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NECC Yellow Alert – Saturday, October 21, 2017. Heavy police presence on Elliott street near Haverhill campus, searching for a missing person. There is no cause for alarm at the college. 

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Deaf Studies: Interpreting Transfer


Program Overview

There’s a high demand for interpreters for people who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind in just about all areas of life. Interpreters are required in doctor’s offices, schools, places of employment, courts, and in numerous other settings. If you love learning languages and studying different cultures, have strong people skills, have an ability to empathize with people in all kinds of settings, you have the qualities essential for a successful career in interpreting.

After passing state-level exams, interpreters typically work for another year or two prio

r to applying to take the national credentialing examination administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. National Interpreter Certification (NIC) is the highest level credential available to interpreters. Holders of this credential are qualified to work in a variety of settings anywhere in the country. Interpreters who wish to specialize in legal interpreting are qualified to do so after NIC certification and additional specialized training.

The NECC Associate in Arts Degree in Deaf Studies: Interpreting Transfer is design

ed to provide you with a broad educational experience and a foundation in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture. You will be exposed to the requirements of the ASL/English profession as a precursor to transferring to a bachelor degree program in interpreting.

Prospective students who have acquired American Sign Language outside of NECC must have an ASL assessment by May 1 of the current year. To schedule an ASL assessment, please email

New students are enrolled in the fall semester only.

Career Opportunities

NECC provides an excellent starting point if you are interested in a career in ASL/English interpreting. The Interpreting Transfer Option allows you to transfer to a four-year institution offering a bachelor’s degree in interpreting. This degree will qualify you to take the state-level Massachusetts Interpreter Screening through the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. MCDHH-screened interpreters are eligible for entry-level interpreting work. Ultimately, graduates will seek national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.

Career Paths and Job Market.

Additional Opportunities

As a student in this program, you will be placed in a community internship in your first semester for hands-on experience in the language and culture of Deaf/Hard of Hearing people. This internship experience qualifies many students for entry-level work in human services or educational settings with Deaf people. There is an also an American Sign Language (ASL) club on campus that meets monthly.

Getting Started

Ready to get started? It’s easy! Northern Essex has an open admissions policy, which means that if you have a high school diploma or GED/HiSet or other state-approved equivalency credential, you are eligible to enroll at NECC. Just fill out an application, attend an orientation/ info/assessment session, and then register for classes.

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Print the Deaf Studies: Interpreting Transfer Program Sheet (PDF)

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