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                            FORMULATION OF STANDARDS

The National Interpreter Education Standards and guidelines for accrediting interpreter education
programs were formulated by the Conference of Interpreter Trainer’s Educational Standards Committee
with substantial input from the professional community. The Commission on Collegiate Interpreter
Education’s Committee on Policies and Standards will be responsible for periodic review and
reformulation of the Standards and guidelines according to a procedure that will assure the participation
of the CCIE stakeholders.
Committee members may be interpreter educators or practitioners, representatives of the public served
by interpreters, and others deemed appropriate to the development of acceptable standards for reviewing
interpreter education programs. A balance of interests will be maintained in committee composition. As
emphasized in the composition of the CCIE Board and Committee structure, it is strongly recommended
that composition of the above mentioned committee also preserves stakeholder diversity.
The review cycle for the National Interpreter Education Standards is every ten (10) years. The timetable
recognizes the continuous development of the practice of interpretation, the expanding body of
knowledge in interpretation, and changes in postsecondary education. Proposed standards and
guidelines revisions will be circulated to the CCIE constituencies for review and comment. Those invited
to comment may include the CCIE-accredited programs, site visitors and committee members, the
interpreting organizations and individuals from those organizations, employers, other accrediting bodies
and related regulatory groups, interpreter education programs, and interested individuals. The committee
will carefully consider comments gathered in this process. Changes to the Standards and guidelines
resulting from the review and comment process may be circulated repeatedly for additional review. This
dialogue with the field of interpretation is an important component of the accreditation process.
Once formulated, standards and guidelines are submitted to the CCIE Board of Commissioners for
adoption. The CCIE Board will determine an effective date for all of the CCIE Standards and guidelines.

                                                                                 Revised September 12, 2007
                                           THE STANDARDS

                 PREAMBLE                                      GENERAL CRITERIA

Description of the Profession                        A. Sponsorship
Interpretation is the art and science of receiving   1. The sponsoring institution of higher
a message from one language and rendering it            education must be accredited by a nationally
into another. It involves the appropriate transfer      recognized agency or agencies.
and transmission of culturally based linguistic
                                                     2. The sponsoring institution(s) must be
and nonlinguistic information. The goal of
                                                        authorized under applicable law or other
interpreting is to transfer a message from a
                                                        acceptable authority to provide a program of
source language into a target language without
                                                        postsecondary education.
skewing it while keeping in mind the linguistic
needs of the recipients of the message.              3. The sponsoring institution(s) shall
Interpreting serves a diverse population in a           demonstrate a commitment to recognizing
variety of settings across a broad range of fields      and fostering positive attitudes and efforts
and therefore requires professional interpreters        toward diversity among its members.
to possess a breadth and depth of knowledge.
                                                     4. The sponsoring institution(s) assumes
Objective                                               (assume) primary responsibility for student
                                                        admission, curriculum planning, selection of
Since its inception, the Conference of Interpreter      course content, coordination of classroom
Trainers has held the vision of national                teaching and supervised practice,
standards for interpreter education. The National       appointment of faculty, receiving and
Interpreter Education Standards identify the            processing applications for admission, and
knowledge, skills, and perspectives students            documenting satisfactory completion of the
need to gain in order to enter the field of             educational program. The sponsoring
professional interpreting. The Standards give           institution shall also be responsible for
students, faculty, curriculum developers,               providing assurance that practicum activities
administrators, employers, and consumers a              assigned to students are appropriate to the
common set of expectations about what basic             program.
knowledge and competencies interpreting
students should acquire.                             5. In programs in which academic instruction
                                                        and supervised practice are provided by two
The Standards are to be used for the                    (2) or more institutions, responsibility of the
development, evaluation, and self-analysis of           sponsoring institutions and of each
postsecondary professional interpreter                  practicum center must be clearly
education programs. They will guide new                 documented as a formal affiliation
programs in defining policies on entry                  agreement or memorandum of
requirements, curricular goals, faculty selection,      understanding. The time schedule for
teaching methods, and projected student                 periodic review shall be documented.
outcomes. For existing programs, the Standards
provide benchmarks for assessing and
enhancing student outcomes, evaluating and
updating faculty, and improving curricula and
related practices.

                                                                            Revised September 12, 2007
B. Resources                                                   2) Each faculty member shall have a
                                                                  written plan for continuing
Personnel                                                         professional development.
The program shall have a director and faculty             d) Faculty/Student Ratio:
who possess the necessary qualifications to
perform the functions identified in documented                 The faculty/student ratio shall:
descriptions of roles and responsibilities. Efforts            1) Permit the achievement of the
should be made to recruit qualified Deaf                          purpose and stated objectives of the
program directors, faculty, and practicum                         program.
                                                               2) Be compatible with accepted
1. Program Director                                               practices of the profession.
    a) Responsibilities                                        3) Ensure quality education by
       The director of the educational program                    adjustment of faculty/student ratio
       shall be responsible for management                        where required.
       and administration of the program
       including planning, on-going evaluation,       3. Clerical and Support Staff
       budgeting, and selecting faculty and               Clerical and program support staff shall be
       staff.                                             provided to meet program and
    b) Qualifications                                     administrative requirements.
       The director of the educational program        Financial Resources
       shall be an interpreter, ASL instructor, or
       interpreter educator who has relevant          A budget of general institutional funds allocated
       experience in administration, teaching,        to the program shall be sufficient to develop and
       and practice. The director shall hold a        maintain the stated objectives of the program
       minimum of a master’s degree, or have          and to fulfill its obligations to matriculating and
       equivalent educational qualifications.         enrolled students.
2. Faculty                                            Physical Resources
    a) Responsibilities                               1. Facilities
       Faculty responsibilities shall be                  a) Classrooms and laboratories shall be
       consistent with the mission of the                    provided consistent with the program’s
       institution.                                          educational objectives, teaching
    b) Qualifications                                        methods, number of students, and
                                                             safety standards of the institution, and
        The faculty shall:                                   shall allow for efficient operation of the
        1) Include certified interpreters.                   program.
        2) Have documented expertise in the               b) Appropriate laboratory space shall be
           area(s) of teaching responsibilities              assigned to the interpreter education
           and shall demonstrate effectiveness               program on a priority basis.
           in teaching their assigned subjects.           c) Appropriate space shall be provided to
        3) Collectively have academic and                    store and secure equipment and
           experiential qualifications and                   supplies.
           background appropriate to meet                 d) The program director, faculty, and
           program objectives.                               support staff shall have appropriate
        4) Be collectively diverse or have                   office space.
           documented exposure to diverse                 e) Appropriate space shall be provided for
           populations.                                      the private advising of students.
    c) Professional Development                           f)   Facilities shall be constructed and
        1) The program shall have a                            maintained according to appropriate
           documented plan for continued                       safety and health considerations and in
           professional growth to ensure that                  compliance with state and federal laws
           program faculty can fulfill their                   concerning accessibility.
           assigned responsibilities.

                                                                              Revised September 12, 2007
2. Equipment and Supplies                              2. Advising during and pertaining to practicum
                                                          shall be a collaborative process between the
    Appropriate and sufficient equipment and
                                                          faculty and practicum educators.
    supplies shall be provided for student use
    and for teaching the didactic and practical        3. Referral by program faculty to other
    components of the curriculum.                         institutional or community resources shall be
                                                          provided for students with problems that
3. Learning Resources
                                                          may interfere with the students’ progress
                                                          through the program.
    Students shall have ready access in time
    and location to an adequate supply of              4. Review of policies and procedures shall be
    current books, journals, periodicals,                 undertaken on a regular basis. Review
    computers, video and audio material, and              policies and procedures shall be
    other reference materials related to the              documented.
                                                       5. Examination of curriculum design shall be
                                                          done on a regular basis to assure integration
                                                          of program’s mission and philosophy.
C. Students                                               Examination protocol shall be documented.
Admissions Policies and Procedures
1. Admission of students shall be made in
                                                       D. Operational Policies
   accordance with clearly defined and
   published practices of the institution of           Fair Practices
   higher education.
                                                       1. Program description, publications,
2. Policies regarding standards for admission,            announcements, and advertising shall
   advanced placement, transfer of credit,                accurately reflect the program offered.
   credit for experiential learning (if applicable),
                                                       2. Student and faculty recruitment, student
   and requirements for previous education or
                                                          admission, and faculty employment
   work experience shall be provided and
                                                          practices shall comply with the institution’s
   readily accessible to prospective students
                                                          published nondiscrimination, equal
   and the public.
                                                          opportunity, and affirmative action policies.
Evaluation of Students
                                                       3. Graduation requirements, tuition, and fees
1. Criteria for successful completion of each             shall be published and made known to all
   segment of the educational program and for             applicants.
   graduation shall be given in advance to each
                                                       4. Policies and processes for student
                                                          withdrawal and for refunds of tuition and
2. Evaluation content and methods shall be                fees shall be published and made known to
   consistent with the objectives and                     all applicants.
   competencies described for the educational
                                                       5. Policies and procedures regarding student
   program in both didactic and supervised
                                                          suspension and dismissal shall be published
   education components. Evaluation shall be
                                                          and made known.
   employed frequently enough to provide
   students and program officials with timely          6. The program or sponsoring institution(s)
   indications of the students’ progress and              shall have a defined and published policy
   academic standing.                                     and procedure for processing student and
                                                          faculty grievances.
                                                       7. Provision shall be made for the health,
Students shall be informed of and have access
                                                          safety, and confidentiality of consumers,
to the health services provided to other students
                                                          students, and faculty associated with
in the institution.
                                                          educational activities.
                                                       8. A program or sponsoring institution(s)
1. Advising related to interpreter education              admitting students on the basis of “ability to
   coursework and practicum shall be the                  benefit” shall publicize its objectives,
   responsibility of the program faculty and/or           assessment measures, and means of
   other advisors as designated by the                    evaluating “ability to benefit.” “Ability to
   sponsoring institution(s).                             benefit” applies to those students who do

                                                                              Revised September 12, 2007
    not have a high school diploma or its            2. Identify educational goals that are consistent
    equivalent and may affect student financial         with the program’s mission and philosophy
    aid.                                                statements.
Student Records                                      3. Describe the set of organizing principles that
                                                        explains the selection of the content, scope,
Satisfactory records shall be maintained
                                                        and sequencing of coursework.
regarding student admission, enrollment, and
achievement. Grades and credits for courses          4. Establish the view of interpreting as it relates
shall be recorded on students’ transcripts and          to the world rather than the local isolation.
maintained according to the sponsoring
                                                     5. Represent cultural competence that is not
institution’s policies.
                                                        limited to simple recognition and mention of
                                                        diverse cultures and groups.

           SPECIFIC CRITERIA                         6. Include the involvement of the local Deaf
                                                     Instruction shall follow a plan that provides
E. Curriculum                                        evidence of:

Description of the Program                           1. Appropriate teaming experiences and
                                                        curriculum sequencing to develop the
1. Mission                                              competencies necessary for graduation,
   The statement of the mission of the                  including appropriate instructional materials,
   interpreter education program shall be               classroom presentations, discussions,
   consistent with that of the sponsoring               demonstrations, community exposure, and
   institution.                                         supervised practice.
2. Philosophy                                        2. Clearly written and sequenced course syllabi
   The statement of philosophy of the program           that describe learning, objectives, and
   shall reflect:                                       competencies to be achieved for both
    a) A sociolinguistic view of Deaf and               didactic and supervised education
       hearing communities. Efforts should be           components.
       made to establish and maintain an open        3. Frequent documented evaluation of students
       and continuing dialogue with the various         to assess their acquisition of knowledge,
       members of the Deaf community                    problem identification, problem-solving skills,
       representing the diversity within the            and interpretation competencies.
       communities. Diversity within the Deaf
       community must be recognized as an
       evolving factor. The opinions and             F. Prerequisites
       information gained through the
       dialogues should guide the development        Language prerequisites shall be specified as a
       of the curriculum, instruction, and           foundation for professional education.
                                                     1. American Sign Language
    b) Approaches to learning shall identify
                                                         Students shall possess proficiency in
       and support the learning needs of a
                                                         American Sign Language that at least
       diverse population including traditional
                                                         enables them to converse in a culturally
       undergraduates, older students,
                                                         appropriate and participatory fashion, to
       students who are parents, students with
                                                         narrate, and to describe with connected
       disabilities, students from racial, ethnic,
       and religious minorities, male students
       as a minority in the field, and               2. English
       international students.                          Students shall possess proficiency in
                                                        spoken and/or written English that at least
Curriculum Design
                                                        enables them to communicate in a culturally
The curriculum design shall provide the basis for       appropriate and participatory fashion, to
program planning, implementation, and                   narrate, and to describe with connected
evaluation. It shall:                                   discourse.
1. Support the mission of the interpreter
   education program.

                                                                             Revised September 12, 2007
G. Content Requirements                                  5. Human relations;

The course of study shall be based on a broad            6. Dynamics of cross-cultural
foundation of liberal arts, sciences, professional          interaction;
education, research, and practicum. It shall             7. Intercultural communication
include:                                                    knowledge and competency;
1. Liberal arts content that is prerequisite to, or      8. Human services and community
   concurrent with, professional education and              resources;
   shall facilitate the development of:
                                                         9. Certification and licensure;
    a) Superior oral and written communication           10. Business practices;
       skills;                                           11. State and federal legislation;
    b) Logical thinking, critical analysis,              12. Continuing professional
       problem-solving, and creativity;                      development; and
    c) Knowledge and appreciation of                     13. Stress management and personal
       multicultural features of society;                    health.
    d) Ability to make judgments in the context       b) Competencies shall include:
       of historical, social, economic, scientific,
       and political information; and                    1. Language
    e) An appreciation of the ethnic, cultural,              (a) ability to understand the source
       economic, religious, social, and physical                 language in all its nuances; and
       diversity of the population along with the            (b) ability to express oneself
       practical knowledge of its influence and                  correctly, fluently, clearly, and
       impact on the profession;                                 with poise in the target
    2. Social and behavioral sciences content                    language.
    that is prerequisite to, or concurrent with,         2) Message Transfer
    professional education and shall facilitate
    the development of knowledge and                         (a) ability to understand the
    appreciation of:                                             articulation of meaning in the
                                                                 source language discourse;
    a) Human behavior in the context of
       sociocultural systems to include beliefs,             (b) ability to render the meaning of
       ethics, and values;                                       the source language discourse
                                                                 in the target language without
    b) Minority group dynamics, prejudice,                       distortions, additions, or
       class, power, oppression, and social                      omissions; and
       change; and
                                                             (c) ability to transfer a message
    c) Language and society, bilingualism,                       from a source language into a
       language variation, syntax and                            target language appropriately
       semantics, cross-cultural                                 from the point of view of style
       communication, and cross-cultural                         and culture, and without undue
       conflict.                                                 influence of the source
3. Professional education that will enable               3) Methodology
   students to develop and apply knowledge                   (a) ability to use different modes of
   and competencies in interpretation.                           interpreting (i.e., simultaneous
   Knowledge areas shall include:                                or consecutive), ability to
        1. Theories of interpretation and                        choose the appropriate mode in
           translation;                                          a given setting; and
        2. Historical foundations of the                     (b) ability to use different target
           profession;                                           language forms, ability to
                                                                 choose the appropriate form
        3. Interpreter role and responsibilities;                according to audience
        4. Professional ethics;                                  preference.

                                                                        Revised September 12, 2007
       4) Subject matter                               b) Directed observation in selected aspects
                                                          of the interpreting service provision
           (a) breadth of knowledge allowing
                                                          process shall be required. Those
               interpretation of general
                                                          experiences should be designed to
               discourse within several fields;
                                                          enrich didactic coursework. These
           (b) sufficient specialized knowledge           experiences should be provided at
               of one (1) or two (2) disciplines          appropriate times throughout the
               allowing interpretation of more            program.
               specialized discourse within
                                                       c) In-depth experiences in delivering
               these disciplines; and
                                                          interpreting services shall be required.
       5) Techniques and logistics, such as               These experiences are not intended to
          ability to manage the physical                  emphasize unsupervised performance.
          setting and ability to select and use
                                                           1) The practicum should provide
          appropriate equipment.
                                                              experiences with various groups
       Note: The competencies in b. (1-5)                     across the life span, various
       were first discussed and described                     language preferences, and various
       by Roda Roberts (1992).                                service-delivery models reflective of
                                                              current practices in the profession.
                                                           2) The practicum shall be supervised
4. Research                                                   by qualified personnel.
   a) Necessity for and values of research on
                                                           3) To ensure continuity of application
      interpretation and interpreter education;
                                                              of academic concepts, the
   b) Essential components of a research                      practicum shall be completed within
      protocol;                                               a reasonable time frame.
   c) Analysis of studies related to                       4) The student’s practicum shall be
      interpretation; and                                     formally evaluated and documented
                                                              by the practicum supervisor in
   d) Application of research results to                      accordance with program
      interpretation practice.                                guidelines. This evaluation shall be
                                                              shared with the student.
5. Practicum
   a) Supervised practicum shall be an             H. Program Evaluation
      integral part of the educational program.
      The experience shall provide the             The interpreter education program shall have a
      student with the opportunity for carrying    continuing system for reviewing the
      out professional responsibilities under      effectiveness of the educational program
      appropriate supervision and                  especially as measured by student achievement
      professional role modeling.                  and shall prepare timely self-study reports to aid
                                                   the staff, the sponsoring institution, and the
       1) Objectives for each phase of the         accrediting agencies, where applicable, in
          practicum shall be collaboratively       assessing program qualities and needs.
          developed and documented by the
          program faculty, practicum               Outcomes
          supervisor, and student.                 Programs shall routinely secure sufficient
       2) The ratio of program faculty to          qualitative and quantitative information regarding
          students shall ensure proper             the program graduates to demonstrate an
          supervision in and frequent              ongoing evaluation of outcomes consistent with
          assessment of achieving the              the graduate competencies specified by the
          objectives.                              educational program.

       3) Practicum shall be conducted in          1. This data should be routinely documented
          settings equipped to provide                and analyzed.
          application of principles learned in     2. Sources of data should include but not be
          the curriculum and appropriate to           limited to:
          the learning needs of the student.

                                                                          Revised September 12, 2007
    a) Surveys of graduates and employers on
       such matters as employment settings,
       type and scope of practice, salary, job
       satisfaction, and adequacy of the
       educational program in addressing
       education and skills.
    b) Interviews with program graduates and
       employers of graduates, e.g.,
       satisfaction with graduates’ skills;
       satisfaction with own skills upon entry
       into employment.
    c) Data on the evaluation of student
       performance on state and national
       certification examinations.
Results of Ongoing Program Evaluation
The results of ongoing evaluation shall be
appropriately reflected in the curriculum and
other dimensions of the program. In particular,
the program shall systematically use the
information obtained in its evaluation to foster
student achievement.
Program evaluation should be a continuing
systematic process and should include:
1. Internal and external curriculum validation in
   consultation with employers, faculty,
   mentors, students, and graduates;
2. Follow-up studies of students’ employment
   and performance on state and national
3. Review of admissions policies and
   procedures; and
4. Examination of curriculum design to assure
   integration of program’s mission and
Roberts, Roda P. 1992. “Student Competencies
in Interpreting: Defining, Teaching, and
Evaluating.” In E. A. Winston (Ed.), Student
Competencies: Defining, Teaching, and
Evaluating. Proceedings of the Ninth National
Convention, Conference of Interpreter Trainers,
Denver 1992.

                                                    Revised September 12, 2007

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