Bakersfield College

ASL Interpreter signing presumably for an audience.

English/ASL Interpreter Training Program


A career and technical education program, the Bakersfield College Interpreter Training Program (ITP) is designed to provide students with the knowledge and technical skills necessary to enter the field of professional sign language interpreting.


A new cohort is formed each year in the fall. Applications are available each spring in March.
The application asks for basic information, such as your degree, your GPA, and any interpreting experience that you may have. There is an essay portion, in which you tell us why you want to become an interpreter. Finally, there is a video portion where you will record yourself signing a few scenarios that we propose.
We encourage students who have earned an AA in ASL from BC or another community college with a 3.0 GPA to apply. The minimum requirement is successful completion of ASL B4. Highly-qualified candidates who do not meet the above requirements (such as heritage signers) may apply for equivalency.
The ITP comprises 12 courses, three each in four successive semesters. Students will move through the sequence of courses as a cohort, so your classmates will remain the same throughout the program. This approach fosters the establishment of a learning community so all students enjoy greater support.
The ASL Program is designed to foster language fluency in adult second-language learners; however, it does not offer any instruction for working between ASL and English. ASL interpreting is its own discipline and is highly specialized. Given new certification standards and requirements, very few people become interpreters without completing an ITP.
Yes. We recommend classes in English, public speaking, and acting. Immerse yourself into the Deaf Community. Learn the signing styles and vocabulary of your local community. Get to know your future consumers. Be present as a friend and ally, not just someone looking for a job.
BC's Interpreter Training Program is challenging. The classes can be more rigorous than beginning ASL classes because they focus on specific skills that must be demonstrated.
Classes are offered in the day time, Monday-Thursday.
We encourage students, if possible, not to work and to focus on their studies. If you must work, we recommend part-time work that will not interfere with your studies.
Definitely. As a pre-certified interpreter, you can work in low-stakes assignments, work with a mentor, and begin developing a resume of professional development. Upon completion of the program, you will be prepared to take the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA). Passing this assessment will qualify you to work in K-12 settings. Some interpreting agencies accept this assessment as qualification for community interpreting as well.