Date of Award

Spring 6-7-2017

Exit Requirement

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies

Department

Teacher Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Elisa M. Maroney

Committee Member

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Vicki Darden

Abstract

This investigation of current and former interpreting students was conducted to explore students’ experiences of the interpreter education program. Discourse analysis of surveys revealed four areas of improvement: practicum/internship, mentorship, curriculum, and peer/community support. The study was based on Dean and Pollard’s demand control schema (2013), social-constructivist education (Kiraly, 2000), and phenomenology (Smith, 2013).

A survey was created and disseminated via email and social media. A total of 102 participants responded to the survey. The participants were diverse, and the survey was designed with yes/no, multiple choice, and open-ended questions with no word or character limit.

The project was limited to students and graduates of interpreter education/training programs. The results demonstrated that the respondents were dissatisfied with their curriculum, the number of practicum/internship hours, the lack of mentorship, and they expressed a desire for additional peer and community support.

This study showed that while participants completed 100 to 200 hours of internship/practicum hours they would have preferred up to 400. Ninety-five percent of participants did not have access to post-graduation mentorship, and 90% reported that they could have benefited from it.

Determining best practices, entrance and exit requirements, along with in-program mentorship are all areas for additional research.

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