A lack of qualified interpreters in mainstream classrooms is a challenge facing many school districts. To address this, the Training Interpreters in Public Schools (TIPS) program supports interpreters working to meet state-determined Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) certification requirements. The program is an outgrowth of Training and Assessment Systems for K-12 Interpreters (TASK12). TIPS has used a data-driven approach to developing online modules that increase interpreters’ knowledge and skills leading to more effective educational access for students in mainstream classroom. This paper explains the process of development of the TIPS program and how it is delivered both using both a face-to-face orientation session and online modules. Additionally, there is discussion of results for participants and the potential implications for interpreter education.
The practice of including deaf and hard of hearing students in a wide variety of educational environments requiring the presence of interpreters presents a significant challenge for the field of interpreter education. As standards are established regarding minimum competencies for interpreters working in these settings, the demand for qualified interpreters far surpasses the supply. In the face of this challenge, the Training and Assessment Services K-12 (TASK 12) Project is working to both evaluate interpreters working in K-12 settings as well as provide research-based training to support them in meeting standards and delivering a higher level of service to students. The Training Interpreters in Public Schools (TIPS) program is one effort to accomplish this goal. This paper focuses on the development of the TIPS program, its methodology and approaches, an evaluation of its success to date, and a discussion of the implications for both interpreter and deaf education.