Frequently Asked Questions about the GTC Program
What is the Graduation to Certification (GTC) program?
The goal of the Graduation to Certification program is to better serve the diverse communities of people who work with interpreters. GTC will launch your career by supporting you in becoming an RID-certified community interpreter. It aims to bridge the gap from school to work.
The program includes the following components:
- Taking pre-assessments in language, cultural awareness, and readiness.
- Creating an Individual Development Plan (IDP) to use while you are in GTC, with your mentor and language coach.
- Engaging in professional development (tied to the IDP) activities both individually and with other working interpreters.
- Participating in a community of practice with your GTC cohort.
- Creating a service learning program in collaboration with your local Deaf community or a Deaf organization.
- Attending a 7–10 day language and interpreting immersion experience in June in St. Paul, MN. Exact dates will be posted here soon.
- Interpreting in a supervised placement.
- Taking exit assessments in language, cultural awareness and readiness, as well as the RID Certification performance exam.
- Reworking your professional development plan for after you leave the program and continue to build your career.
All components of the program will require critical thinking and reflection and have support and input from mentors, language coaches, and/or supervisors.
Better serving diverse communities requires having interpreters who who are from those communities. The GTC Program acknowledges that “diversity is much more than optics.” It is about experiences and perspectives. Our commitment is that all of our participants will be exposed to diverse communities and experiences so that their range of skills and perspectives grow.
How many people will you accept?
In 2018, the first cohort of 14 participants will be accepted to attend to the GTC Program. Pilot groups are critical to try innovative ideas and approaches as well as assess effectiveness of the program. This cohort’s results will influence programmatic changes in the cohorts to follow. In the following years, we plan to accept 30 participants.
What will it cost?
There is no cost to register for the 2018 pilot program. You may have travel costs depending on where you live. You may also apply for financial assistance to assist with travel.
What if I don’t have a bachelor’s degree and am following an Alternative Pathway through RID?
We will consider this on a case-by-case basis. For more information on the option of an Alternative Pathway, visit RID’s website.
What is required to be eligible for the program?
To be considered for the Graduation to Certification program, you may be deaf or hearing. You need to have:
- graduated from an interpreter education program April 2017 or later; for Deaf interpreters, this includes the Road to Deaf Interpreting program,
- completed a bachelor’s degree on or before June 15, 2018.
- passed the NIC or CDI Knowledge Exam by January 15, 2018.
- a commitment to interpreting for adults in settings related to vocational rehabilitation upon completing the program.
- a commitment to becoming an RID certified interpreter.
Other Requirements for the Program
- attendance at an immersion experience at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN between June 4-12, 2018. (The grant will provide financial support for travel and lodging.)
- ability to devote an average of 10-15 hours of time between March and August for the program.
- ability to devote 20 hours per week for a supervised interpreting placement for 12 weeks starting in September. (The grant will be able to provide support for participation in this part of the program, although we are still working out the details on how this will happen.)
What technology is needed to participate?
You will need access to a high speed internet connection (at least 6 Mbps), a way to video record your interpreting work (a mobile phone, video camera, or computer-integrated webcam). You can use a PC, Mac, or a tablet. (Test your internet connection.)
The program will provide technical support in learning these technologies.
What’s different about the Graduation to Certification program approach?
We are developing the program activities and sequence following evidence-based practices and promising practices in experiential learning and interpreter education. We will be using some new approaches based on the research of how people effectively learn and how memory works. If you are interested into finding out more about the evidence-based program design, check out this page.
What do you mean by “diversify the field?”
The Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) desires to “ensure diversity and inclusion among cohort participants and ensure recruitment of students of color, trilingual students, deaf and deaf-blind students and children of deaf adults.”
In addition, the goal of the Graduation to Certification program is to better serve the diverse communities of people who work with interpreters. In part, that is addressed by having interpreters who are from those communities. However, as one of our advisors stated, “diversity is much more than optics.” It is about experiences and perspectives. Our commitment is that all of our participants will be exposed to diverse communities and experiences so that their range of skills and perspectives grow.
What other initiatives for interpreter education are being funded by the RSA?
- Project CLIMB (Certified Legal Interpreters from Minority Backgrounds), DO IT Center at University of Northern Colorado.
- Deaf Blind Interpreting Project, Western Oregon University
- Center for Atypical Language Interpreting, Northeastern University
- Behavioral Health Interpreting Project, CATIE Center at St. Catherine University