This summer, Beaufort County Community College is offering its accelerated program for professional Spanish interpreters again. In a year when the U.S. Census is occurring alongside a massive public health crisis, the need to effectively communicate with all of our residents has never been clearer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17.7% employment growth for interpreters and translators over the next ten years. The fast-track program will let professionals quickly add a new skill without interrupting their career.
This accelerated program works with current students like Berenice Garcia Reyes or professionals to help hone their Spanish skills into a professional interpreter certificate.
The fast-track Community Spanish Interpreter Certificate is designed with the working professional in mind. BCCC's accelerated interpreter courses are offered with no more than two required visits to its main campus. All classes are exclusively online during summer 2020. Students will take two classes per semester in order to graduate from the program in one year. The first cohort will begin classes in the Summer 2020 semester and can expect to finish in May 2021. The cohort is limited to only 20 students.
"We have students who learned English as their first language but have picked up some Spanish along the way, and we have students who are bilingual but have learned the language exclusively through family and not in a classroom setting,"
said Ashleigh Howard, Lead Professor for Social & Behavioral Sciences.
The ability to communicate across barriers can help in fields such as law enforcement, emergency services, healthcare, social services and tax preparation. It also helps with businesses looking to expand into new markets or collaborate better with other businesses.
According to the U.S. Census, 13.3 percent of households speak Spanish at home. Having someone on staff who can communicate effectively can help build trust. This could mean calming a parent or a grandparent about a medical procedure for a child, or getting someone to commit to a larger purchase such as vehicles or real estate.
"Many of our students grew up with their parents or grandparents speaking Spanish in the home, but they are hesitant to use it in a professional setting,"
said Ashleigh Howard, Lead Professor for Social Sciences. "They may have incorporated their own slang in either English or Spanish from their peers. Some of them may be able to speak, but not read the language. This program will help them create a solid framework for interpretation."
"When we were growing up, we weren't talking about current events or politics with our parents. We learned those things through the news. These classes helped us reassure some of the vocabulary around these subjects,"
said Berenice Garcia Reyes, who will earn her Certificate in Community Spanish Interpreter in May.
Having a Spanish interpreter on hand can also be an asset to businesses in the automotive, cellular service and grocery sectors. The entire program, from start to finish, will cost students $1,458 in tuition and fees, but students may qualify for scholarships or financial assistance.
Students should contact Ashleigh Howard at email@example.com
or Lisa Hill at 252-940-6223 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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