The intent of this research is to utilize the self-efficacy construct in the profession of signed language interpretation specific to those in the K-12 environment and identify factors potentially influencing self-efficacy. Perceived self-efficacy influences the cognitive, motivational, affective, and selection processes in the behaviors of people (Bandura, 1977). Self-efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in their capabilities “to organize and execute the course of action required to manage prospective situations” (Bandura, 1997, p. 2). Research demonstrates that teachers with high self-efficacy influence successful student outcomes and persistent in teaching (Henson, Kogan, & Vacha-Hasse, 2001). In a survey of educational interpreters, participants described conflicting responses between the self-efficacy Likert scale ratings and open-ended comments. The data revealed interpreters are highly influenced by multiple aspects of the environment. Some patterns emerged that may be substantiated by future research. This survey resulted in unexpected findings. Self-efficacy demonstration and belief may reveal itself as the ability to enact professional agency in the interpreter role defined by the environmental expectations, understanding and application of interpreter role. Additional findings revealed 97% of the respondents indicated the need for more training, 50% indicated the need for being included in collaboration as a valued member of the educational team and factors included a felt need for national standardization of educational interpreters. 47% of the respondents identified the need for clearer consistent guidelines and parameters within this specialization. This represents initial understandings of self-efficacy and its potential influence on the beliefs and behaviors of those who work in the educational system.

Exit Requirement


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies


Deaf Studies/Professional Studies

Committee Chair

Amanda Smith

Committee Member

Sarah Hewlett

Committee Member

Linda Ross


Educational Interpreter, Self-Efficacy, Role, Responsibilities, Sign Language, Classroom, Environment



Subject Categories

Education | Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures