Transfer Deal for Deaf Students
October 17, 2016
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Ohlone students who complete the ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program can now transfer their credits to Gallaudet University in Washington DC.
Ohlone’s Deaf Studies Division reached an agreement in March with Gallaudet that helps students who are in the ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program to transfer to the campus to further their education.
Ohlone College became the first community college to serve deaf students in 1972 when the division was created.
The division gave an opportunity for deaf students to continue their education and gain career opportunities. The division serves an average of 200 deaf students each year.
The Interpreter Preparation Program is one of the three career pathways offered in the division. The program offers an Associate of Arts in Interpretation and a Certificate.
The interpreter program is one of two departments in the division. The other department is called American Sign Language and Deaf Studies.
In this department, students become fluent in American Sign Language. There are also Deaf Education classes where students can learn how to be teachers for deaf children.
Darline Clark Gunsauls, dean of the Deaf Studies Division, speaking through an interpreter, said the Interpreter Preparation Program “Prepares students to facilitate communication, be a communication bridge between hearing and deaf people So they’re translating back and forth between English and American Sign Language.”
Gunsauls said the transfer program is called,“2+2,” a pathway program that can help students get into the university. “The Students who graduate with an AA degree in Interpreting here after two years can transfer to Gallaudet University in Washington DC for a second two years and receive a Bachelor’s Degree,” she said.
The articulation agreement between Gallaudet University and Ohlone was established on March 2 of this year. This means the units earned from Ohlone’s Interpreter Preparatory Program classes can transfer to the school. Ohlone students that completed the Associate’s in Arts in the interpreter preparation program can continue their education at the university to get a bachelor of arts in interpretation or any other program. “Gallaudet University is the only liberal arts college for the deaf in the entire world,” Gunsauls said. The Deaf Studies Division is nationallyand internationally recognized through programs with Gallaudet and other international student exchange programs.
The division has established partnerships with global organizations that assists students with studying abroad. One organization is called JAAS- the Japanese American Signers Society. Ohlone and JAAS have an Implementation Agreement to assist international deaf students from Japan to study at Ohlone. This includes coming to the U.S. to learn American Sign Language (ASL), cross cultural studies, and giving opportunities for Deaf Japanese students to become interns at various Bay Area deaf community agencies.
One other organization is called The Sodertorns Folkhogskola’s Interpreter Education Program in Stockholm Sweden. They also has a cooperative agreement with Ohlone. That agreement confirms both programs as sister programs. The Ohlone faculty went to Sweden to provide deaf culture teaching methods to the teachers. Ohlone’s Deaf Studies program usually has about 200 students. Sixteen deaf students from other countries are enrolled this semester learning the American Sign Language, including ones from Eygpt, Saudi Arabia and Thailand.
Ohlone’s Deaf Studies Division offers academic and personal resources for deaf students to ensure their success. There are counseling and financial aid services offered by the State Department of Rehabilitation.
There is also an outside resource students can go to called DCARA. The acronym stands for Deaf Counseling Advocacy Referral Agency. If there is a need for students in the Division that Ohlone couldn’t offer, like mental health counseling, they are referred to this organization.