

The Sign Language program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year degree. This program prepares graduates for the National Interpreter Certification exam as well as the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment and State Quality Assurance Screening Tests. Many interpreters work in private practice and are self-employed. Others are salaried staff of an agency, educational institution, or corporation. Most graduates of this program begin their interpreting work in educational settings. By 2012 students will need to have a bachelor’s degree (although it does not necessarily need to be in Interpreting) in order to take the National Board exam.

Salary Information

Salary: Regional
Average: $20 to $25/ hour
Entry Level: $12 to $17/hour
Experienced: $25 to $45/hour

* Salary information from the Iowa Western Program Chair.

Just the Facts

Program Start Term: Fall Only
Program Length: 4 Semesters, 1 Summer
Award: A.A.S.
Number of Majors: 34
Average Class Size: 12
Program Capacity: 40
Part-Time or Full-Time: Both
Program Courses Offered: Day
Program Locations: Council Bluffs Campus