Applying for the Interpreter Preparation Program

Application Process

Pre-enrollment applications

Pre-enrollment applications and deadlines for the Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) are available from the Humanities Division, the coordinator of the IPP or at the ARC IPP website. The Interpreter Preparation Program currently accepts students once per year for the Fall semester which begins in August. Applications for the Fall semester are available by February 15th and the deadline to submit the application is by the second Friday in April.


The application and required documents must be submitted/postmarked by the second Friday in April.  In order to be fair to all students, no late applications will be considered.
Qualified applicants will be asked to attend an all-day interview/screening day on the last Saturday in April.  Save this date.

Application Process

Students who possess an Associate of Arts/Associate of Science degree or higher from a regionally accredited college are exempt from the educational requirement stated above.

Application Process:

Step 1:  Read through the ARC IPP Program Summary.  Determine your enrollment eligibility.

Step 2:  Complete steps one and two of the       Steps to Success

You will need your student identification number in order to complete the application.

Step 3:  Gather the materials in the Checklist below prior to filling out the online application.

Step 4:  Complete the online application

Step 5:  Submit the application and required documents postmarked by the second Friday in April.  In order to be fair to all students, no late applications will be considered.

Step 6:  Provide recommenders with your name, student identification number and this link: Link for Recommenders (if recommenders prefer to share a recommendation in ASL, please ask that they tape via youtube or vimeo and send a link to Erica West Oyedele

Step 7:  Qualified applicants will be contacted via the email, videophone and/or phone numbers listed on the application.  Qualified applicants will be asked to attend an all-day interview/screening day on the last Saturday in April.  Save this date.

Checklist of Materials Needed Prior to Completing the Application

1.     American River College student identification number.

2.     Unofficial copy of college/university transcripts including American River College.  You will need these transcripts available as you complete your application. Submit your transcripts by doing one of the following:

  • attached to an email as a .pdf
  • use Google Docs with the "anyone with the link can view"
  • sent via mail
  • place in Erica West Oyedele's mailbox in the Humanities Office

Submission Information:
Erica West Oyedele
Humanities/Interpreter Preparation Program
American River College
4700 College Oak Drive
Sacramento, CA 95841

3.     Work history information including position, dates, supervisor name and contact information.

4.     Names of two recommenders with contact information:  emails or Videophone/phone numbers.  At least one of the recommenders must be Deaf.  The second recommender may also be a Deaf person but can be someone who knows you professionally or personally.

5.     Prepare a 500 words or less format, describing your interest in the program, the qualities you have that would make you an effective interpreter, and your reasons for becoming an ASL/English interpreter.

Upon completion and acceptance of the pre-enrollment application

Only qualified applicants who meet the educational requirements and follow the pre-enrollment procedures will be considered for the program. Meeting all these requirements does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

Upon completion and acceptance of the pre-enrollment application, students will participate in an interview/screening process conducted by the Interpreter Preparation Program. Should the number of qualified applicants exceed available space in the program, selection will be based on the rankings from the interview/screening process.

Preparing for Screening Day

There are many ways that you can prepare:

Interact with Deaf people!!
Practice with your ASL 1-4 texts.
Practice with other videos. Watch the ASL signer, paraphrase the presentation in ASL yourself,
watch the ASL signer again and modify.
Videotape yourself and get feedback from others.
Work with a Deaf mentor.

At the beginning of each semester we offer the course, DEAF 390: Introduction to the Interpreting Profession. This course is a one-day-Saturday, all day course that covers an introduction to the field of interpreting and an overview of the American River College Interpreter Preparation Program. This course will help you prepare for the ARC Interpreter Preparation Program.

We look forward to receiving your application materials.

ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program FAQs

How can I learn more about the interpreting profession, in general, and the American River College Interpreter Preparation Program (ARC IPP), specifically?

Take the SILA 362: Introduction to the Interpreting Profession Saturday class.  It is a one-day, all day Saturday class offered at the beginning of each semester.  An overview of the interpreting profession and specifics about the ARC IPP are discussed. Check the online schedule.

What are the pre-requisites for entry into the ARC IPP?

The pre-requisites include: Graduation from an accredited high school, ASL 4, Eligibility for ENGRD 310 or 312, a completed enrollment application.

If I am currently enrolled in ASL 4, can I still apply for the ARC IPP

Yes, you can take ASL 4 during the same semester that you apply.  However, during the screening process, we have noted greater success among those students who have also completed ASL 5 and Deaf Culture courses prior to applying to the program.  

When are the ARC IPP courses offered?

Typically, the courses are offered on Monday and Wednesday late afternoon and evening.  During the final semester, when students complete a culminating fieldwork course, additional days and hours are required.  Also, work with a counselor to see about completing the required ASL and Deaf Culture courses that are typically offered on other days.  

Do I need a bachelor's degree in order to enter the program and to be a working interpreter?

Students do not need a bachelor's degree in order to enroll in the ARC IPP. The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf requires a bachelor's degree in order to take the National Interpreting Certificate (NIC).  For more information see  The Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment, another skills assessment, does not require the bachelor's degree.  For more information see   The bachelor's degree can be in any field.  Some students entering the ARC IPP already have a bachelor's degree in another field.  Students who do not have a bachelor's degree have often transferred to the CSUS Deaf Studies, Communication Studies, or other program. 

Will I be a certified interpreter when I finish the program?

No.  You will receive either an AA degree or Certificate of Completion.  The difference is the general education requirement for the AA degree.  To become a certified interpreter, you must take either the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf National Interpreting Certificate or the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment.   

What is the pay like for ASL/English interpreters?

The rate of pay for beginning level interpreters in northern California ranges between $10 - $15 per hour, with highly qualified interpreters earning $30 - $60 per hour.  Salaries will vary depending on many factors including certification, education, geographic area and educational credentials. Some interpreters work as independent contractors and earn from a $18-$60/hour. Generally, they do not schedule a full forty hours per week nor do they typically get employee benefits.  Other interpreters work full-time for an agency, business, video relay service, government organization or educational institution.  Depending on many factors, these staff employees may earn anywhere between $15,000-$50,000+ per year.  You may want to call interpreter referral agencies, video relay providers or educational institution to get specific information about the area of interpreting that interests you. 

IPP Contact Information

Dean: Diana Hicks
Admin. Asst.: Liliya Dorofeyev
Department Chair: Erica West Oyedele
Phone: (916) 484-8198
Videophone: (916) 993-3017
Contact Email:


Monday to Friday:
8:00 am to 4:00 pm


Davies Hall Building 3rd floor office #383

ARC Deaf Culture ASL Studies

Thease are some of the more frequently asked questions

Deaf Culture and ASL Studies FAQ's