Testing of English/ASL interpreters returns to the Sign Language Studies department at Madonna University in 2023 with the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) exams overseen by CASLI (the Center for Assessment of Sign Language Interpretation). The SLS department has previously served as a test site for the Michigan QA (Quality Assurance), the Michigan BEI (Board for the Evaluation of Interpreters), the ASLPI (American Sign Language Proficiency Interview), the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment), and prior versions of the NIC exam.
The NIC exam has recently undergone revision. The NIC has historically been administered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Growing complexity in the creation and administration of the test prompted RID to establish a separate-but-related entity for the purpose. CASLI has overseen the development of the new NIC tests, and administers the exams on behalf of RID.
The exams include two components: a knowledge exam and a performance exam. Interpreters take each portion of the exam separately. Knowledge exams may be scheduled at a local vendor with a relationship with CASLI. Performance exams are taken at test sites located throughout the country. Madonna University will serve as one of the sites for the performance exam.
A dedicated testing room was designed during the reconstruction of the office and learning spaces of the Sign Language Studies department in 2013. The technology and design of the room is optimized for testing purposes. SLS department professor and chair, Danny McDougall, PhD, CSC will serve as the proctor of the site. McDougall anticipates offering appointments for testing on weekends and week days, with a schedule to be developed after the site at Madonna University has been approved by CASLI (anticipated in the first quarter of 2023).
To initiate the testing process, interpreters first contact CASLI directly. Once an exam is purchased from CASLI, the interpreter can schedule an appointment at a test site. Interpreters must successfully pass the knowledge exam prior to taking the performance exam.