Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

American Sign Language and Interpreting Programs

Want to be an Interpreter?

Step 1: Complete your American Sign Language (ASL) certificate program

The three semester, American Sign Language Certificate program provides language training and cultural enrichment for people who wish to learn ASL and the uniqueness of deaf culture. This program will not prepare students to become interpreters but is designed to introduce students to the language and culture. Students who complete this certificate are, however, eligible to enroll in CCAC's credit Interpreting program.

Please note ASL 201 is offered each summer only in an eight week format. This is the final class in the ASL certificate program. It is a pre-requisite for ASL 202 which is a Fall semester ASL interpreting class.

The American Sign Language Interpreting degree centers on providing students with the superior language skills and ethical competencies needed by today’s interpreters. Through interpreting labs, observations in schools, the community and internship placement, students become highly skilled professionals. Students who successfully complete the program will be prepared to sit for the Pennsylvania Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) license or the National Interpreter Certification (NIC). Students holding a bachelor’s degree would be permitted to sit for the NIC exam.

The program includes a practicum experience. Prior to the practicum requirement, students must be eligible for clearance through the Federal Criminal History Record (ACT114), Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Check (ACT34), Pennsylvania Public Welfare Child Abuse History Clearance Act (ACT151) and meet local requirements of the practicum placement site. CCAC's utilizes a Certified Background third-party to manage these required documents. Practicum sites should be based on whether or not you plan to be a community interpreter (and have a Bachelor's degree) or an educational interpreter. Although the program is an evening one, practicum experiences may need to be during the day during typical work hours as schools and businesses often operate during day hours. You will work with your practicum supervisor to locate an appropriate work site.

Please note that placement testing is required for all students registering for English or math classes. Placement tests can be scheduled at  Students may also attempt to test out of/CLEP out of classes. More information can be found at: CLEP tests may take up to 3 weeks to score so please keep this in mind while scheduling your classes.

American Sign Language table

Step 2: Didn't complete the ASL degree, but think you have the skills to enter the program? See below for details:

ITP Admission Requirements

In order for students to register for the ASL Interpreting program, they must provide registration with proof of one of the following:

1. Successfully complete CCAC's 17 credit American Sign Language credit certificate OR

2. If students have not completed CCAC's American Sign Language certificate but believe that they have the skills to enter the ASL Interpreting program, then they may sit for a CCAC Administered ASL proficiency exam. Students must receive a minimum level 2 score from this examination. This exam is administered every summer, on select Fridays and Saturdays. Only students who have not completed CCAC's 17 credit American Sign Language program may sit for this free examination. The examination may be taken one time only.  In order to successfully  meet this minimum, only students who believe that they have the skill level of ASL 201/ ASL 3 should register for this exam. The syllabus for ASL 201 is listed at this website. The examination consists of a 30 minute 1:1 examination/interview. Details on the examination are listed below. OR

3. If students do not pass CCAC's ASL administered proficiency exam, then they may register for the American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) and must achieve a minimum of a level 2 on this examination. CCAC does not administer this examination; students must contact Galludet University on details related to this examination; however, it is important to note that results from the examination may take several months. Please check the Galludet University ASLPI web page for information. This is not a free examination. After your results have been received, please present registration with photo ID and proof of attaining a minimum level 2 American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) score. This exam is not administered by CCAC.

CCAC American Sign Language–Interpreting (ASL) Pre-Admission Proficiency Examination Procedures for CCAC Administered Exam:

  1. The examination is free.
  2. The examination is held at North Campus: 8701 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.
  3. The examination is held in room 1126A at North Campus. Meet the examiner at the front information desk who will take you to the room.
  4. The exam will be administered .
  5. Students will register through the secured website Sign-Up Genius
  6. Students will be permitted to take the CCAC administered exam one time only.
  7. Students must score 2 or higher on a 0–5 scale.
  8. Examination is 30 minutes in length.
  9. Students will receive a document indicating whether or not they have passed the exam, directly following the exam.
  10. Students will provide registration with an examiner-verified level 2 document. This document  will enable them to register for the ITP program.
  11. To register for the CCAC administered exam, e-mail Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki @ The summer exam is on Saturday, August 23rd. You will be emailed a date for the exam. Spaces are still available.

Step 3: Ready to register for classes?

If you have met the admission criteria for the program, you may now register for classes. Be sure to take all of your placement tests prior to registering for your English and math classes.  The ASL Interpreting program runs each Fall only. Students may take classes on a part-time basis; however, classes are run through sequence (see program page) and program completion time will be doubled in length.  It is important to note that for your last semester, a practicum experience is a requirement of the program. Practicum experiences are offered in the Spring semesters only. These experiences typically require a student to work during day times; however, our faculty work with students' schedules to provide as much flexibility as possible. Students are required to complete 180 hours of practicum field experience. This time includes classroom meetings, one hour a week.

Interested in the program but not accepted yet?

Students may register for ITP 105 Introduction to Interpreting, ITP 107 Interpreting Theory and ITP 206 Interpreter Ethics without being accepted into the program since these courses are not skill based but theory based classes. All other ITP courses require students to adhere to the admission requirements. 


Please contact Dr. Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki if you have questions related to either credit program. She may be reached at

If you have questions related to the non-credit interpreting program, please contact Mary Jo Guercio at

Which Program is Right for Me?

CCAC has both a credit and non-credit programs for those interested in sign language and interpreting. The credit program is offered for students interesting in becoming educational interpreters and/or community interpreters. The non-credit  program is primarily a community program for families with deaf members to learn the language and culture and for people that want a non-credit, fun class but do not require any degree.    

ITP Credit Associate Degree

ITP Non-Credit Workshops: Offering ASL, Culture and Interpreter Professional Development

Financial Aid Provided to Eligible Students

No Financial Aid offered to students

900 Hours

175 Hours

For Educational Interpreting and Community Interpreting careers for an accredited degree

Professional development workshops and classes

Associate Degree awarded

No Associate Degree awarded, certificate of completion provided.

Evening Program

Evening and Weekend Program

ASL Interpreting Information

Non-credit Interpreting Information

180 hour practicum required part of program. Day hours may be required, especially for K-12 educational interpreting practicum. Practicum sites provided by CCAC.


No practicum provided/required.


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