In an effort to increase the number of interpreters to work in courtrooms across the state, Northeast Community College is partnering with the Nebraska Supreme Court to offer training to certify individuals to help alleviate the shortage.
“This is a very promising step,” said Justice John Freudenberg, chair of the Supreme Court’s Language Access Committee.
Court interpreters are individuals who possess an educated, native-like mastery of both English and a second language, display a wide general knowledge, and perform the three major types of court interpreting: sight translation, consecutive interpreting and simultaneous interpreting.
Jennifer A. Verhein, statewide language access coordinator in the Administrative Office of the Courts and Probation, is pleased to be working with Northeast to train more interpreters.
“The Nebraska Supreme Court, in its ongoing effort to cultivate qualified local court interpreters, is delighted to embark on this exciting collaboration with Northeast Community College to recruit, train, and test aspiring interpreters,” Verhein said. “This first of its kind collaboration between the court’s Language Access Program and Northeast’s Adult Education Division melds the professional skills of our state’s most talented court interpreters with the impressive array of teaching and academic support resources available to adult learners at the college.”
Currently, many courts in both urban and rural areas must wait for interpreters to arrive from out-of-state or use a language line to provide interpretation of proceedings. Julie Clark, adult education coordinator at Northeast, said the training is one way of stimulating the local economy with a vocational prospect that was not as readily available in the college’s 20-county service area.
Clark said Northeast’s Adult Education Department is offering interpreter test preparation courses to interested students at no cost.
“I believe it’s important to offer these preparation courses to our community as they work to achieve a new goal. The students will have the full weight of our talented staff working in conjunction with experienced, certified interpreters to prepare them for this valuable and lucrative opportunity,” Clark said.
Northeast’s Adult Education program will host an informational session for those interested in becoming certified court interpreters on Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Lifelong Learning Center on the Northeast campus in Norfolk.
In addition, there will be an informational session held in conjunction with the Norfolk meeting at Northeast’s Extended Campus in South Sioux City in Room 131. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.
The first step toward Nebraska Court Interpreter certification is completion of the Nebraska Judicial Branch’s Interpreter Orientation, an intensive two-day workshop that is offered each fall and spring. The next orientation is scheduled on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28-29, at Northeast in Norfolk. There is a $150 fee to participate in the orientation.
For more information, contact Clark at (402) 844-7254 or at email@example.com