Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration Major Guide for 2012-2013

What is Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

An educational interpreter facilitates communication between deaf students and non-signing members of the school community, including teachers and hearing classmates. Mastering American Sign Language and manually coded forms of English, educational interpreters also possess knowledge of deafness which makes them a valuable resource to other school personnel. In addition, with course work in deafness, education and general special education, graduates of this concentration provide valuable services to deaf clients in a variety of settings.

Career Opportunities in Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

Sign language interpreting is a rapidly expanding field. Schools, government agencies, and private businesses employ interpreters. Interpreters work in a variety of settings including medical, legal, religious, mental health, rehabilitation, performing arts, and business. Part-time, full-time, freelance, and salaried positions are available in most metropolitan areas across the country as well as in most school systems.

Salary Trends in Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

Salaries vary according to level of formal training, certification and number of years of experience. Salaries also vary among state school systems and interpreting agencies. For further information, visit the Web site of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf at www.rid.org.

High School Preparation

Students must complete the basic college track programs to be admitted to the university. High school guidance counselors are familiar with UT’s admissions requirements. High school is a critical period for vocational exploration and preparation. Students considering educational interpreting as a career should seek out opportunities that would expose them to the deaf and hard of hearing community and to the professionals who serve this population.

How to Major in Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

Following acceptance to the university students should contact the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Office of Student Services at (865) 974-8194. Students indicating an interest in Educational Interpreting will be assigned to and work directly with a faculty member in the educational interpreting program.

Requirements for Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

Progression to the Educational Interpreting Concentration requires a 2.7 cumulative GPA after a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work and completion of Educational Interpreting 223 and 226 with a grade of “B” or better in both courses. A Board of Admissions will meet once each fall and spring semester to review applications and conduct interviews with each applicant. Students admitted to the program must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 while in the program. Students with less than a 2.7 GPA for two consecutive semesters will be dropped from the program. Students who fail to meet the standards for professional conduct during the course of their field work will not be retained in the major.

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

During the senior year, students complete a 285 clock hour field experience. Students work twenty hours a week with a mentoring professional interpreter in a K–12 setting or at Disability Services on campus. Students shadow a mentor interpreter, complete observations, and are involved in regular feedback sessions. During the semester, students move towards interpreting a full work day schedule.

Highlights of Special Education: Educational Interpreting concentration

The educational interpreting program has strong field-based components imbedded in the curriculum. These allow students the opportunity to explore a variety of experiences in the deaf community throughout the program. Students have access to events held at Tennessee School for the Deaf and the Knoxville Center of the Deaf, both located within five miles of the UT campus. Interpreting students are encouraged to take an active role in the Student Organization for Deaf Awareness (SODA) while in the program. Students have the opportunity to take part in annual events with the deaf community that includes:

  • Dollywood Deaf Awareness Days
  • The Dogwood Arts Festival – Very Special Arts Festival
  • InterAct Children’s Theatre for the Deaf
  • Tennessee Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (TRID) Conference

Involvement in these programs provides students with valuable practical experience in the field of interpreting.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Students majoring in Educational Interpreting learn not only the language but the culture of the Deaf Community. The Deaf culture has been researched and found to be a collectivist culture like many world cultures. Students learn cultural etiquette and standards making them more flexible and aware of cultures other than their own.

Additionally, please note that The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors.

Consult an academic advisor early in your academic career about the best time for you to study abroad as well as what courses you may need to take. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.  Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.


Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
English 101*, 102* 6
Arts and Humanities Elective* 3
Social Sciences Elective* 3
Natural Sciences Electives* 7-8
Physical Education Activity or Recreation
Therapy Elective
Elective 3
Quantitative Reasoning Electives* 6
Milestone courses: English 101, Quatitative Reasoning (3 hrs)
Sophomore Year Credit Hours
Communication Studies 210* or 240* 3
Communicating through Writing (WC) Elective* 3
Elective 3
History 241*, 242* 6
Arts and Humanities Elective* 3
Social Sciences Elective* 3
American Sign Language 111 and 112 6
Milestone courses: English 102, Quantitative Reasoning (3 hrs), Educational Interpreting 223 -226
Junior Year Credit Hours
Theory and Practice in Teacher Education 486 3
Philosophy 244* 3
Educational Psychology 210 3
Psychology 300 3
Educational Psychology 401 3
American Sign Language 211 and 212 6
Educational Interpreting 335 3
Educational Interpreting 340 3
Educational Interpreting 350 3
Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3
Senior Year Credit Hours
Cultures and Civilizations Elective* 3
Education of the Deaf/Hard of
Hearing 415, 416, 425
Educational Interpreting 345 4
Special Education 402 3
American Sign Language 435 3
Educational Interpreting 440 6
 Educational Interpreting 355  3

*Meets University General Education Requirements.


For More Information

College of Education, Health and
Human Sciences
Educational Interpreting
A226 Claxton Complex
Knoxville, TN 37996-3442
(865) 974-2321


The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.