Stepping Stones for Novice Interpreters
  • Are you interested in connecting interpreting and the outdoors?
  • Are you looking for a way to spend time in nature and build your linguistic, cultural, and interpreting knowledge and skills?
  • Are you ready for a challenge that can take you off the beaten path?
  • Do you just want to build your interpreting skills in topics related to science and the outdoors?

Check out this free online course on interpreting in conservation corps settings.  It is an offering in Stepping Stones for Novice Interpreters, a self-directed track from the CATIE Center’s Dive In project.

Interpreting Beyond Walls:  Outdoors in a Conservation Corps

A banner with 7 different images showing corps members and activities


This course was designed to introduce novice interpreters to the potential of working within a Conservation Corps setting to provide access for Deaf, DeafBlind and hard of hearing participants and to gain valuable interpreting, language, and cultural experience with people from diverse backgrounds.

The modules that make up the course include:

  • Welcome & orientation
  • Module 1: An Introduction to the corps experience
  • Module 2: Corps experience and interpreter professional development
  • Module 3: What corps do and how they talk about it
  • Module 4: Roles and responsibilities of interpreters in corps settings
  • Module 5: Outdoors interpreting as a profession
  • Module 6: Wrap-up & additional resources

We recommend you track your progress while engaged in this course and find ways to stay accountable.  Working with a peer colleague or a mentor as you go through the activities is recommended.

The course is designed to be completed over 6 weeks, at your own pace and takes at least 12 hours to complete. Each module will have a specific focus and include opportunities for application and reflection.

Learning Objectives

Participants completing this course will:

  • Describe what a conservation corps program experience is
  • Identify three programs that include ASL as part of the corps experience
  • List at least 5 ways that a corps experience can benefit a novice interpreter’s professional development
  • Describe common activities in a conservation corps setting
  • Explain tools and safety practices related to corps activities
  • Identify challenges that Crew Leader/Interpreters face in the field
  • Describe the way interpreters manage a dual-role in a conservation corps setting
  • Describe the importance of interpreting for deaf/DeafBlind people considering careers in the outdoors
  • Identify the challenges for business practices for outdoor interpreting

A Note on CEUs

Because our grant is focused on novice interpreters working toward certification, CEUs are not offered. Interpreters interested in CEUs can initiate a PINRA with an RID approved sponsor.

For a PINRA application, you need the following information:

  • CEUs to request:  1.2 CEUs in Professional Studies
  • Workshop Flyer, Description and Agenda: Available as Google Doc. You can download this page to include with your PINRA application.
  • Documentation of Learning:  This course will take at least 12 hours to complete and you will receive a certificate of completion at the end that you can share with your sponsor.  Additionally, if your sponsor requires reflections on what you have learned, you can copy your reflections from the course to share with them.
  •  Dates of Activity:  You can choose to start the activity any time before January 31, 2024.  When you complete it is up to you, but there will not be any facilitation after January 31, 2024.

Registration is open until January 31, 2024.  

The registration form will provide you a link to enroll in a free Canvas course.  It will also ask for optional demographic information which will be helpful for the CATIE Center in evaluating the effectiveness of these resources for supporting the diversity of novice interpreters who are entering the interpreting field.

About Stepping Stones for Novice Interpreters

This course is part of a series developed by the Dive In project of the CATIE Center at St. Catherine University. Each module will have a facilitator from the CATIE Center who monitors a Support Forum.  The activities are designed so that you can do them asynchronously. Though possible to do independently, we encourage you to either join as a group and work through the material together – or use the introduction forum to seek out others in the course who might work with you in the discussions. Collaborative learning can be a really important tool in professional development.