Please note: This was published over a year ago. Phone numbers, email addresses and other information may have changed.
Sign of the times: PCC, Marylhurst partner up
Photos and Story by James Hill
PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Community College and Marylhurst University have signed an articulation agreement to guarantee admission and junior status at Marylhurst to PCC graduates with an associate of applied science degree in sign language interpreting and deaf studies. Students who transfer from PCC to Marylhurst with a concentration in sign language interpretation will be accepted into the university’s human studies program. PCC’s sign language interpreting program is based at the Sylvania Campus (12000 S.W. 49th Ave.). "We’re very excited about it," said Julie Moore, PCC sign language interpreter instructor. "Our program is well respected in both the local and national interpreting community, and graduates from our program have been very successful in their chosen career. Almost all have found employment right after graduation." The new deal will help students become nationally certified through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). In 2003, RID enacted a policy which requires a degree in order to take the certification evaluation. In 2008, applicants will need a minimum of an associate’s degree and in 2012 applicants will need a bachelor’s degree. "Although local employers at this time do not require a bachelor’s degree, some in other areas of the country do," Moore added. "Our graduates are already well-prepared for these positions in terms of their knowledge and skills, but this option will also allow students more flexibility if they choose to leave the state." Moore said that most graduates of interpreting programs, whether with an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree, require more experience in order to be ready to succeed on the RID evaluation usually 3-5 years. In contrast to a traditional bachelor of arts program, this option allows students to complete their training in their chosen field and begin to work in entry-level positions while simultaneously continuing their skill development and working toward a four-year degree. PCC s sign language interpreting is a full-time, six-term program for those interested in interpretation as a career and offers an associate of applied science degree and a two-year certificate, both for 83 credits. Professional interpreters work in a variety of settings, such as education, social service, religion, government, business, performing arts, mental health, medical, legal and law enforcement. Students may specialize in one area or free-lance in a variety of settings. The majority of graduates from the program start in entry-level positions in educational settings. Currently, the demand for services exceeds the supply of interpreters nationwide.