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RISE Students

The RISE Project aims to increase the number of qualified interpreters working in rural areas around Colorado by

  • providing training to non-credentialed ASL-English practitioners and
  • support efforts to become certified with a state recognized interpreting certification.

RISE Project Overview

  • July 2022 - November 2023
  • Mandatory in-person kick-off training
  • Eight, 8-week online courses
  • 2-week breaks between courses
  • Language & Interpreting Specialists
  • 40-hour apprenticeship
  • 40-hour work payback

Student Criteria

The RISE Project will recruit 12 non-credentialed ASL-English practitioners to become students.

Applications are open to practitioners who live in or are interested in working in rural communities in Colorado. Interested individuals must:

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Demonstrate ASL-English
communicative competence

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A working understanding
of the profession of interpreting

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Lack professional credentials

(or have credentials not currently recognized for community (i.e., EIPA))

The project is designed to support practitioners who are currently functioning as sign language communications facilitators but do not have the required credentials to work as sign language interpreters with deaf consumers in the community. However, if an individual has qualifying signing skills and commits to working toward future interpreting in rural areas of the state, then their application would be considered.

  • Student Commitment

    Additionally, individuals selected as RISE students must commit to:

    • Attending a face-to-face intensive training at the end of June 2022;
    • Completing the entire training and apprenticeship;
    • Completing a pre- and post- interpreting diagnostic assessment;
    • Completing a 40-hour apprenticeship immediately following the training;
    • Completing a 40-hour work payback post-certification;
    • Becoming available for Rural Axillary Services interpreting assignments upon receiving state-accepted certification, i.e., Registry of Interpreters (RID) National Interpreter Certification (NIC), Texas Board of Evaluation (BEI) Certification; and
    • Allowing progress reports to be shared with CCDHHDB.
  • Get Certified

    The goal of the RISE Project is to prepare uncertified interpreters to provide quality interpreting services in rural Colorado communities. With that, to interpret for deaf adult consumers, RID NIC or Texas BEI are the professional certifications recognized by the state of Colorado.

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    RISE students who complete all 8 courses in good standing and complete the required 40-hour apprenticeship will have their certification testing fees covered by the RISE Project.

    In order to take a certification exam, a RISE students must either:

    • hold a 4-year degree to sit for RID NIC test or
    • have 60 credit hours of post-secondary coursework to sit for the Texas BEI test. 

    If a RISE student is accepted into the program without a minimum of 60 credit hours of post-secondary education, the RISE Project Director will work with the student to put a plan in place to complete this requirement and meet the academic requirements to sit for the Texas BEI exam.


The RISE Project curriculum is a series of eight, eight-week courses and will run from July 2022 through November 2023. Each course is offered sequentially and builds on prior learning. Interpreting specialists will facilitate online learning while Deaf language specialists will provide distance mentoring in tandem with coursework. There will be 2-week breaks between courses. 

  • Course Topics

    Non-Manual Markers

    Semantic Awareness

    Spatial Mapping

    Message Coherence

    Discourse Mapping

    Structuring Space

    Discourse Analysis

    Demand Control Schema

    Ethical Decision Making

    Business Practices

    And MORE!

  • Course Design

    Each course is designed to meet the learning needs of working adults. Therefore, courses are structured independent studies. Students will complete their learning online and asynchronous, completing work on their own time. Course lessons must be completed within a specific time frame (usually 6 days). Each lesson includes engagement with the instructor and other students via discussion boards as well as the submission of a lesson assignment. Students will produce interpreting samples each week and will receive feedback from the course instructor. 

  • Distance Mentoring

    As additional support to skills development, Deaf language and interpreting specialists will be integrated into each course and provide distance mentoring. Individual and small group mentoring sessions will be scheduled and conducted via videoconferencing. The work focused on during the mentoring sessions will align with course content (i.e., fingerspelling, special referencing, prosody).

  • Time Commitment

    The time commitment required to complete each week’s lesson often depends on the RISE student’s foundational knowledge, skill, and comfort level with the content.

    6-8 hours per week
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    Average time commitment needed to complete the various activities associated with each lesson, based on feedback from Cohort I students. 

The RISE Project curriculum has been designed for the working adult, with participant progress and success a fundamental goal. The RISE Project coursework will provide both knowledge and skills content. When an individual has completed the RISE Project, a certificate of completion will be offered through the CCDHHDB and UNC ASLIS department. This curriculum is non credit-bearing, however, RID CEUs will be available. 


To provide students with foundational content needed to be successful in the RISE Project, a multi-day face-to-face training at the end of June 2022 will be held on the UNC Greeley campus. For the face-to-face training, accommodations and meals will be covered by the RISE Project. All RISE students and staff will be required to comply with UNC COVID Policies.

Mandatory In-Person Kick-Off Training
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End of June 2022

Online Coursework
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July 2022 - November 2023

Online coursework will follow directly after the face-to-face training. The RISE Project will utilize the learning management system Canvas for the online delivery of coursework. RISE students will have access to module content, discussion boards, and video conferencing capability.

  • Technology Requirements

    The RISE Project is delivered as an online training. RISE students must have access to a computer, a web camera, and high-speed internet service. Basic computer skills, including use of Microsoft Word, are necessary to participate in the RISE coursework.

  • Engagement

    RISE students will also be encouraged to participate in community-engaged learning and service activities with members of their local Deaf community. This will enhance ASL skill development and contribute to the engagement of each student’s respective Deaf community.


The Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind Rural Auxiliary Services (RAS) sponsors the RISE Project.

" " There is no monetary cost to RISE students.

However, all RISE students are required to complete a 40-hour apprenticeship immediately following the training, and a 40-hour work payback post-certification.

Apprenticeship & Work Payback Requirement

The RISE Project is designed to train practitioners to become certified community interpreters who will work with adult consumers in rural areas. In exchange for a no-cost training, RISE students must complete:

40-hour Apprenticeship

required immediately following the training (end of 2023)

40-hour RAS Work Payback

required post-certification

Completing these hours may be challenging for RISE students who work as full-time educational interpreters or hold full or part-time work outside of interpreting. 

Application Information

Become a RISE Student

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Applications are now closed.

Deadline: March 7, 2022

Show ASL-English Proficiency

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After the application has been received,
emailed instructions will be sent on how to complete the
required ASL-English demonstration of competency. 

Another Interpreter Training Option

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The UNC's Department of ASL and Interpreting Studies offers:

  • ASL 1-4 coursework
  • BA degree in interpreting

Contract Recognition

The contents of the RISE Project website are developed under a state contract and in partnership with the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the state of Colorado. 

Logo for RISE Project

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