Sign Language Studies-Interpreter - Southwestern Illinois College

  • Hourly wages: $15 to $75
  • Length of Program:
  • Two-semester certificate or two-year degree
  • Program Location: Belleville Campus
  • Program Start Time: Fall and Spring semesters
  • Learn practical language communication skills
  • Prepare for certification
  • Job opportunities in a wide variety of fields

Program Location

The Sign Language Studies degree program consists of general education courses, SLS pre-fix courses, and field experiences. The certificate program consists of SLS pre-fix courses and field experiences. Specific course locations depend on the course type.

General Education Courses

General education courses required for the degree program can be taken at the Belleville, Sam Wolf Granite City, or Red Bud campuses.

Sign Language Studies Courses

SLS courses required for the degree and certificate programs are only offered at the Belleville Campus.

Field Experiences

Field experience courses are completed off-campus at various deaf/hard-of-hearing community events. Students will be required to travel outside of the college district for field experience courses, SLS 101, SLS 102, SLS 203, SLS 206, and SLS 230 and may be required to have background checks and/or drug testing prior.

Program Cost

Sign Language Studies certificate program

For details, see the Sign Language Studies Certificate cost sheet.

Sign Language Studies degree program

For details, see the Sign Language Studies Degree cost sheet.

Financial assistance is available!

SWIC Financial Aid office

Financial aid is available subject to financial need and satisfactory academic progress requirements set by the college.

There is a Student Work program for which financial aid eligibility is not required.

SWIC Foundation office

The SWIC Foundation office offers more than 200 scholarships based on residency, enrollment and GPA criteria.

Time Commitment

Participation and Practice

Time, dedication, study, immersion in the deaf/hard-of-hearing community and constant practice is required to develop proficiency in signing and interpreting. The level of skill students attain is directly related to their participation and practice.

Study Time

For each hour of class time spent in lecture, students should plan to spend two hours outside of class for study time, homework, and completing assignments. For each hour of class time spent learning skills, students should spend an equal amount of time outside of class practicing those skills.


Students should check the location and schedule of classes to ensure their own availability and access. Students are responsible for their own transportation and attendance at any of the classes and field experience/practicum assigned by the program.

Work Requirements

The National Association for the Deaf (NAD) and the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) jointly offer certification for general sign interpreters. These examinations are offered throughout the year at various sites in the state and country. The SLS curriculum prepares graduates for this written and performance-based examination.

Transfer Opportunities

SWIC has an articulation agreement with MacMurray College, which allows students to enter the bachelor’s program in Interpreter Preparation with junior status. It is recommended that students who are planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree contact MacMurray College to confirm readiness and review the transfer guide requirements.

Get Started

For more information, please fill out the contact form.