Front Range Community College students who graduate from FRCC’s Interpreter Preparation Program now have an opportunity to transfer to Gallaudet University, the only university in the world that offers both an undergraduate and graduate degrees in American Sign Language-English Interpretation.
The transfer agreement was completed simultaneously at FRCC’s Westminster Campus and at Gallaudet’s campus in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Sept. 10. The ceremony took place through video conferencing. The transfer agreement – technically called articulation – means the FRCC credits graduates have earned will be accepted at Gallaudet. The agreement followed a rigorous examination of FRCC’s Interpreter Preparation curriculum.
FRCC, which attracts students from across the United States, prepares hearing students for entry-level employment as sign language interpreters with an Associate of Applied Science degree. Interpreters interested in seeking certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), however, need a bachelor’s degree.
“FRCC is excited to partner with Gallaudet to offer our students a premier ASL-English interpreting education,” said Susan Faltinson, Interpreter Preparation Program director. “Obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Interpreting through this partnership will afford students the opportunity to develop solid foundational skills, and the ability to acquire the ever-expanding levels of expertise desired by those whom we serve.”
Michelle Stricklen, Iead faculty in ASL and herself an alumna of Gallaudet, said, “It is truly an honor to be part of a partnership between FRCC and Gallaudet. Our ASL-English interpreting students will be well-equipped to pursue their educational dreams as they gain strong professional tools within this outstanding college and university collaboration.”
Therese Brown, vice president of the Westminster Campus, said, “As the world becomes more complex, the bar for interpreter training is raised higher and higher, and more specialized training is needed. This agreement with Gallaudet is a strong step toward addressing these challenges. The possibility of going on to the Master of Arts in Interpretation strengthens this step further.”
Gallaudet President T. Allen Hurwitz signed, “Coming from a deaf family, nothing of this sort was available. The word ‘interpreter’ was not part of our lives. Imagine that to where we are now.” Interpreting allows the deaf and hard of hearing to be engaged in society, he signed.
Hurwitz signed that Gallaudet was committed to providing FRCC students with an immersive environment in which hearing students fully interact with deaf and hard of hearing students. In fact, he signed, a FRCC graduate – Marissa Rivera – already is a student at Gallaudet.
Keith Cagle, associate professor and coordinator of Gallaudet’s Bachelor of Arts in Interpretation Program, signed that the agreement was “a milestone in collaboration” between the two institutions.
FRCC students are excited about the opportunities this agreement gives them.
Elizabeth Mercado, a first-year student from Commerce City, said “It gives students opportunities to pursue higher education. We have choices. Who knows? I might be interested in Gallaudet.”
Michelle Richey, a second-year student from Spearfish, S.D., said, “It’s exciting to have an opportunity to move across the country, become immersed in the deaf culture, be educated at a top university, and not worry about transferring credits.”
Hannah Munsterman, a second-year student from Jamul, Calif., said “I’m passionate about interpreting, and now we have an opportunity to get the best education in this field.”
About Front Range Community College
FRCC is a member of the Colorado Community College System, the state’s largest system of higher education. CCCS serves more than 162,000 students annually. The system oversees career and academic programs in the 13 state community colleges and career and technical programs in more than 160 school districts and six other post-secondary institutions.
About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University, the world’s only university with programs and services specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students, was established in 1864 by an Act of Congress, and its charter was signed by President Abraham Lincoln.
Gallaudet is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.