New Fast-Track Spanish Interpreter Certificate for Professionals
This summer, Beaufort County Community College will offer a new accelerated program for professional Spanish interpreters. As the diversity of the United States increases and globalization continues, so will the demand for Spanish language interpreters. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 17.7% employment growth for interpreters and translators over the next ten years. The new fast-track program will let professionals quickly add a new skill without interrupting their career.
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 Washington, N.C. campus. 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 2019 semester and can expect to finish in May 2020. The cohort is limited to only 20 students.
“Having someone on staff who can interpret for a customer—say in a pharmacy—can be the difference between a person getting the medication they need or having a negative drug reaction,” said Lisa Hill, dean of arts and sciences at BCCC. “The situation doesn’t have to be that dramatic, though. We buy things from people we trust. Even if a customer can speak English, a Spanish interpreter can build a deeper trust with that customer when dealing with complex issues as cell phone contracts, law or car sales.”
According to the Experian Simmons Summer 2011 National Hispanic Consumer Study, about 56 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics agree that, “When I hear a company advertise in Spanish, it makes me feel like they respect my heritage and want my business.” Similarly, 54 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics feel “much more loyal to companies that show appreciation of our culture by advertising in Spanish.”
“It’s about meeting someone halfway,” said Hill. “Language is how we connect with each other. How strong of a connection can we build off of just a few words?”
This Community Spanish Interpreter program is ideal for professionals who work with the public including tax preparers, first responders, emergency communications personnel, healthcare providers, social workers and lawyers. 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.