Community Spanish Interpreter Program

Durham Tech responded to the evolution in the community interpreting profession with the introduction of Public Service and Medical Interpreting programs available in Fall Semester 2017. They replace the Community Spanish Facilitator and Medical Spanish Facilitator certificate programs and better serve our student population and address community needs.

Public Service Certificate and Diploma

Public Service programs train interpreters to work in educational, outreach, social justice, refugee resettlement, and faith-based settings as well as legal interactions that take place outside of the courtroom, such as interpreting during a school suspension hearing or during an appeals process if a client’s application for services has been denied.

NOTE: Basic medical terminology is included in Public Service programs. For example, upon completion of a Public Service certificate or diploma, students should be able to interpret for patients who are completing simple in-take forms. In order to interpret for complex medical situations such as those that are related to cardiology or oncology, a student must complete a Public Service program prior to entering a Medical Interpreting program.


Medical Interpreting Certificate and Diploma

Medical Interpreting programs assume that students have already acquired the above knowledge, know how to interpret well, and are familiar with the various codes of ethics for interpreters. Students are presented with medical terminology, examine Latin and Greek roots, review body systems and explore cultural and ethical issues that are unique to the medical interpreting encounter. The certificate or diploma is designed to prepare graduates to work in clinics and hospitals. Graduates have also found employment as bilingual benefits evaluation specialists or may find themselves interpreting for Workers’ Compensation investigations.

NOTE: In a Community Spanish Interpreter program’s hybrid courses, students may be required to meet in person with their classmates outside of class to practice interpreting and develop their note-taking, memory, language, and interpersonal skills.

Upon completion of a Medical Interpreting program, interpreters may be eligible to apply to take the National Certification Exam for Medical Interpreters with the National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters (NBCMI) or the Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI).

Service Learning

Each program requires service learning involving 10 hours or more of interpreting services for non-profit organization(s). It is performed outside of class time and students cannot be compensated for their interpreting services.