• American Sign Language(ASL)-English Interpretation Program
  • American Sign Language(ASL)-English Interpretation Program

  • Become an American Sign Language-English interpreter in LaGuardia’s nationally recognized program and earn a professional certificate or a Bachelor's Degree.

    Apply now for Fall 2017.

  • The American Sign Language (ASL)-English Interpretation Program is a rigorous two-year academic program that prepares selected individuals who are fluent in ASL to become ASL-English interpreters, with a special focus on interpreting in educational settings.

    The ASL-English Interpretation Program serves interpreting students from all over the New York tristate area and is above the national average in student diversity within interpreting programs, reflecting the diverse populations of the Deaf community.

    Bachelor Degree (in collaboration with SUNY/Empire State College) and Two-Year Certificate tracks are offered.

    We are dedicated to developing skilled ASL-English Interpreters who:

    • make thoughtful interpreting decisions with confidence
    • can produce processed interpretations fluently
    • are self-reflective, able to identify their strengths and challenges, as well as their role in the communities they serve
    • are independent, life-long learners

    Evening courses enable working students to maintain their professional status while attending classes. However, service learning and interpreting field work experiences require some daytime commitment.  


    • Interpreting I
    • Lab/Service Learning I
    • Introduction to the Field of Interpretation
    • Interpreting II
    • Lab/Service Learning II
    • Language in Use
    • Interpreting III
    • Lab/Service Learning III
    • ASL Discourse
    • Interpreting IV
    • Internship 50 hrs. (Interpreting IV)
    • Ethics and Decision Making
    • Interpreting V
    • Interpreting in Education Settings
    • Internship 30 hrs. (group internship)
    • Interpreting VI
    • Deaf Education in Bilingual Communities
    • Internship 70 hrs. (Interpreting VI)

    Become an ASL-English Interpreter - we have an educational option that’s right for you.

    If you have an Associate's Degree (or its equivalent in college credits) and are accepted into the AEIP, you may elect to earn a Bachelor Degree in Educational Studies: ASL-English Interpretation jointly through a partnership between AEIP and the State University of New York – Empire State College (SUNY-ESC). AEIP at CUNY/LaGuardia would satisfy the required upper division "concentration credits" for this bachelor degree, and any additional general credits would be taken at SUNY-ESC.

    The AEIP prepares you for the national certification, a separate process accomplished through the interpreting field’s professional organization, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). You must take and pass the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam before the AEIP graduation, making you eligible to sit for the RID NIC Performance Exam.

    If you…
    • are already fluent in ASL and English
    • have interacted regularly with the Deaf community for at least two years AND
    • have a Bachelor Degree or above

    Then you are eligible to apply to the ASL-English Interpretation Program (AEIP) for the Professional Certificate. Upon successful completion of the AEIP, you will receive a certificate attesting to this accomplishment. The AEIP prepares you for the national certification, a separate process accomplished through the interpreting field’s professional organization, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).You must take and pass the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) Knowledge Exam before the AEIP graduation, making you eligible to sit for the RID NIC Performance Exam.

    If you've been studying ASL formally for at least two years and regularly interact with the Deaf community, you may benefit from our Advanced ASL I and Advanced ASL II courses.

    If you're just starting out or have less than two years of ASL experience, please contact Pacts Cartagna at pcarlson@lagcc.cuny.edu to learn about the Continuing Education ASL classes LaGuardia offers.

    Perhaps you’re interested in LaGuardia’s Associate's Degree in Deaf Studies. You can learn ASL and earn your Associate's Degree at the same time! Pre-Interpreting and Continuing Education ASL courses as well as the Associate's Degree in Deaf Studies will better prepare you to qualify for the ASL-English Interpretation Program.


    Primarily, graduates attain positions working as interpreters in K-12 settings. However, a Bachelor's Degree or Professional Certificate from the ASL-English Interpretation Program, a nationally respected interpreter education program, opens the door to many opportunities to work with deaf, deafblind and hard of hearing individuals.

    • Higher Education
    • Social Services
    • Conferences
    • The Arts
    • Medical/Mental Health Field
    • Legal
    • Politics or Government

    You may be employed by an organization or act as an independent contractor, allowing you to take advantage of numerous freelance opportunities in part-time or full-time capacities.


    The ASL-English Interpretation Program features a state a state-of-the-art Multimedia Interpreting/Language Lab. The lab is fully digital and completely custom designed, with pull-out privacy panels, soundproof surfacing, and lighting. This technology also allows students to:

    • practice interpreting from ASL to spoken English and from spoken English to ASL
    • watch/listen to a video, pause to record, then continue with the video
    • watch/listen and record simultaneously
    • edit videos
    • create/maintain ePortfolios
    • access the Internet
    • submit assignments electronically


    The ASL-English Interpretation Program is partially funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Tuition assistance may be available to students accepted into the program* but may choose to waive it.

    If U.S. Department of Education grant funding is available towards payment of the program, you are required to fulfill a “Service Obligation” to provide service to children and youth in educational settings.

    The Personnel Development Program Data Collection Center (DCC) oversees the process of tracking Service Obligations for the U.S. Department of Education. Click here to review the PDP DCC FAQs as well as federal regulations information.

    The current projected total out of pocket cost of the ASL-English Interpretation Program is approximately $15,200.

    *Grant supported students must provide documentation of U.S. citizenship or eligibility to legally receive federal funding assistance.

  • FAQ

    Interpreting between two spoken languages, like English and Spanish, requires that you already be fluent in both and comfortable using them in the context of two distinct cultures. Interpreting between ASL and English is no different. Learning ASL first provides the base of fluency that will be required in order to successfully begin the study of ASL-English Interpretation, the ability to extract meaning from a message expressed in one language and produce equivalent meaning in the other language. Many interpretation programs include the study of ASL as a part of their program. At LaGuardia, we have found that students who are already fluent in both languages are better prepared to develop the interpreting skills and knowledge that will enable them to serve their consumers well and garner the respect of their professional colleagues.
    The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires the provision of qualified interpreters in a variety of settings. One important measure of an interpreter's qualifications is professional credentials. Credentials are obtained by taking and passing a knowledge and skills assessment. The National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) provides testing for national certification. In some states, a state agency offers a Quality Assurance (QA) assessment and the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPI). Though New York State does not have such a credentialing system, LaGuardia's ASL-English Interpretation Program aims to prepare its graduates to take and pass these aforementioned skills assessments. Only then can our graduates be considered qualified or certified interpreters.
    Sign language interpretation is a rapidly expanding field. There is a great need for qualified interpreters with credentials. Interpreters are employed by schools, government agencies, and private businesses. They may work in medical, legal, political, theatrical, and many other arenas. Part time, full time, freelance, and salaried positions are available in New York and across the country. Many of our graduates work with interpreter referral agencies as freelance interpreters. This offers them flexibility in hours and job settings.
    Salaries will vary depending on many factors. These include education, amount of experience, credentials, and geographical area (New York City is one of the highest paying areas). Some interpreters work for a school system, agency, business, or government organization and have a guaranteed salary and fringe benefits. Others work freelance, generally at higher hourly rates of pay, but without benefits. In either case, there is a lot of demand for good interpreters, and it is a viable and satisfying way to earn a living. You may want to call interpreter referral agencies and school systems to get specific information about the area of interpreting that interests you.
    The ASL-English Interpretation Program is two years or six trimesters long. Applications are accepted once a year in the spring, and classes start the following fall. The courses are sequential and build one upon the other.
    Our classes are held during the Fall, Winter, and Spring trimesters, 2 – 3 evenings per week. Most courses are three hours long and meet once a week. In addition, there are three internships throughout the course of the program, some of which take place during daytime hours. Most courses are held at LaGuardia Community College, although some are held in Manhattan.
    The program curriculum does not include required summer coursework. However, some pre- and post-program courses are offered in the summer.
    Since the program has a focus on educational settings, all students have the opportunity to gain exposure to and specialize in this area. In addition, in your internships you will experience a variety of interpreting settings. However, these specialty areas require skills and training beyond general interpreting. You must first develop strong general skills in interpreting. Later, through workshops, courses, and mentoring available around the country, you can build upon the general skills you gained at LaGuardia and specialize in specific areas of interpreting.
    If you have taken upper division (bachelor degree level) courses in another interpretation program, we will look at the contact and depth of your prior coursework to see if it is a reasonable substitute for a course in our program. If so, you will not be required to take that specific course. For your general education courses, SUNY-Empire State College will review your transcript. Empire State College accepts course transfers from any accredited college or university in the country. There is no specific limitation on how long ago the courses were taken, as long as the course content remains relevant. Empire State College may also allocate advanced standing credit for other types of experiential learning.

  • Contact Us

    Contact Us

    Vanessa Watson, Administrative Assistant

    (718) 482-5313
    (917) 832-1207(VP)


    In person
    29-10 Thomson Avenue, Room C203
    Long Island City, NY 11101

    Apply Now

    Apply Now

    Applications for the ASL-English Interpretation Program are accepted once a year. The deadline is May 19th.

    The application process consists of two parts:

    1. Pre-Screening Application
    • A complete Application Form online, or paper format.
    • Official college transcript
    • Essay (detailed description can be found on Application Form above)
    • Two “letters” of reference (detailed description can be found on Application Form above)
    • Videos of yourself signing ASL and speaking English (detailed description can be found on Application Form)
    • $50 application fee
    Selected pre-screening applicants will advance to Part 2 of the application process.

    2. Admission Screening
    • On-site reading and writing exercise
    • Live panel interview
    • $35 screening fee
    Successful applicants will be admitted to the program!



    Ways to Register


    By phone
    (718) 482-7244
    with payment by MasterCard/Visa/Discover/American Express.

    In person
    M-Building, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Room M143, Long Island City, NY 11101

    Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Friday and Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Cash payments must be made at the Bursar's Office 
    (C-Building, Room C110)
    Monday and Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
    Tuesday and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Discounts and waivers apply to all courses except those designated ND.