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GRCC ASL students gain flexibility with LCC transfer agreement

Aug. 29, 2023 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Students who aspire to become American Sign Language interpreters can complete their first year at Grand Rapids Community College before finishing their training at Lansing Community College.

Under an agreement recently signed by the two colleges, students will take GRCC’s American Sign Language classes, which are currently offered as electives, and then transfer to LCC’s specialized Interpreter Training Program, where they can earn an associate degree or certificate. 

“We are thrilled about the new transfer agreement between GRCC and LCC,” said Justine Bryant, affiliate assistant professor of sign language at GRCC. “This opportunity allows students living on the west side of the state some flexibility when it comes to earning their degree, and we’re hoping to further grow and diversify the field of interpreting through this partnership.”

Dawn Cousino, LCC’s director of Communication, Media & Arts programs, said she’s excited about the collaboration.

“LCC’s program offers students program-specific advising, an opportunity to earn 240-plus practicum hours, participate in a mentorship program and the Sign Language Club,” she said. “Upon completion, students will be well-prepared to take the state certification exams.”

Demand for sign language interpreters is high in Michigan, which has especially stringent requirements for certification. According to the state Department of Civil Rights, about 7.4% of Michiganders identify as deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing. About 8% of West Michigan residents identify as members of that community.

Nationwide, the demand for ASL interpreters is expected to grow 19% annually through 2028.

You can learn more about GRCC’s ASL program online.

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