New Sign Language Program at Troy University

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Finding or keeping a job nowadays seems to be a feat in itself. However, a new program that has made its way to a Wiregrass school may be the new gateway to job security.

Troy University is known for many of its outstanding academic programs; and, beginning in the fall of 2008, it will have another to add to the list.

College of Education Dean Dr. Lance Tatum said, "It's designed to develop students who can then sit for the National Interpreting Licensing Exam and then become licensed interpreters for the state of Alabama."

It’s called the International Training Program, or ITP.
The new program will require students to complete 120 credit hours in order to earn a bachelor's of science degree.

ITP is the only sign language course offered in the state of Alabama.

"I think it's an emerging professional field because there is a low number of permitted and licensed interpreters in the state because the need is so high in the state," Tatum added.

The university has already seen applications from all around the world wanting to take the course and it hasn't even started.

Cliff Lusk, with Troy University said, "We've generated inquires in our office from all over the United States, Canada, England, some in Northern Europe, even as far away as the continent of Africa."

Officials with the university say the program is not only a positive thing for the campus, but it also offers employment opportunities in a time when they're hard to come by.

"Interpreters are needed for all types of public service opportunities as well as other activities schools, hospitals, the court system," Tatum said, which is something gratifying to both students and employers.

Officials say they continue to get floods of applicants for the program.

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