May 22, 2024  
2015-2016 Course Catalog 
2015-2016 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Interpretation & Translation - Generalist

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The Interpretation & Translation-Generalist certificate is designed to prepare functionally bilingual students for entry-level employment as general, nonspecialized interpreters or translators. Students must hold a college degree (AA, AS, AAS, Bachelor or higher) to enter the ITR Generalist certificate program. Upon completion, students should be able to provide basic interpreting and translation services between English and their other language(s) in nonspecialized contexts such as customer service, call center, intake, receptionist, general office, supervision of bilingual employees and human resources. The program is designed for functionally bilingual students who wish to add general interpreting and translation skills to their current set of job skills, or functionally bilingual workers who seek to qualify for differential pay based on their bilingual skills at their current jobs that require contact with Limited English Proficient customers, clients or employees. Graduates of the ITR Generalist certificate are also eligible to apply to one of the specialized Interpretation & Translation certificate programs: Business, Education, Healthcare, Human Services or Judiciary.

ITR Generalist certificate students complete basic courses in Interpretation & Translation, as well as ethics. Note: Students interested in interpretation and translation who do not already possess a college degree (AA, AS, AAS, Bachelor or higher) should consider the Interpretation & Translation Associate of Applied Science degree.

A program chairperson and a program counselor are available to assist students with education and career planning.

Employment opportunities for general interpreters and translators are currently found in all industries and businesses where nonspecialized interpretation and translation services are needed. There are also many volunteer opportunities.

Note: Interpretation & Translation employment in specialized areas, including legal, medical, social services, education fields and many businesses, requires specialized training and/or certification. Students interested in those fields should consider completing one of the specialized Interpretation & Translation certificates after completing the ITR Generalist certificate.

For more information about the Interpretation & Translation-Generalist certificate, please visit our website at

Location: Urban (NOTE : All Interpretation & Translation courses are online.)

Students start in the Fall semester of any year

Students should contact the ITR academic advisor for planning, as courses are only offered once per year.

Program Entry Requirements:

  1. Complete an application for admission.
  2. Satisfy the assessment requirement.
  3. Complete the ITR online program information orientation including the survey.
  4. Provide evidence of completion of a college degree (AA, AS, Bachelor or higher).
  5. Provide evidence of proficiency in English with one of the following:
    1. ACT score on the English subtest of 19 or above.
    2. A minimum COMPASS writing score of 70.
    3. Completion of ENG 105  with a grade of “C” or better.
    4. TOEFL score of 173 on the computer test or 500 on the paper test.
    5. Completion of two years of college study with a minimum GPA of 2.0 (or equivalent) at any institution where English is the medium of instruction.
    6. Other evidence demonstrating English proficiency may be approved by the program chairperson.
  6. Show proficiency in a second language with one of the following:
    1. Evidence of completion of high school in a country where the language is spoken.
    2. Two years of college study with a minimum GPA of 2.0 or equivalent at an institution in a country where the language is spoken.
    3. Completion of a college minor in the second language with a minimum grade of “C” for all courses taken in the second language.
    4. Proficiency may be demonstrated with other evidence, but must be approved by the program chairperson.
  7. Students will need computer skills to be successful in the program. If students do not have these skills, completion of BCA 212  or CSC 110  is strongly recommended, but the course will be an extra course and will not apply toward program requirements.


Required Courses

Total Credits Required for the Interpretation & Translation - Generalist Certificate - 18

These credits are applicable to the AAS degree in Interpretation & Translation  .

Fixed Costs

Tuition……………………………………………………………………………………..$143.00 per credit

The costs for each program are estimates and subject to change.

Varied Costs

Books/Supplies (approximate) 350
Technology Fee (for online courses)   25 per credit

Approximate total cost of this certificate: $3,374*

* Program entry requirements are not included in the total approximate cost.

What Kind of Work Will You Do?

  • Provide interpretation services in general, nonspecialized business or office settings.
  • Provide translation services in general, nonspecialized business or office settings.

What Skills and Abilities Will You Need?

  • Communicate effectively in English and your other language, both verbally and in writing.
  • Have a good command of general college-level concepts and be able to interpret and translate them accurately between English and your other language.
  • Understand the basic concepts of general, nonspecialized business or office settings and be able to interpret and translate them accurately between English and your other language.
  • Know the codes of professional conduct for general, nonspecialized interpreters/translators in order to act ethically in all professional settings.
  • Be able to accurately self-assess your ability to handle assignments and act accordingly.
  • Demonstrate strong reading skills in both languages.
  • Demonstrate strong writing skills in both languages.
  • Apply critical thinking skills to complex business interpretation and translation settings.
  • Be able to analyze and synthesize source texts.
  • Be able to work independently with a minimum of supervision.
  • Display self-discipline and emotional stamina under stress.
  • Possess interpersonal communication skills in both languages. Be able to maintain professional impartiality

What Else Should I Consider about this Specialist Certificate?

  • Advancement in the field may require further academic training and/or certification.
  • This program requires that you already be functionally bilingual in English and your other language(s); therefore, you may need to improve your English or your other language(s) before you can enter or continue in the program.
  • Average starting salary $33,072 (2010-2011 Placement Report).

Nondiscrimination Policy

Des Moines Area Community College shall not engage in or allow discrimination covered by law. This includes harassment based on race, color, national origin, creed, religion, sex (including pregnancy and marital status), sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability and genetic information. Veteran status in educational programs, activities, employment practices, or admission procedures is also included to the extent covered by law. Individuals who believe they have been discriminated against may file a complaint through the College Discrimination Complaint Procedure. Complaint forms may be obtained from the Campus Provost’s office, the Academic Deans’ office, the Judicial Officer, or the EEO/AA Officer, Human Resources. For information about the ADA, the Section 504/ADA Coordinator can be contacted at 515-964-6857. For Title IX questions and concerns contact 515-964-6850.

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