History of SCCC’s ITP Program

1970’s - Interpreter Training Program established via a grant from the US Department of Education

Including American Sign Language and Deaf Studies courses Theresa Smith for ITP, various PT instructors for ASL

One year of ASL required for entry into ITP

1987 - Interpreter Training Program moved from grant to state funding

Curriculum changed to align with other state-funded programs

Student numbers increased to be more in line with state funding model

Program struggled to find instructors and did most instruction with PT faculty Lisa Holmberg and others

1989 The first FT fauclty member was hired under the state funding model Lou Fant

1992 The second FT faculty member was hired and program regained stability Shannon Christy

1993-4 – Interpreter Training Program required two years of ASL for entry into the program

Linguistics of American Sign Language course added as an elective for ITP

The ASL/ITP lab was built with Carl Perkins funding

1995-6 – Deaf Studies program established as an AA degree track Geoff Mathay, Clyde Vincent

Core courses were re-designed or added

Courses were aligned with the AA degree requirements

Some courses shared with ITP

1975-2005 Frequent faculty changes have impacted the program. Within the ten year timespan, FT faculty were completly replaced 5 times due to retirements, a death, faculty members moving out of the Seattle area, and faculty members having babies.

Shannon resigned in 1997 and was replaced in fall quarter by Debbie Peterson. Lou retired in 2000, was replaced by Tracy Smith-Fitzpatrick. Tracy had a baby and left in 2003, and was replaced by Shannon Christy. Shannon passed away in 2003 and was replaced by Cyndi Brown in winter quarter. Debbie resigned in 2005 and was replaced by Brian Leffler. Brian resigned in 2006 and was replaced by Brenda Aron. Cyndi resigned in 2007 and was replaced by Dave Morrison. Dave resigned in 2008 and was replaced by Tamara Moxham.

Lou Fant 1989-2000

Shannon Christy 1992-97; fall 2002

Tracy Smith-Fitzpatrick 2000-2003

Cyndi Brown 2003-2007

Brian Leffler 2005-06

Dave Morrison 2007-2008

Brenda Aron 2006-present

Tamara Moxham 2009-present

Goal of the Program:

The ITP program prepares graduates to facilitate communication between deaf and hearing people using English and American Sign Language. Sucessful graduates of the program enter the field of sign language interpreting with marketable skills applicable in various settings such as education, medical and social services. In addition, it is the mission of the program:

1). To provide a cultural and communication foundation for students planning to continue their undergraduate studies towards a Bachelor’s degree in fields such as education, counseling, social work, linguistics, etc. and who plan to work with individuals who are Deaf or have a hearing loss.

2). To provide students with in-depth knowledge about Deafness in order to communicate more effectively with Deaf relatives, friends, and consumers.

Enrollment Data:

Enrollment in the ITP program has steadily increased over the past three years, from 47 students enrolled in 2002-03 to 70 students enrolled 2004-2005. Largely, we attribute this to stabilizing the FT faculty who teach in the program. The program typically attracts 4-5 Running Start students annually and 1-2 International Students. Most of the students are white females, with an average of 86% of them being white over the 3 year period, and an average of 85% of them being female. An average of 64% of our students come from outside of SCCC's catchment area, as we are a "destination program", being only one of two programs in the state.

The demand and the enrollment should increase. Even with low enrollment throughout the district and at Seattle Central, the Interpreter Training Program courses have maintained a high enrollment rate largely due to the huge success of its feeder program, the ASL courses and the Deaf Studies AA degree option.

Currently proposal SB 6606-2005-2006 is being presented at the state legislature requiring skill standards for educational interpreters for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Nationwide requirements by Registry of Interpreters of the Deaf will require baccalaureate degrees by the year 2012.

Future of SCCC ITP:

There are currently no B.A. degree programs in American Sign Language Interpreting in the state of Washington or in the nearby western states of Alaska, Idaho, California, and Montana. With the new RID certification requirements students will be seeking colleges and universities in the region that offer a baccalaureate degree in American Sign Language Interpreter Training. Offering a community college-based baccalaureate program at Seattle Central will address this need that is not currently met by any universities in the state.

The Interpreter Training Program at Seattle Central Community College has long had a reputation of excellence nationwide for its strong American Sign Language emphasis and for producing successful graduates with marketable skills. Seattle as a major metropolitan area can provide many internship and practicum experiences for Interpreter Training students at the K-12 and college level settings. In addition, Seattle has one of the largest Deaf-Blind populations in the United States who require highly skilled and specially trained interpreters. Seattle is aslo one of the national Video Relay Service (VRS) providers. Although this does not impact our curriculum because we do not train VRS interpeters, the program is impacted because VRS has attracted many highly qualified interpreters to Seattle who are then in positions to mentor our students, provide guest lecturers to enhance the program and to provide possible internship experiences for the college.