Welcome to Tyler Junior College`s Sign Language Interpreter

Transcription

Welcome to Tyler Junior College`s Sign Language Interpreter
Student
Handbook
Welcome to Tyler Junior College’s
Sign Language Interpreter Training Program!
Twice Awarded Exemplary Status
TJC ITP Statement of Mission and Purpose
The purpose of the Sign Language Interpreter training program of Tyler Junior College is to prepare graduates for a
career as interpreters serving the Deaf in school and in the community. Graduates of this program will have had
extensive training in American Sign Language, American Deaf Culture and interpreting/transliterating (Sign and
Voice)
TJC Mission Statement: To provide a comprehensive collegiate experience that is anchored in the rich traditions of
a quality education, vibrant student life and community service. Accreditation: Tyler Junior College is accredited by
the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees. Contact
SACSCOC at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, telephone 404-679-4500 or at
http://www.sacscoc.org for questions about the accreditation of Tyler Junior College. General inquiries about Tyler
Junior College admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs or other offerings should be directed to
the College and not the Commission. Tyler Junior College gives equal consideration to all applicants for admission,
employment and participation in its programs and activities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin,
gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, veteran status or
limited English proficiency (LEP). Tyler Junior College respects the legal rights of each person to work and learn in an
environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment and sexual violence.
Revised June 23, 2015 RM
Handbook Table of Contents
Information
Page #
Activities
27
Agreement to Follow Policies (Signature Page)
29
ASL/Interpreting Lab Policies
23
Benchmark Exams
25
Code of Professional Conduct
7
Communication
22
Degree Plans and Advising
24
Dress
21
Essential Functions of a Sign Language Interpreter
5
Guidelines for Student Success
18
History & Purpose
2
Meet the Faculty and Staff
28
Mission Statements
Cover
Philosophy
3
Plan of Action & Policy Violation
10
Safety
26
Supplies and Books
25
TJC Interpreter Training Program Policy
8
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History
Tyler Junior College’s Sign Language Interpreter Training Program began as a natural development of
American Sign Language (ASL) courses taught for many years by Tyler resident and member of the
local Deaf Community, Frankie Widner. Over the course of time Frankie was joined by other instructors
who shared her passion for making ASL accessible to the people of our region. One of those instructors
was D.J. Sorenson, who began the first steps in the process of creating a fully accredited Sign
Language Interpreter Training Program (ITP) at TJC.
Although, these two women had the vision for the program, it took someone with the credentials and a
position at TJC to help that vision become a reality. That person was Dr. Judy Barnes. She was a
former student of Frankie and D.J.’s who’d recently gotten her Interpreter certification. The timing was
also right, since she had been teaching in the college’s Developmental Reading Program and was
ready for a change. Dr. Barnes spent all of 1994 collecting data, attending the necessary meetings, and
taking care of all the other endless things required for launching such a venture. No mean feat!
In the fall of 1995 Dr. Barnes began teaching ASL I and Introduction to the Deaf Community as night
classes and the TJC Sign Language Interpreter Training Program was born. Over the years the
program continued to grow, seeing many wonderful teachers and students pass through its doors. The
college even began to see the enrollment of deaf students—perhaps because it was now growing its
own interpreters?—and the rest is history. While under Dr. Barnes’ supervision, the TJC ITP was twice
awarded exemplary status by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (2001 and 2005). It is
the only program of its kind available in the northeastern region of Texas. Dr. Barnes retired in the
spring of 2008 and passed away July 22, 2012. Her legacy lives on in the program she was so
instrumental in creating. The Dr. Judy Barnes Honorary Scholarship was set up in Spring 2010.
Offering this scholarship in her name is one way of thanking her for her service and dedication to the
TJC Sign Language Interpreter Training Program, its faculty, staff and students, as well as the Deaf
community in greater East Texas. (See “Dr. Judy Barnes Honorary Scholarship” for the application
process.) In Fall 2008 Rhonda McKinzie became the new department chair. Since that time curriculum
and requirements have become more stringent to continue to meet the increasing demands of the state
and national interpreting certification. New organizations have been established such as the Interpreter
Student Association, the Apache Signers and most recently, The ASL Honor Society Chapter. A state
of the art ASL Lab was installed in Fall 2009 and another in 2013. Plans have been proposed to add
include labs, office space and classrooms in one location. Currently, Degree plans and articulation
agreements continue to be established and revised. The goal of TJC’s ITP is to become an accredited
program through the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education.
TJC’s ITP is a “family” with a dedicated team of professionals who care about their students and the
community they serve.
Purpose of this Handbook
This handbook is designed to acquaint you with the policies and procedures of the Sign Language
Interpreter Training Program (TJC ITP). Your review of the Handbook is part of your orientation to this
program. You will be held responsible for all of the contents; therefore it should always be readily
available for reference.
The policies and procedures in this Handbook and in the current TJC Student Handbook are subject to
amendments at any time during your time in the program. You will be notified in writing any changes by
the TJC ITP faculty to the ITP Handbook. Please look online for the most current TJC Student
Handbook. http://www.tjc.edu/StudentHandbook
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Students are notified of the TJC ITP Policy, TJC Student Handbook and TJC ITP Handbook by:
1. Access online – The TJC ITP Handbook and the TJC Student Handbook are located on the TJC
Webpage. Links are e-mailed as well as a copy of the TJC ITP Handbook is e-mailed to students’ TJC
e-mail address the first week of class.
2. During mandatory Fall orientation – (date of orientation is on the online syllabi.)
3. For new students, during any meetings with the Chair prior to registering for classes if the student
contacts the Chair. If not, the ITP professors make students aware of it the first day of class.
4. During scheduled Fall and Spring advising by ITP Faculty.
5. A printed copy of the TJC ITP Handbook can be read in the Interpreting Lab. Due to the expense,
printed copies are not issued to students.
6. The TJC ITP Handbook is referenced in each interpreting class via the syllabi and throughout the
program.
Students have ample opportunity to ask questions for clarification regarding the Handbook and Policies
and are responsible for all content and for abiding by all policies.
Directions:
1. Read this handbook and the current TJC Student Handbook before the first day of class or within the
first week of classes if you did not receive or have access to them before the first day of class. Also,
read each course syllabi and course handouts from your ITP professors.
2. Request clarification, amplification or verification as needed immediately via e-mail through your
professor or in class during syllabi discussions or at ITP orientation.
3. Sign the Agreement to follow said policies and handbooks the first week of class and return to your
TJC ITP professor of your ASL Class or if not taking any ASL classes, to the Interpreting professor by
the last day of the first week of classes. The agreement can be found on the last page of the TJC ITP
Handbook or can be received from the ITP professor.
4. In addition, return your signed agreement to follow each ITP course’s syllabi and class policies as
per each professor’s online syllabi and e-mailed class policies which are e-mailed to your TJC e-mail
account only. These are reviewed during the first day of classes. Please contact your professor should
you have any questions or concerns as soon as possible.
The faculty of TJC ITP is responsible not only to support the mission of the college but also to insure
accreditation of the program and eligibility of the graduates to seek state and national board
certification/licensure. Therefore, program policies for placement, progression, and graduation of
ASL/ITP students will differ in specific instances from those of the College.
TJC ITP Philosophy
Tyler Junior College’s Sign Language Interpreter Training Program views individuals who are Deaf as a
cultural minority. Instead of having a deficit or deficiency, we believe that members of the Deaf
Community are members of a group who are culturally and linguistically unique with their own customs,
norms and mores. We believe that American Sign Language is a language. We understand that people
who are D/deaf have experienced discrimination and oppression, and join them in striving for equal
participation in all aspects of society.
We also believe that it is important for those people who work with individuals who are D/deaf be fully
knowledgeable of the culture and language of the Deaf Community. We believe that respect for both
cultural and individual differences is essential as well.
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We believe that interpreting is a profession that should value linguistic competency, high professional
ethics, and high personal standards, and that interaction with members of the Deaf Community is
essential in fully attaining these goals.
There are some basic guidelines that you will be asked to follow as a participant in this program.
1. Enter this program with a positive and supportive attitude towards others! We will discourage
participants from developing an attitude that is demeaning, presumptuous, or reflects an inflated
sense of self worth.
2. Talking aloud in class is not allowed unless sanctioned by your professor. The acquisition of a
visual-gestural language is done so with the eyes, not the ears.
3. Telling other students what the professor is signing in class will not be tolerated. This is
especially important if your professor is deaf. You do a disservice to your professor and to your
classmates by voicing what the professor is so earnestly trying to communicate in signs.
4. Asking others to tell you what the professor is signing is also discouraged. By doing so, you put
your classmate in the untenable position of violating a program policy. Acquiring a visualgestural language takes time, and as with every language, acquisition occurs at different rates
amongst different people.
5. When unsure of what the professor is signing in class, please refrain from any vocal
expressions of frustration. This is very distracting to other students and is counterproductive to
you learning the language.
6. The professor must sign at a speed optimal for learning. If you continue to have difficulty with
what the professor is signing, discuss alternate ways of learning with the professor. Do not ask
the professor to repeatedly slow her/his presentation in class.
7. Remember that there is more than one way to sign a particular concept. You will see a wide
variety of signing styles amongst Deaf people with whom you may associate in the future. The
variety and diversity that one finds in ASL usage should be treated as a fascinating feature of a
living language. (Woodward, Ertring, and Oliver, 1976.)
8. Language is an expression of one's culture. People who are Deaf use a language that has no
written format and often have difficulty with written English. What would be considered
grammatically incorrect in written English may be grammatically correct in ASL. Respect the
Deaf person's language and the inherent difficulties people encounter with English as a Second
Language.
9. Remember that you are forming your reputation among the deaf community, interpreting
community and the TJC community whether or not your goal is to become a professional
interpreter. If you work in any capacity within these communities, your reputation will be known.
The overall D/deaf and interpreting community is comparatively small. Your reputation can
become known all over East TX and beyond so be cognizant of your attitudes and behavior, and
always strive to be a positive influence on others.
10. One of our goals in the program is to provide you a safe learning environment while helping you
prepare for your career. The ITP faculty/staff know the challenges and what is required of you
in the field. The program is specifically designed with everything in place to allow you to meet
the program goals while following college, state and CCIE Interpreting Program Accreditation
requirements. Having or acquiring the Essential Functions, understanding and following the
CPC and performing the board exam requirements are essential. In addition, you will learn how
to recognize and strengthen your skills/abilities. Once you complete the program, you will
continue to be independently responsible for your continued success in your chosen career
path.
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We are pleased that you are considering a career in this field. We take a great deal of pride in our
program and all that it has to offer. We will do all that we can to help you attain your goals!
Welcome!
11.
Used and Revised with Permission - San Antonio College 2007
DARS-BEI Essential Functions of a Certified Interpreter
Page 10-16 0f 81 from the 2012 BEI Study Guide
(http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/library/bei_study_guide.pdf)
Chapter 2: Essential Functions of a Certified Interpreter
A BEI certified interpreter is a person who provides sign language interpreter services. To work as a
BEI certified interpreter, a person must have the skills, experience, education, and other job related
requirements of the position. The person must also be able to perform the essential job functions.
2.1 ESSENTIAL ABILITIES AND ATTRIBUTES OF NONINTERMEDIARY OR NONDEAF
INTERPRETERS
A BEI certified non-intermediary interpreter must have the following physical, cognitive,
cultural, linguistic, and professional abilities and attributes.
2.1.1 ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL ABILITIES
The essential physical abilities of a non-intermediary interpreter are described below.
Hearing —the ability to hear, identify, and understand the speech of another person without relying on
visual assistance
Speech—the ability to speak clearly so that the speech is understandable to a listener Vision—the
ability to see details of another person’s hand shapes, hand movements, and facial expressions from a
distance of three to six feet
Facial expression—the ability to control the muscles of the face in order to manipulate the eyebrows,
cheeks, mouth, and nose
Manual dexterity—the ability to quickly make coordinated movements of one hand, a hand together
with its arm, two hands, or two hands together with arms
Finger dexterity —the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both
hands
Wrist-finger speed—the ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and
wrists
Limb movement—the ability to move the arms to place the hands slightly above the head, and to
extend the arms away from the front of the body and to the sides of the body
Limb movement speed—the ability to quickly move the arms
Dual-limb coordination—the ability to coordinate movements of both arms while sitting or standing
Head—the ability to control the head in order to nod and to turn it from side to side
Physical stamina—the ability to endure moderate physical exertion without getting winded or out-ofbreath for at least 30 minutes
2.1.2 ESSENTIAL COGNITIVE ABILITIES
The essential cognitive abilities of a non-intermediary, non-deaf interpreter are described
below.
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Critical thinking—the ability to use logic and analysis to assess communication in order to make
adjustments in approaches to interpretation
Self-monitoring—the ability to monitor and assess the interpretation during and after a task
Selective attention—the ability to concentrate and be undistracted while performing a task, and to
sustain that attention over a period of time
Auditory attention—the ability to focus on a single source of auditory information in the presence of
other distracting sounds
Visual attention—the ability to focus on a single source of visual information in the presence of other
distracting movements in the surrounding area
Mental stamina —the ability to sustain a significant amount of mental processing without fatigue or
breakdown for at least 30 minutes
Working memory—the ability to remember information such as concepts, words, and numbers for a
brief time while interpreting
Information ordering—the ability to track and arrange information in a certain order
Pattern inference —the ability to quickly make sense of information even when parts of that
information may appear to be missing
Time sharing—the ability to efficiently shift between two or more activities or tasks, and between two
or more sources of information
Problem sensitivity—the ability to recognize when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong
Fluency of ideas—the ability to generate a number of ideas about a given topic (This concerns the
number of ideas produced and not the quality, correctness, or creativity of the ideas)
Breadth of knowledge—an acquaintance or understanding, at the introductory level or higher, of a
broad variety of topics and fields of interest
2.1.3 Essential Cultural Knowledge and Linguistic Abilities
The essential cultural knowledge and linguistic abilities of a non-intermediary, non-deaf
interpreter are described below.
English language
•knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of
words, rules of composition, and grammar
•the ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words
•the ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking so that others will understand
Written English Comprehension
•read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
•communicate information and ideas in writing so that others will understand
American Sign Language
•knowledge of the structure and content of American Sign Language including the meaning of lexical
and phrasal items, rules of grammar, and articulation
•the ability to watch and understand information and ideas presented through signs, gestures,
classifiers, and finger spelling
•the ability to communicate information and ideas through signs, gestures, classifiers, and finger
spelling so that others will understand
Culture—a BEI-certified interpreter must have an in-depth understanding of the cultural norms and
mores of the American English-speaking and the American deaf communities.
2.1.4 ESSENTIAL PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES
The essential professional attributes of a non-intermediary, non-deaf interpreter are
described below.
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Social perceptiveness —the ability to be aware of and sensitive to others’ reactions, and the ability to
understand why others react as they do
Independence —the ability to develop independent approaches to doing things and to work with little
or no supervision
Interpersonal relationships—the ability to develop constructive and cooperative working relationships
with others, and to maintain them over time
Adaptability and flexibility—the ability to adapt to considerable variety in the workplace and be
flexible and accepting of positive and negative change
Emotional well-being—the ability to exercise emotional control and stability in order to fully use
intellectual abilities and good judgment
Self-control—the ability to maintain composure, keep emotions in check, control anger, and avoid
aggressive behavior, even in difficult situations
Professional decorum—the ability to show respect and act in a professional manner during all
interactions
Problem solving—the ability to make complex decisions, including the ability to identify problems,
collect information, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions
Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work—the ability to develop specific goals and plans, and to
prioritize, organize, and accomplish goals
Conflict resolution—the ability to identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words,
concepts, practices, or behaviors
Time management—the ability to manage time well and to respect the time of others
Ethical standards—the ability to follow the *Code of Professional Conduct as set
forth by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The seven tenets of the code
are as follows: (Please see next Section)
.
Code of Professional Conduct for Interpreters/ITP Students
The CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. (RID), shall govern the professional conduct of
interpreters/transliterators certified by the Office.
Function of the Guiding Principles
It is the obligation of every interpreter to exercise judgment, employ critical thinking, apply the benefits
of practical experience, and reflect on past actions in the practice of their profession. The guiding principles in this document represent the concepts of confidentiality, linguistic and professional competence,
impartiality, professional growth and development, ethical business practices, and the rights of participants in interpreted situations to informed choice. The driving force behind the guiding principles is the
notion that the interpreter will do no harm.
When applying these principles to their conduct, interpreters remember that their choices are governed by a “reasonable interpreter” standard. This standard represents the hypothetical interpreter who
is appropriately educated, informed, capable, aware of professional standards, and fair-minded.
Tenets:
 Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.

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



Interpreters possess the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting
situation.
Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
Interpreters engage in professional development.
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Applicability
A. This Code of Professional Conduct applies to certified and associate members of the Registry of
Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., Certified members of the National Association of the Deaf,
interns, and students of the profession.
B. Federal, state or other statutes or regulations may supersede this Code of Professional
Conduct.
When there is a conflict between this code and local, state, or federal laws and regulations, the
interpreter obeys the rule of law.
C. This Code of Professional Conduct applies to interpreted situations that are performed either
face-to-face or remotely.
Definitions
For the purpose of this document, the following terms are used:
Colleagues: Other interpreters.
Conflict of Interest: A conflict between the private interests (personal, financial, or professional) and
the official or professional responsibilities of an interpreter in a position of trust, whether actual or
perceived, deriving from a specific interpreting situation.
Consumers: Individuals and entities who are part of the interpreted situation. This includes
individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, and hearing.
See Full Version in Detail at: http://www.rid.org/ethics/code/index.cfm
TJC ITP Policy
TJC Interpreter Training Program Student Policy (Updated June 2015)
The following policy has been established by Tyler Junior College’s (TJC) Sign Language Interpreter
Training Program (ITP) approved by its advisory committee and supported by TJC administration and
may supersede in some areas the general TJC policies. This applies to all students enrolled in SGNL
or SLNG classes or who have declared Sign Language ASL Skills Certificate or the AAS/Certificate in
Sign Language Interpreting as their major.
The purpose of this policy is to prepare students to become skilled qualified certified professional sign
language interpreters, representing themselves, the interpreting profession and the TJC ITP with the
highest degree of skill, professionalism and integrity. In addition, this policy is in place to protect the
consumers (Deaf and hearing) from harm as well as provide ASL and interpreting students protection
from inappropriate demands to interpret in settings that would be in violation of the Texas Board for the
Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) and Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) Code of Professional
Conduct (CPC). Cooperation is sought among the entities who hire interpreters to assist us in keeping
the integrity of the program so that it can give students a firm educational/skills foundation while
maintaining respect of the Deaf community.
1. Students are expected to follow all TJC Student Policies and Guidelines (See
http://www.tjc.edu/StudentHandbook) and the TJC ITP Handbook- www.tjc.edu/signlanguage.
2. Included in the above is adhering to the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and the Texas
Board for the Evaluation of Interpreters Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) as listed
previously on page 7.
More detailed information can be found at: National Interpreter Certification (NIC) at Registry of
Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) http://www.rid.org/ethics/code/index.cfm & click on “view full version”
DARS Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/bei.shtml
Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf (TSID) www.tsid.org
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Some examples of violations of the above Tenets as an ITP student include but are not limited to:
a. Forms of Audism – disrespecting professors who are Deaf; (correcting them, not
signing or attempting to communicate with them through gesture, sign or writing, failure
to follow chain-of-command when having an issue with a professor or the Chair.
b. Inappropriate dress or behavior while attending any TJC class or activity, workshops,
conferences, any TJC ITP sponsored event, practicum activity or any interpreting/signing
related activity.
c. Disrespecting other students by not working as a team; being critical instead of
offering constructive feedback; an attitude of “looking down upon” others/arrogance;
using profanity or crude language or expressions/signs; disrupting the learning of others;
other unprofessional behavior or attitudes.
d. Following “best practices” in interpreting and to maintain the integrity of the program,
students are not allowed to interpret for any entity (compensated or non-compensated),
including TISD, TJC and other entities, prior to Practicum (SLNG 2266). However, there
are exceptions.
The exceptions include:
1. Students who are members of a religious organization and are afforded training by
other qualified religious interpreters. Students must realize they are not qualified to
interpret religious sermons and important ceremonies without proper training and if they
do so, they are breaking Tenet #2 of the Code of Professional Conduct. The driving
force behind the CPC is “Do no harm” – spiritual matters are considered “high risk
situations” much like medical, mental health and legal settings.
2. During their coursework under ITP Faculty supervision, students may be
required to participate in “mock settings” as part of an interpreting class or *practicum.
They may be required or asked to interpret in closely monitored situations with a certified
interpreter team/faculty member.
* Practicum: Students must have the appropriate skills to enter practicum in their last semester. A
ranking rubric is used to help with the placement of students in appropriate practicum sites. Students
must follow the practicum guidelines as discussed in their practicum paperwork the prior semester.
To qualify for practicum experience, students must pass all pre-requisites with a minimum grade of “C”
and apply to the practicum sites according to practicum guidelines set forth in SLNG 2266. Students
must be paired with qualified certified interpreters who have been a working certified interpreter for at
least 2 years. **Any hours obtained without following this requirement will not count towards the 260
hours.
Due to limited availability of practicum sites, a rubric has been established to assist the department
chair with practicum placement based on Mid-Program Evaluation, other grades as well as the
professionalism grade to-date. There are no guarantees a student will be placed in his/her first choice
since it is first based on performance to-date as documented in the rubric, 2nd, availability of practicum
site openings and 3rd, the site accepting the practicum student. Practicum evaluations are in place to
assess student interpreter’s skills and professionalism by sites and ITP faculty/staff. Consumers and
other professional interpreters may also make report to the Chair regarding the student interpreter
which can positively or negatively affect the professionalism portion of the grade.
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Consequences of Handbook and Policy Violations & Effect on Professionalism Grade:
“Plan of Action” (POA) Procedure/Form for Courses
To help students who may become in danger of failing a class or for students who are being mildly
disruptive in class, the ITP faculty have a “Plan of Action” form that is filled out by the professor. This is
solely for each course not the program in general. However, being on probation in a course and
disruption issues will affect the student’s standing in the program and professionalism points will be
deducted. One or more of three other forms may be included in this process. See Forms P
There are 3 steps:
1- Professor meets with student and develops a plan to improve grades or behavior. The professor
may ask the student to leave the classroom prior to the Plan of Action in cases of disruptive
behavior. The professor and student will develop a plan – such as ways to be sure to get to
class on time, not sleeping in class, putting away cell phone, not talking in class, etc. NOTE: At
any point, the professor or Chair may refer the student to campus resources such as
counseling, tutoring, and other services to help the student be successful.
2- Student and professor meet again and this time the POA it is signed also by the Chair. At this
point the student is on probationary status in the course.
3- Student, professor and Chair meet to discuss the issue and develop a final plan of action which
can include:
a. The student may be advised to drop the class.
- If the student has a life situation affecting ability to come to class, come
on time, complete work successfully, etc. the student may be advised to
retake the class when their life situation improves.
- If the student is having difficulty learning the subject matter, it may be
recommended to seek another career path and not retake the class.
b. The student may be referred to the judicial office if a behavior/attitude issue. This affects
the professionalism grade of interpreting majors and based on the infraction can result in
dismissal from the program. (5 points off professionalism grade per incident)
c. The professor also may drop the student from the class but with a grade of “W-F”. (If a
student drops a class it is with a “W”). This is typically done when a student is disrupting
the learning environment for the other students and the student refuses to drop.
Professors prefer the student take initiative and drop on their own when it is clear that
there is no way to pass the class at that point.
However, in cases where a student exhibits violent or belligerent behavior in the classroom, the
professor will ask the student to leave the classroom – the Plan of Action will skip ahead to the second
step (b) referral to the Judicial Office. If the student fails to comply, security will be called to escort the
student out and the student will be referred directly to the judicial office. TJC policy will be followed as
stated in the current TJC Student Handbook and appropriate consequences applied which can include
dismissal from the program.
Policy Violation
The TJC ITP Faculty Team reserves the right to dismiss a student from the department for violation of
program policy or for violation of the current TJC ITP Handbook. TJC general policies for student
behavior also apply and will result in disciplinary actions as described in the current TJC Student
Handbook. Prior suspension or probation is not necessary for dismissal to occur. The department chair
will provide written notice to the student stating the policy violated. Great care is taken to make sound
decisions regarding student dismissal and grace is applied early on along with guidance to provide
assistance for solutions. Therefore, students dismissed from the program are ineligible to be
readmitted.
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The practicum site also has the right to refuse to allow a student to continue practicum at their site.
Unacceptable conduct, as documented by written complaints from a professor, practicum site(s) affiliate
employees, fellow students, the Deaf community or others that indicate the student does not possess
the professional qualities nor characteristics expected of a professional interpreter will be reviewed by
the Department Chair, ITP faculty and any other persons deemed appropriate and may result in
student’s dismissal from the program.
Regardless of the action taken, the action must be stated in writing, given to the student and submitted
to the Dean of the School of Professional and Technical Programs. The student must be informed that
he/she has the privilege of appealing in accordance with the Tyler Junior College Appeals Policy as
stated in the current TJC Student Handbook.
1. Classroom: For incidents of disruption or inappropriate behavior inside or relating to a course,
the Plan of Action above is followed. At the third meeting, the student will be referred to the
Judicial office and may be dismissed from the program.
2. General: People such as faculty, fellow students, members of the D/deaf and interpreting
community, and practicum site(s) who witness a student of the TJC ITP violating the ITP
policies or the TJC Student Handbook policies are responsible to report such actions in writing
and include their signature. This report should be given to the Department Chair who will review
and if deemed appropriate, shared with the ITP faculty and possibly the dean. Severity of the
incident and circumstances will determine the disciplinary response.
Responses can include but are not limited to:
1. A warning by Chair or Faculty
2. Suspension from ITP activities and probation. (Dean is informed in writing)
3. Referral to the Judicial Officer. (Dean is informed in writing)
4. Dismissal from the program. (Dean is included in the decision)
Students who withhold information regarding fellow students’ violations are subject to
disciplinary action.
Academic Integrity: Includes but is not limited to:
a. Cheating, defined as any act that gains or attempts to gain an unfair advantage in an
academic setting.
b. Plagiarism, defined as using someone else’s words or ideas without referencing the source.
c. Collusion, defined as unauthorized cooperation between individuals that results (or
potentially results) in giving an unfair advantage in an academic setting.
d. Falsifying academic records.
e. Misrepresenting fact to the College or a College official.
f. Any act intended to give unfair academic advantage to the student.
The TJC ITP Faculty Team lead reserves the right to add conditions to this policy as deemed
necessary for the protection and overall benefit of students, faculty/staff, and consumers. Any
conditions, situations or violations not covered in this document will be addressed at the time and
disciplinary action or dismissal will be assessed.
An agreement to follow the policies in the TJC ITP Handbook as well as the TJC Student Handbook
can be found at the end of this Handbook. This must be signed and returned to ITP Faculty per
previous instructions.
The following are forms that may accompany the POA: Student Disposition Feedback, Against Faculty
Advice and Essential Attributes. These and a sample POA are on the next pages of this Handbook.
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TYLER JUNIOR COLLEGE
SIGN LANGUAGE INTERPRETING PROGRAM
(EXAMPLE) PLAN OF ACTION - COMMUNICATION LOG (STUDENT AND PROFESSOR)
Name of Student: __________________________________ Apache #: __________________________________
Name of Course: __________________________________
Professor: __________________________________
Action #1: (Professor and Student)
Topic:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Discussion/Plan:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________
________
________________________________ ________
Student’s Signature
Date
Professor’s Signature
Date
=====================================================================================================
Action #2 (Professor and Student with Department Chair’s acknowledgement)
Topic:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Discussion/Plan:
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________
Student’s Signature
________
Date
_______________________________
Department Chair’s Signature
________
Date
________________________________ ________
Professor’s Signature
Date
===========================================================================================
Action #3 (Professor, Student, and Department Chair)
Topic:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Discussion/Plan:
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________
Student’s Signature
________
Date
_______________________________
Department Chair’s Signature
________
Date
________________________________ _________
Professor’s Signature
Date
===========================================================================================
Referral:
__________________________________________________________________________________________
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Tyler Junior College
Sign Language Interpreter Training Program
Student Disposition Feedback
Name of Student: _________________________________________A#___________________
Name of Faculty: _________________________________________ Date: ________________
It’s one of my responsibilities as your professor to help you become an outstanding interpreter and/or ASL
Communicator. I would like to see improvement in one or more dispositions (characteristics) required for your
future success as an interpreter, or as a professional in the field. The item(s) I’m concerned about are checked
below. Please schedule an appointment so that we can talk and create a plan for improvement.
Class Dispositions:
___Respect for professor and/or peers
___Participation and engagement in class
___Completion of assignments in a thorough and timely manner
___Completion of assignments without plagiarizing
___Attendance and/or punctuality- including staying the entire class meeting
___Appropriate dress
Professional Dispositions:
___Positive attitude & respect toward Deaf and hard-of-hearing people
___Confidentiality regarding the Deaf consumer
___Openess toward learning new information
___Willingness to work with others
___Self-reflection and personal changes
___Acceptance of constructive criticism
General Dispositions:
___Patience ___Flexibility ___Compassion ___Integrity ___Acceptance
___Fairness ___Persistence ___Empathy ___Self-Control ___ Adaptability
Action Plan resulting from Conference:
Student Comments:
Signature of Student: ____________________________________ Date: _____________
Signature of Professor: __________________________________ Date: _____________
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Tyler Junior College
Sign Language Interpreter Training Program
AGAINST FACULTY ADVICE
Learning a second language and developing the skills to interpret between two languages is a complex process
and happens differently for each individual. One important component essential to this process is “time on
task”. Some students need more concentrated effort in developing their automaticity and fluency with the
second language. Others need more time to develop their processing skills to work between two languages.
Even if you have earned the minimum passing score for the SGNL or SLNG course you are currently registered
for, it is your faculty member’s recommendation that you repeat this course to further develop your skills before
moving on to the next course in the sequence of courses, including Interpreting I, II, III or Practicum. Remember,
the level of difficulty only increases as you progress through the sequence of courses.
Please initial each below.
_____I understand that I need additional time to develop my automaticity/fluency in ASL.
_____I understand that I need additional time to develop my processing skills to work between two
languages.
_____I understand that if I proceed to the next level of ASL or interpreting course, or practicum, I may
not have the skills necessary to successfully complete assignments.
_____I understand that my faculty member is recommending that I repeat the ASL or interpreting
course that I am currently enrolled in to better develop my skills.
_____I understand that if I choose to enroll in the next level of SGNL or SLNG course, I am doing so
against my professor’s recommendation.
_____I understand that if I proceed to practicum, there is no guarantee a site will accept me as a
practicum student.
_____I understand that I may not have the skills necessary to pass the Exit exam which is required to
graduate the practicum course.
_____I understand based on my Exit Exam score, there will be recommendations regarding readiness
or lack of readiness to take the state board exams.
The professor is recommending the following: _______________________________________
________________________________
Student’s Signature and Date
__________________________________
Professor’s Signature and Date
_______________________________
Student’s Name Printed
_________________________________
Professor’s Name Printed
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Tyler Junior College Sign Language Interpreter Training Program
Essential Abilities and Functions
Student Alert Form
DARS-DHHS BEI Study Guide http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/library/bei_study_guide.pdf
To work as a BEI-certified interpreter, a person must have the skills, experience,
education and other job-related requirements of the position. The person must also be able to
perform the following physical, cognitive, cultural, linguistic, and professional abilities and
attributes. It is our responsibility to communicate to our students regarding any category that may be
lacking which would impede their successful completion of the Sign Language Interpreter Training
Program and move on to take board exams to become a professional qualified interpreter. The
program cannot be fundamentally altered to accommodate any of the following that are lacking.
However, tutoring, extending the length of the program and repeating coursework could be an option
based on professor or Chair recommendations below.
The advisor, professor or Chair has marked the following as lacking at this time:
Physical Abilities
___Hearing—the ability to hear, identify, and understand the speech of another person without relying
on visual assistance
___Speech—the ability to speak clearly so that the speech is understandable to a listener
___Vision—the ability to see details of another person’s hand shapes, hand movements, and facial
expressions from a distance of three to six feet
___Facial expression—the ability to control the muscles of the face in order to manipulate the
eyebrows, cheeks, mouth, and nose
___Manual dexterity—the ability to quickly make coordinated movements of one hand, a hand
together with its arm, two hands, or two hands together with arms
___Finger dexterity—the ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or
both hands
___Wrist-finger speed—the ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands,
and wrists
___Limb movement—the ability to move the arms to place the hands slightly above the head, and to
extend the arms away from the front of the body and to the sides of the body
___Limb movement speed—the ability to quickly move the arms
___Dual-limb coordination—the ability to coordinate movements of both arms while sitting or standing
___Head—the ability to control the head in order to nod and to turn it from side to side
___Physical stamina—the ability to endure moderate physical exertion without getting winded or outof-breath for at least 30 minutes
RECOMMENDATIONS: ____________________________________________________________
Cognitive Abilities
___Critical thinking—the ability to use logic and analysis to assess communication in order to make
adjustments in approaches to interpretation
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___Self-monitoring—the ability to monitor and assess the interpretation during and after a task
___Selective attention—the ability to concentrate and be undistracted while performing a task, and to
sustain that attention over a period of time
___Auditory attention—the ability to focus on a single source of auditory information in
the presence of other distracting sounds
___Visual attention—the ability to focus on a single source of visual information in the presence of
other distracting movements in the surrounding area
___Mental stamina—the ability to sustain a significant amount of mental processing without fatigue or
breakdown for at least 30 minutes
___Working memory—the ability to remember information such as concepts, words, and numbers for
a brief time while interpreting
___Information ordering—the ability to track and arrange information in a certain order
___Pattern inference—the ability to quickly make sense of information even when parts of that
information may appear to be missing
___Time sharing—the ability to efficiently shift between two or more activities or tasks, and between
two or more sources of information
___Problem sensitivity—the ability to recognize when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong
___Fluency of ideas—the ability to generate a number of ideas about a given topic (This concerns the
number of ideas produced and not the quality, correctness, or creativity of the ideas)
___Breadth of knowledge—an acquaintance or understanding, at the introductory level or higher, of a
broad variety of topics and fields of interest
RECOMMENDATIONS: ____________________________________________________________
Cultural Knowledge and Linguistic Abilities
___English language
• knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of
words, rules of composition, and grammar
• the ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words
• the ability to communicate information and ideas by speaking so that others will understand
___Written English comprehension
• read and understand information and ideas presented in writing
• communicate information and ideas in writing so that others will understand
___American Sign Language
• knowledge of the structure and content of American Sign Language including the meaning of lexical
and phrasal items, rules of grammar, and articulation
• the ability to watch and understand information and ideas presented through signs, gestures,
classifiers, and finger spelling
• the ability to communicate information and ideas through signs, gestures, classifiers, and finger
spelling so that others will understand
___Culture—a BEI-certified interpreter must have an in-depth understanding of the cultural norms and
mores of the American English-speaking and the American deaf communities.
RECOMMENDATIONS: ____________________________________________________________
Essential Professional Abilities
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___Social perceptiveness—the ability to be aware of and sensitive to others’ reactions, and the ability
to understand why others react as they do
___Independence—the ability to develop independent approaches to doing things and to work with
little or no supervision
___Interpersonal relationships—the ability to develop constructive and cooperative working
relationships with others, and to maintain them over time
___Adaptability and flexibility—the ability to adapt to considerable variety in the workplace and be
flexible and accepting of positive and negative change
___Emotional well-being—the ability to exercise emotional control and stability in order to fully use
intellectual abilities and good judgment
___Self-control—the ability to maintain composure, keep emotions in check, control anger, and avoid
aggressive behavior, even in difficult situations
___Professional decorum—the ability to show respect and act in a professional manner during all
interactions
___Problem solving—the ability to make complex decisions, including the ability to identify problems,
collect information, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions
___Organizing, planning, and prioritizing work—the ability to develop specific goals and plans, and
to prioritize, organize, and accomplish goals
___Conflict resolution—the ability to identify and resolve conflicts related to the meanings of words,
concepts, practices, or behaviors
___Time management—the ability to manage time well and to respect the time of others
RECOMMENDATIONS: ____________________________________________________________
___Ethical standards—the ability to follow the *Code of Professional Conduct as set forth by the
Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The seven tenets of the code are as follows:
__1. Interpreters adhere to standards of confidential communication.
__2. Interpreters posses the professional skills and knowledge required for the specific interpreting
situation.
__3. Interpreters conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the specific interpreting situation.
__4. Interpreters demonstrate respect for consumers.
__5. Interpreters demonstrate respect for colleagues, interns, and students of the profession.
__6. Interpreters maintain ethical business practices.
__7. Interpreters engage in professional development.
*For a complete explanation of the Code of Professional Conduct, see Registry of
Interpreters for the Deaf.
RECOMMENDATIONS: ____________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
COMMENTS:_____________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________
Signature of Student: ___________________________________________ Date: _____________
A#______________ Printed Name: __________________________________________________
Signature of Advisor, Professor or Chair: ______________________________
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Guidelines for Student Success
As a faculty, we believe that the student is responsible for his/her own learning. The faculty will create
an environment that is conductive to learning and will provide you with ways to develop good study
habits and positive qualities and characteristics that are important not only as a student but as a
professional working within the Deaf community.
1. Attitude: Your attitude will play a major role in your learning, your relationships with others, and your
success in your career. You must be willing to learn. The faculty will share with you their knowledge,
skills, and experiences, but you must be open and receptive to their ideas, help, praise, and criticism.
Don’t give up. Don’t allow your classmates’ attitudes, progress or lack of progress affect YOUR
learning and success. Ask for help from the faculty when needed. Remember that each student has
different backgrounds and previous knowledge levels of ASL, Signed English, Deaf Culture, etc.. Each
student will progress at their own pace and it is possible that some students will need to back up and
re-take a course or proceed more slowly than others. Students are expected to respect each other and
these differences. Some classes will include self and peer evaluations and professors will work with
students on how to appropriately offer constructive feedback Try not to allow one or two students affect
your work and your attitude. Work to resolve any issues promptly and learn to work as a team.
Remember, many of you will become colleagues. You will even become colleagues of your professors
and possibly service providers for your professors. Believe in yourself and take an active part in the
learning process.
2. Listen: You must listen to what is being said to you at all times whether verbally or in sign language.
Concentrate on what is being said rather than allowing your mind to wonder or sleeping. Be prepared to
listen effectively by preparing for class, completing your assignments and by reading your assignments
ahead of time. In addition, all electronic devices are to remain off or on silent during class. Phones are
to be put away. If you are expecting an emergency call regarding a family member, please let your
professor know and take the call outside the classroom quietly. Otherwise, phones should be put away
during classes.
3. Read: You may find the material at times to be complex. You must read for understanding,
comprehension, and retention. Do not scan the material or skip large sections; your professors have
selected your assigned readings and activities for a purpose. Even if you believe you “already know
that” information, reviewing it will bring it into more secure long-term memory and be helpful in the
classes ahead. There may be terms in your assigned readings that are not familiar to you. AS you
study, take time to look these terms up in dictionary so that you are certain to get the full meaning of the
material. A standard desk dictionary and a thesaurus in your personal library are helpful.
4. Study: “PQRST” is a method of studying which many students find helpful; it is a five step method:
“P” Preview the material. This involves scanning the major topics and sub-topics of your
assigned readings. This will allow you to organize your thought processes.
“Q” Question the material to find out what you should be learning from your reading. Use you
unit objectives to help you decide what you should be learning so that you can be looking for
these things as you proceed with your reading.
“R” Read, and train your mind to absorb the knowledge. Be sure that your mind is alert and that
you are involved in your reading.
“S” State in your own words what it is that you have just read. In other words, repeat back to
yourself what you have just read. This may be accomplished by writing an outline or writing
short notes in the margin of your book. Successfully doing this will greatly increase your
chances of really having an understanding of what you have read.
“T” Test yourself on the material you have just read to see how much of the material you have
recalled correctly.
5. Take notes: It is difficult to take notes in ASL performance-based classes while watching the
professor signing. Some professors may provide notes or access to power points. It is important that
you politely raise your hand when needing to write something down in order to ask the professor to
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pause. Recordings are not allowed in the classroom unless your professor specifically gives you
permission.
However for non-signed lecture classes, each student has his/her own method of note taking and
should continue to use that method which has been successful in the past. Taking notes in an outline
form is one of the easiest methods to use and allows one to place emphasis on important aspects.
Whatever method you use there are some important principles that you should incorporate in
you note taking.
a. Study ahead of time. This will improve your chances of understanding class content and will
help you decide what notes to take.
b. Do not try to write down everything your professors say. If you try to write everything down,
you will miss a great deal of content and the thought processes that are trying to be conveyed.
Fill in the material later when you are reviewing.
c. If something is unclear, ask for clarification or put a question mark in your notes. This will be a
reminder that you need to ask your professor a question or that you need to further review that
topic.
d. Organize notebook(s) into specific sections for each course and each unit if applicable. You
will receive a lot of resource materials via e-mail and possibly in class which will be helpful in the
future whether in another class or in interpreting.
e. Develop a system of identifying things in your notes that a professor has emphasized.
Remember a professor will not repeat things two or more times if the idea is not important.
Often items are repeated throughout the program in various classes and this is because it is
important. This information can possibly be seen again on a mid-program or exit exam or
possibly your national board exam.
f. Underline key points in your textbook. This makes the locating of essential points much easier
when reviewing. Learn to discriminate between essential and non- essential points. Underlining
serves no useful purpose if you underline everything.
6. Resources: You must learn to use resource material to research for yourself. This will include the
library on campus. It will also include the use of the Internet. Remember that you are responsible for
your own learning. Much of interpreting relies on “prior knowledge”. Being a good student in all your
general education courses will pay off in your interpreting career. Keep up with current events in world,
nationally, within the state, locally and within the D/deaf and interpreting community. When preparing
for projects – do your prep-work. Take hints from the professor as to what you can research to help
you prepare especially if you have no prior knowledge or schema for that topic. Also, Quizzlet and
Study Blue are good resources to set up study cards for vocabulary and Quizzlet has games to help
you study. There may be other excellent resources available. Feel free to share with your class and
professors when you find them. bb
7. Discuss: Some students find it helpful to discuss the material they’ve studied and learned with other
students. This allows students to ask each other questions, test themselves, receive clarification, and to
compare notes in areas of importance. To this end, our program requires some level of “study hours”
which are beneficial when done within a study group. This group can become an invaluable resource
throughout the program. Many students continue to use this resource even when not officially required
as part of a course. Have at least a study-buddy whom you can contact in case you must miss class.
8. Prepare: Before you begin to study, you must be physically and mentally prepared to do so. Budget
your time and energy to meet your new study responsibilities, and also to accommodate the needs of
your family, friends, and yourself. Eat healthy, get your rest, drink plenty of water and take breaks.
Plan out your time. Cramming the night before results in coming to class irritable, sleepy, and causes
your brain to not function at full capacity when you most need it to. Study a little at a time daily, in small
chunks. Plan breaks and “rewards” for finishing projects or assignments early. Doing your
assignments last minute increases your stress level because inevitably what can go wrong will go
wrong. Like your computer failing or your printer running out of ink. Plan ahead.
9. Attendance and Alertness: Attendance is essential in this program of study. Lessons are
prepared based on everyone attending and participating. Being late to class sometimes can’t be
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helped, but if you know you have to park far away, traffic tends to be bad, there is inclement weather or
other factors, prepare accordingly and leave earlier. In our small classes being late is a big disruption.
Consistent lateness will result in a meeting with your professor and further disciplinary action if it
continues. Most professors do quizzes first thing and if you are late and miss the first part of the quiz,
just pick up where you can. The professor does not go back and repeat the first part. There are no
makeups for quizzes missed. For interpreting projects or other major exams, depending on the
circumstances, you may be able to make them up. Each professor will cover that on the first day of
class and in their handouts and syllabi. Please do not plan vacations or other events during final
exams weeks – this is not an excused absence. You cannot take them earlier or later. Performance
portions of final exams may occur one or two weeks before the final written exams or receptive portions
which are during final exam week. This is to give the professors time to grade all the recordings in time
to turn in grades. Most professors in our program will give you a week to week tentative schedule to
give you an idea of when exams will be and when assignments are due. However, they may change
some dates when the class has achieved the skills early or need more time and in other unforeseen
circumstances. If you sleep in class, you will be counted absent and asked to leave. If you are
disruptive in class you will be asked to leave and will receive a zero for that day. In addition, you will
need to meet with the professor before coming back to class the next class day. While we have not had
this occur, more severe disruptions will result in security being called. Disruptive behavior, language or
attitudes are not tolerated.
10. Participate Outside of Class: To learn a language and culture one must be immersed into it.
Many opportunities are afforded to you in among the Deaf community throughout the semester. Please
do not wait until the last minute to gather community service, study hours, Deaf event hours, and open
lab hours. Things happen and you may find yourself without enough. Events are posted on our FB
pages, in the labs and e-mailed. Expecting to learn ASL or interpreting successfully by only attending
class is unrealistic. It requires much independent work on your part. Students have been known to
pass their state board exams before completing the program as a result of their tenacious spirit, an
attitude of respect and openness to feedback, socializing among the Deaf and hard work.
11. Trust/Respect: Trust your professors, their years of experience and the process of learning the
language and the work of interpreting. Each professor and each interpreter will have his/her own
unique experience, education, philosophies and ideas. Please respect them. This includes when
telling another professor or professional in the field about it. Sometimes people must agree to disagree
in some areas or perspectives. Sometimes higher authorities dictate what can or cannot be done. It is
inappropriate and culturally oppressive to question your Deaf professors in a disrespectful way. If you
saw something signed differently, politely let them know you have seen that signed a different way. If it
is absolutely clearly a wrong way to sign it – they will let you know. Or, it can be that you recall it
incorrectly or have a parameter wrong. It can also be that it is a sign a deaf person used with you and
they learned from a hearing person who taught them incorrectly. Sometimes it can be a regional sign
that we don’t use here or maybe none of us have ever seen it. Also, it could be one only used in
Signed English not ASL. In any case, when interpreting and the deaf consumer requires a certain sign
to be used, we respect that and use it in that situation with that consumer only. We do not argue with
the deaf consumer. The professors are open to other sign choices as long as it maintains the spirit of
the message, conceptual accuracy and matches the register and consumer. It is also tempting to try to
learn things that will be learned later before forming your foundation. It is important to have a strong
foundation first. When asking questions in class, please try to stay on the current topic.
12. Professors’ Teaching Styles: Some professors make use of “teachable moments” and also use
the Socratic method of teaching. Others use different lecture styles and class activities or a
combination of all of the above. This can be frustrating to some students who want everything to be in
order and “black and white” while our profession and the world operates in the color gray. Being able
to adapt to each professor’s style will enable you to adapt and be flexible in the world of interpreting.
13. Dept. Chair and Faculty: Each fully qualified faculty and staff member is a valued team member.
The department chair is responsible to have a teaching load and run the program which includes a
variety of responsibilities. However, this department also works as a team- keeps each other informed,
gives feedback and supports each other. Each member has their own unique strengths brought to the
department and we defer to each other when needed. The Chair may receive feedback from faculty
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and staff regarding student behaviors or attitudes as well as areas of strengths or weaknesses in the
learning process. This allows us to incorporate strategies to increase each student’s learning as well
as “nip in the bud” any issues. The Chair has an open door policy and is accessible while at the labs,
by e-mail and by phone/text. Other ITP faculty are also available. Referrals can be made to other
student resources available on campus such as counseling, tutoring or other services. The faculty and
staff are willing to meet with you and there are many tutoring opportunities available if you are willing to
ask for help. We are here to help you succeed!
14. Professional Dress and Behavior Guidelines (See CPC and Essential Functions of a Certified
Interpreter for the basis of our policies.)
Besides following the current TJC Student Handbook, each student in the School of Professional and
Technical Programs are expected to follow their career field’s Code of Professional Conduct and
dress/act in such a way that is fitting a professional in the field. We are preparing you to be
professionals, to make a good first and lasting impression. The Deaf and interpreting community are
enthusiastic about hiring a professional from our program.
Appropriate Dress
I. Classes other than interpreting skills classes – are expected to follow TJC’s dress code. Please
refrain from wear anything that is distracting to the class such as low cut blouses, spaghetti strapped
blouses/shirts, short skirts/shorts, pajamas, sagging pants, etc. Instead, wear clean and neat jeans,
slacks, shirts, blouses, polo shirts, etc. Remember when doing video recordings, what may seem not to
be low cut becomes so due to the camera angle. Avoid wearing T-shirts with controversial or crude
language/gestures or pictures out of respect for your classmates and faculty. Other information
regarding specific professor requirements are in syllabi and course handouts.
II. Interpreting Skills Classes – are expected to follow the same policy. In addition, when representing
TJC by observing other interpreters, going to conference or workshops, interpreting projects, working in
practicum, etc. students must follow additional acceptable interpreting profession dress. (Specific
information for attending conference, practicum, and for interpreting projects will be given in detail in
class handouts.)
Some general rules of thumb are:
a. Wear clothing appropriate for the occasion. For example – don’t wear gym shorts to
a workshop, conference or most interpreting situations. While it is better to err on the side of
slightly “over-dressing” check to see what is appropriate for each situation. Make a good first
impression.
b. Interpreting:
1) Wear clothing that is in a solid color contrasting to your skin tone. Avoid white or red
as these colors cause issues in the cameras.
2) Do not wear visible piercings on face, tongue, mouth, & nose, etc; nor large ear rings
or distracting necklaces which can become caught in your fingers while signing.
Minimize jewelry while interpreting, even rings.
3) Avoid distracting tattoos or be able to cover them when necessary if interpreting.
4) Professional clothing would include nice polo shirts, nice blouses, dress shirts,
slacks, skirts and blouses or blazers, etc. which are clean and well-maintained. At times,
nice jeans can be worn with a nice shirt. Often dressing in layers is necessary due to
unknown temperature changes in a situation. (Typically, not T-shirts or flip flops)
5) Ladies - Make-up is helpful for clear facial expressions especially in artistic
interpreting or for the camera recordings, however, avoid over-doing makeup.
6) Keep fingernails a natural color and length to avoid distractions and to make signing
“easy on the eyes”. It also protects you from injury.
7) Avoid unprofessional hairstyles and colors which can be a distraction.
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8) Practice good general hygiene and avoid perfumes as many have allergies. At the
same time, be aware of any body odors and take steps to remedy them.
9) Avoid wearing hairstyles or clothing that require constant adjusting such as pushing
up sleeves or brushing hair out of face.
For additional helpful information, see current publications regarding “dressing for success” or
“professional dress”. When in doubt, please ask one of the ITP professors.
15. Communication Guidelines
a. Respectful communication is expected between students and professors whether Deaf or hearing.
This also means if a person who is Deaf is in the room or comes into a room, those in the room must
sign or take their private conversation to another location. (Exception: Sometimes Deaf professors
walk into a class conducted with voice that is in session due to the multi-purpose use of the Lab. They
may need to gather materials or access the computer or record material for their class. It may have
been pre-arranged by the professors that the teaching professor not be required to sign and voice at
the same time.)
b. Per TJC policy as stated in the current TJC Student Handbook, If there is an issue with a professor,
students are expected to follow the proper chain-of-command. Inform professor in person and in writing
and attempt to resolve the issue. If it is not resolved, the student may then take the matter to the
department chair in writing. If at that point, the matter is not resolved, the student may contact the
Dean. If a student does not have sufficient signing ability to ensure clear communication that is
satisfactory to the student and/or faculty member, an interpreter may be provided by contacting the
Deaf Student Services Office.
c. Students are required to check TJC E-Mail daily. Professors are instructed to e-mail students
through only TJC e-mail addresses. Due to recent state/federal budget cuts, handouts and other
information are sent via e-mail. A student ID is required to receive official advising.
d. Students are expected to treat each other respectfully and practice basic professionalism. Refrain
from gossip and negative ill-will towards others. If there is a problem involving someone, please go
directly to that person with the appropriate attitude and resolve the issue. If it is not resolved, contact
the Chair for help. For formal complaints, the complaint must be in writing. You can speak with the
Chair first if you wish, but for formal complaints, you must be willing to sign your name to a written
complaint. (See the current Student Handbook for procedures)
e. Remember, communication is key. A simple e-mail to your professors is valuable when you have to
be absent or have a question or an issue. Our faculty cares about you as a student and as a person.
Always contact your professor officially through TJC e-mail to communicate your reason for being tardy
or absent. While sending the message through another student is helpful, it does not count as having
“informed the professor”. Note: Too many absences will affect your grades. Our courses are based on
classroom interaction and your presence and positive participation in class is important to learning.
f. Social Media – While there are many privacy settings in Social Media, businesses and future
employers can have a way to see your pictures, postings and information. Please be responsible in the
social media arena. What you post can be used in your favor or against you career wise.
- TJC ITP has a FB page, a group for alumni and students and a group for Interpreter Student
Association Members. TJC has guidelines for us to follow regarding how these are set up and run.
- As a general rule, TJC ITP professors/staff will not accept friend requests on our personal accounts
while you are still students. However, we may accept friend requests from graduates. Otherwise,
several of us are administrators on the TJC FB groups. We will post information related to ASL, Deaf,
Interpreting, Self Care, Events, etc.
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American Sign Language/Interpreting Lab Policies
1. An ID card is required to use the Lab (students use their TJC student ID; community interpreters
use their driver’s license or Texas ID card). You MUST sign in on the (Blue) sign-in sheet. You
will get your ID card back when you return any items you checked out to use in the lab AND/OR
when you sign out of lab.
2. If you wish to use one of the lab resource videos, books, magazines, or games (not all
resources are available to students) while in the lab, please “sign out” for it (Green sheet) and
check it back in before leaving the lab.
3. Wipe down your computer station (keyboard, mouse, headset, desktop, etc) and/or table top
after EACH use. This keeps our lab clean and will prevent the spread of germs. Please use the
hand sanitizer provided at the reception desk, as well.
4. There is a “no voice” policy when using the lab. Voices are turned off for the learning of ASL.
The only exception is “voicing” for an interpreting assignment or when in some SLNG courses.
5. No horseplay is allowed in the lab. Respect others and our lab/equipment. The use of the lab is
a privilege for you.
6. The lab is not to be used for any other purpose other than to provide you access to resources
that help you work on and improve your ASL/Interpreting skills. Therefore, YOU MAY NOT USE
THESE COMPUTERS to surf the Internet, pull up music, check your Facebook or personal
email (TJC student email is fine), play games, look at inappropriate material, or anything else
that is not related to ASL/Interpreting. It is a privilege for you to use the lab. Failure to abide by
this policy may result in you being asked to leave the lab or in you being suspended from using
the lab.
7. Your cell phone/pager must be on OFF MODE BEFORE you enter the lab. Do not place any
electronic devices on desktops or work stations (including I-Pods, CD players, laptops, and cell
phones). Electronic devices need to be put away at all times. If you need to use your cell phone,
take it quietly in the hallway.
8. TJC ASL and Interpreting Students have priority use in the lab. If the stations are full, you may
sit and work quietly at one of the tables until a station is available. You must put your name on
the (Red) waiting list at the reception desk then wait for the next available station.
9. When there is a waiting list, please limit your time at a station to 30 minutes. After the 30
minutes, you may sign the waiting list and wait for the next available station.
10. You are expected to maintain the highest level of integrity when using the lab. Respect other’s
work and privacy, do not cheat or plagiarize (written, spoken, or signed), only offer constructive
feedback (not criticism), adhere to confidentiality standards, etc. Looking at other people’s work
without permission is considered cheating and disciplinary action will be taken according to the
TJC Student Handbook.
Failure to follow these policies may result in you being asked to leave the lab, you being
suspended from using the lab, or (in extreme cases) you being dismissed from the program.
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Degree Plans & Advising
Go to www.tcj.edu/signlanguage for the most updated degree plans. Take note of changes F2015.
ASL Skills Certificate: You may start out with this goal and change to the Interpreting degree or
certificate without losing any hours. This is for those who want ASL skills to help in their career, but it
does not prepare a student to interpret.
AAS or Certificate Sign Language Interpreting: You may finish these degrees in 2 years; however, it is
based on when you begin the first semester of courses. This degree prepares you to take the state and
national interpreting board exams to become a professional certified interpreter. (The certificate is the
same as the degree EXCEPT you do not have any General Education courses – it is only for those who
already have a degree in any field.)
Advising: The program has group/individual advising each Fall and Spring to advise all ASL and
Interpreting students. There will be announcements and a sign-up sheet in the ASL lab and the dates
are usually in October and March. This helps the students stay on track and be ready for registration.
Classes fill up quickly, so please register for SGNL and SLNG classes first as soon as online
registration is available. Dates are posted on the TJC website for each academic year. Current
students must have a TJC ID to receive official advising; new students need a state issued ID.
*While we try to schedule first year and second year classes on two days per week (M/W or T/TH) – the
last year you will find you must attend 4 days per week. The last semester can include practicum. For
example, your classes could be on T/TH and your practicum schedule could be MW or MWF. Some
students opt to do practicum the following Fall and some students do not qualify to start practicum until
the following Fall after completing the last full semester of interpreting coursework.
Course Offerings and Degree Completion: It is important to stay on track with the degree plan as most
of our courses are only offered once per year. You do have up to 5 years to complete a degree plan. If
using financial aid, please check with them regarding required number of hours you need to take, the
effects of dropping courses and other related matters. Government and college rules change and it is
your responsibility to keep yourself updated on all matters regarding your financial aid and education
process. If planning to transfer to a four-year university, please be sure to check with them regarding
course transference. Leaving TJC core complete is the best choice as it protects you from being
required by other Texas universities to complete additional core classes besides the upper level
classes in your chosen degree.
Independent Study: Our courses are not structured for independent study except in rare cases where a
course must be repeated due to unusual circumstances. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Students taking a course for the first time must take it as offered to help ensure higher success.
Online Courses, Distance Ed, Dual Credit:
Currently, our courses are not online. Best practice in beginning to learn ASL or interpreting is in a
group face-to-face. Since we use a state of the art lab technology, we do not offer Distance Ed. or dual
credit on high school campuses – this would not be an equal education compared to our on-campus
classes thus interfering with student success. However, high school students may attend our courses
through early entry and if their high school agrees, earn dual credit for our courses.
Credit by Examination or Placement Exams:
If you have taken ASL classes in high school or elsewhere you will still need to take placement exam(s)
to determine if you have the college level skills required to receive credit for ASL I and possibly ASL II.
Contact the Department Chair for more information. Prior knowledge of ASL is not required to be in
the program but can helpful. Please make appointments by the Spring semester to complete exams.
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Important to Note:
1. Students must pass all SLNG or SGNL course with a “C” or better to pass and proceed to the next
course or level. (See prerequisites in the online TJC catalog for each course)
2. If a student barely makes a “C”, it is wise to discuss his/her progress and skills with the professor.
Options: Either re-take the course or audit the course (costs the same but grades do not count) and
take the next level simultaneously.
3. Students in the interpreting degree/certificate must pass the Mid-Program and Exit exams with a
grade of “C” or better to continue on or graduate from the program.
4. Interpreting students must successfully complete 260 hours of practicum in their last semester.
5. If a student makes a “C” on the Exit exam, the possibility of success on the board exams could be
minimal. The student should take extra courses or use other measures to continue to improve in weak
areas before taking the board exams. (The cost of board exams are found on their websites.)
6. Our ASL Labs are open to former students and community interpreters to use to improve skills.
Open Lab hours - posted each semester - are based on the classes scheduled in the labs and
availability of faculty/staff.
7. We have forms in place for alerting students of the need to repeat a course, the need to reconsider
their major, and the need to improve in disposition. (See Pages 8-16)
Benchmark Exams
Mid-Program Exam – Included in Interpreting I (SLNG 2301) Long Summer Session
 Includes a comprehensive written multiple choice exam containing information learned in the
first 3 semesters of the program
 a Test of English Proficiency
 an expressive/receptive portion.
 Graded by a team of at least 3 of the faculty. Must pass with a minimum grade of “C”.
Exit Exam – Taken at the end of the last semester tied to the practicum grade. This is similar to the
state board exam which includes:
 expressive and receptive ASL interpreting
 expressive transliterating
 sight translation
 a comprehensive written exam. Passing this portion of the exam is a good indicator of success
in passing the national written exam.
 Graded by a team of at least 3 of the faculty. Must pass with a minimum grade of “C”.
Supplies and Books
1. A large (several gb) flash drive is recommended to keep your recordings especially for interpreting
students. (Interpreting students must make a portfolio of their work to apply for practicum)
2. Calendar/Date Book – be prepared for classes and be on time if not 15 minutes early.
3. Journal – Interpreting classes require students to write in their journals for various assignments.
4. Computer access – to check TJC e-mail daily, print handouts or assignments as needed and
complete assignments. The library is available as well as other computer labs on campus. To print,
you must put money on a card that you pay for at the Cashier’s office. You can use this card at the
library or various computer labs to print for a small fee per page. NOTE: Do not over-stock your card
as you cannot get a refund. Only put what you may use in one semester.
5. Some if not most ITP books are available to use at the library. A few are available to check out.
There is also a book bank available. Check early with the library about more info regarding the book
bank – it has limited resources.
6. Get your books early to begin looking them over. IF the on-campus college bookstore is out of the
book(s) for any of your classes it is your responsibility to approach the book-store window and order the
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book you need. You can usually get them in a few days. You are still responsible for all reading
material and homework until you receive your book(s). You may use the books we have reserved in
the library (See #5 above) or work something out with a fellow student. If you do not have to get your
books at the college bookstore, you can also find them online by doing a Google search for them.
7. What to do with books after you are finished with them: Though students are encouraged to keep
most of their books for future reference, you may be able to borrow or buy a book from a fellow student.
Make sure it is the right book and the updated versions that are being used in our classes and make
sure if the book has a DVD or CD that it is usable. Students may post notices in the ASL Lab or on our
FB site if they have such books available. Interpreting Students – please keep your books until you
pass your Exit exam. The written portion is comprehensive over the entire program. We also reference
several books throughout the interpreting program.
Safety
1. Please review all safety guidelines located in the TJC Student Handbook and posted in the
classrooms.
2. You may also sign up for Apache Text Alerts to receive information via text regarding tornado
watch, warning, and other emergency information. Sign up on Apache Access Home Page. The phone
number regarding weather related closing is 903-510-3000.
3. If there is a tornado warning, the sirens will go off outside. If you are in a room with someone who is
deaf, please let them know. Also, T108 has a phone so the announcement will be heard in that room
and any room that has a phone. T 106 does NOT have a phone. From where we are in Pirtle, the
safest place will be in the restrooms and possibly an interior room. We will get further information.
4. Fire alarms have flashing lights are in each lab. In case of a fire or fire drill, we are to meet across
the parking lot on the West side of the classrooms towards Rogers Student Center.
5. Lab doors automatically lock. We will use the small door stops so that students may go to the
restroom and return without disrupting the class. At the end of the day, blinds in both labs should be
closed.
6. TJC also has an anonymous Tip line where you can report any suspicious activity or crimes.
Message TO: 79516 and type a brief message. Example: “Someone breaking into a car at F19”.
Notice all parking lots now have a sign with a designated number and letter. “S” is student and “F” is
faculty. (Parking in the faculty parking areas will result in a ticket.)
7. If you need to walk to your car at night, you may contact TJC Campus Safety and get an officer to
escort you. Walking with someone else is also advised when possible. Campus Safety Emergency
# 903-510-2222 needs to be in your contact list in your phone in case of any TJC emergency.
Emergencies must be called into Campus Safety first, not 9-1-1 according to TJC policy.
8. Please do not come to school if you have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. These illnesses can quickly
spread throughout the school. You have access to the health clinic on the second floor of Rogers
Student Center and can get checked if you are feeling ill. They can also provide you with a note for
your classes. Daily, please wash hands often and thoroughly, use hand sanitizer, cough or sneeze into
your arm and wipe down desks and computer stations with the Clorox wipes. Maintain a healthy diet
and lifestyle to avoid getting sick. In cases of illnesses, the professor uses discretion regarding making
up work. NOTE: Please fight the temptation to “be sick” and miss class because when you really get
sick, the professor will be less likely to cut you slack. If you need a personal day, please try to take it
when there are fewer assignments or activities graded on that day so it is less of a negative impact your
grade and let the professor know you just had to take time off. Honesty is the best policy. Please
schedule doctor appointments around your school schedule the same as you schedule around a work
schedule.
9. Active Shooter: Though unlikely to occur, TJC Campus Safety has required training for faculty and
available to students regarding procedures during an active shooter event. Please take advantage of
this online training. Be aware of your surroundings and talk to your professor about the plan for that
classroom.
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Activities
1. American Sign Language Honor Society (ASLHS)
The ASL Honor Society is a program offered by American Sign Language Teacher Association
(ASLTA), the national organization for ASL teachers.
Students must be an ITP major in the Interpreting Training Program with a goal of earning an AAS
degree or ASL Skills certificate will be eligible to become a member of ASLHS. You must be enrolled in
nine (9) semester hours of TJC courses per semester. You may apply for membership for ASLHS after
you have completed 15 hours of ASL-related coursework.
For more information about ASLHS and the application, go to the following link:
http://www.tjc.edu/SignLanguage and look in the related downloads.
If you have any questions, please email Laura Hill at: [email protected]
2. Interpreter Student Association (ISA)
For interpreting majors. This group raises money to attend the Texas Society of Interpreters for the
Deaf annual conference. They also talk about current topics in the field and support each other in the
mutual goal of becoming professional interpreters. Sponsor-Rhonda McKinzie [email protected]
3. Apache Signers
For students in ASL III and above. A sign language performance group that performs for homecoming
and other events as time for practice allows. Sponsor – Rhonda McKinzie [email protected]
4. Deaf Community Events
A. First Sat of each month:
- Tyler Metro Assoc. of the Deaf (TMAD) has meetings and activities.
Usually 1 – 5 p.m. Location TBA
- Deaf Coffee Chat at Java Jam 7 – 10 p.m. (Brookshire’s on Rice Rd/Broadway-Tyler)
B. Second Sat. of each month – Possibly a Silent Lunch in Tyler 1 p.m. – location TBA
C. Third Fri of each month – Lindale Coffee Chat 7 p.m. Whataburger
D. Various churches have interpreted services or services in sign language.
5. Other Events TBA:
A. Silent game night, lunch, dinner – with ITP students during the weeknight or a weekend
B. ITP tends to offer 2 workshops per year and one Immersion event every 2 years.
C. Deaf Festival is usually in the Fall.
D. Tyler Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center – events, fundraisers, possible volunteers needed.
E. Texas Society of Interpreters for the Deaf – annual conference in the Spring in even years
and in typically in June in odd years. ISA raises money to help cover costs of students to attend.
F. East TX Games for the Deaf – Usually in the Spring - TBA
G. TJC ITP second year students interpret at least one play per year
H. TJC ITP second year students – work with Allied Health to “interpret” mock sonograms and
surgeries; do mock interpreting practice at other entities…and more.
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ITP Professors (Available by appointment for tutoring)
Each faculty/staff member of our Team is highly involved in the Deaf and Interpreting Community locally
and state-wide bringing a variety of talents, skills and perspectives to make a well-rounded program.
Full Time:
Laura Hill (Office T105) – Laura (deaf) has been teaching all levels of ASL here at TJC since Fall of
2010. She has a B.S. degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in English from
Texas Woman’s University and a M.S. degree in Deaf Education from Texas Woman’s University.
Laura is a certified Level V Intermediary Interpreter with the Board of Evaluators of Interpreters (BEI).
Laura is the sponsor of the American Sign Language Honor Society and Deaf Connection Club. She is
happily married to Dirk (deaf) and they have two beautiful children, Dakota (hearing) and Lexi
(deaf). [email protected]
Rhonda McKinzie, MS, LPC, Dept. Chair (Office T107) - Rhonda and her husband moved to Tyler
from Corpus Christi in 2005. She has a BS in Deaf Education from Texas Woman’s University and an
MS in Counseling from Texas A & M Corpus Christi. She is a licensed professional counselor for the
Deaf and has been a BEI certified interpreter since the age of 18 (over 36 years). Currently, she holds
a BEI Master and Court certification and became the department chair of TJC’s ITP in August 2008,
responsible for teaching interpreting courses. Rhonda is also a workshop presenter & retreat organizer.
She is married to Dr. Lonny McKinzie with two adult children and 2 grand-daughters. [email protected]
Part-Time: Adjunct Offices are in T111
Stephanie Deibert – Stephanie has been teaching in TJC’s Interpreter Training Program off and on
since 2004. She is an instructor of ASL, Intra-Lingual Skills and Interpreting Labs. She has her M.A. in
English and American Sign Language from UT Tyler and is a BEI Advanced certified interpreter. She
and her husband, Kevin, have three grown children. [email protected]
Patrick Grona – Patrick, who is deaf, is a retired secondary teacher of the deaf and coach of 33 years,
the last 30 years in Corpus Christi. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education from John Brown
University and Master of Art Degree in Deaf Education from Texas Woman's University where he first
met his wife Susie. He was very involved with the Deaf community directing recreational programs for
youth during the summer as well as year around for all ages. Susie and he both retired and moved to
Hideaway in 2009. Patrick teaches ASL I and II. [email protected]
Susie Grona – Susie has a BS in Deaf Education from Texas Woman’s University and is a TX BEI
Certified Deaf Interpreter (CDI) with over 30 years of experience teaching Deaf Education and Del Mar
College ITP. She is currently a part-time professor of Deaf Culture, Fingerspelling and Visual Gestural
Communication. Susie is also a workshop presenter and serves for several boards in the Deaf
community. [email protected]
Lab Assistants – Open Lab Times Posted Ea. Semester. Lab assistants must be fluent in ASL and
Deaf Culture – Native signers preferred. They must also be computer savvy and be able to run the
ASL lab computer software as well as use general software and computer programs. Currently, we are
hiring 1-2 part-time assistants to work a flexible schedule according to our semester by semester needs
for maximum of 18 hrs per week. For more information contact the Dept. Chair. [email protected]
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POLICY ACKNOWEDGEMENT AND AGREEMENT
Student Name:
A#
Mailing Address:
Phone:
School E-mail:
Degree Plan:
Other E-mail:
_____ Interpreting
____ASL Skills ______ASL Courses Only
These policies and agreements supersede any previous policies and agreements.
Tyler Junior College Student Handbook
I,__________________________________________, have read and understand the policies
and guidelines outlined in the current Tyler Junior College Student Handbook found online at
www.tjc.edu. I understand that failure to comply with college policy can be grounds for
disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the Sign Language Interpreter Training Program. In
addition, I understand by signing this document, I agree to abide by all policies and accept the
consequences for failure to abide by all policies.
________________________________________
Student Signature
Date
______________________________________________________
Sign Language ITP Faculty/Advisor/Chair
Tyler Junior College Interpreter Training Program Handbook and Policy
I, ___________________________________________________, have read and understand
the policies and guidelines outlined in the current Tyler Junior College Sign Language
Interpreter Training Handbook found online at www.tjc.edu/signlanguage. I understand that
specific department policies may supersede college policy and failure to comply with
department policy can be grounds for disciplinary action and/or dismissal from the program.
In addition, I understand By signing this document, I agree to abide by all policies
________________________________________
Student Signature
_______________________________
Date
__________________________________
Sign Language ITP Faculty/Advisor/Chair
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