ASL University

 American Sign Language: "Sample Deaf Mentorship Practicum Syllabus"

Program Name: XYZ College


[Course Number:   12345   ]   [Course Title:  Deaf Practicum]

Class time:  M/W:  10:45 -- 12:20     
Field hours: 10 hours per week     

Instructor:  Jane Smith, Ph.D.


Office hours:


Textbook:  Interpreting:  The Art of Cross Cultural Mediation:  Proceedings of the Ninth National Convention of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, 1985.  RID Publications.




The student will:

1.  After looking at environmental and language demands of each placement, list a variety of controls that could be used to address each demand.


2.  Compare and contrast sign communication styles and preferences of each mentor and categorize components of each style.


3.  Offer a Deaf-centric perspective on interpreting by documenting thoughts and feelings of their mentors about the interpreting field. 


At the beginning of each practicum the students will develop personal goals to work on during the course of the placement.  These goals must be measurable.  I will gladly help in writing them in a format that later both you and your mentor can use in evaluating your progress.


An example of a measurable goal: 

"Improve my receptive fingerspelling."

I will do so by:

1.  Noting how often I ask for repeats and making notes in my journal.

2.  Noting the factors that lead to success or deterioration of my skills and writing them in my journal. (internal and external factors: fatigue, content, speed, outside distraction, etc.)

3.  Viewing 2 fingerspelling video tapes during the semester with a short critique of the tape


       You should have at least three realistic goals but four to five is not uncommon.  If your goals can not be met in your current placement, revise them after the first week.  These also need to be checked by your mentor.  Once finalized, make three copies.  One for you to work with regularly; one for your mentor, and one for me for my files.


During the Semester the student will:

1.  Attend the assigned placement at the times agreed upon faithfully.

2.  If absent, notify the mentor and make alternate arrangements to make up the time missed.

3.  Come to the seminar section ready to participate and share experiences, read articles as assigned and be ready to discuss them.

4.  Keep a daily journal documenting:

* Days and hours spent at site  (see attached log)

* What, of interest, occurred daily; especially related to goals

* Issues, communication observations, information about interpreting or interpreters in general that you can benefit from, questions regarding personal goals and course goals, etc.

5.    Act in a professional manner, dress appropriately to the situation and be humble!

6.    Keep all client related information strictly confidential.  When discussing experiences during seminar, we will focus on ISSUES not assignment specific information.


At the end of each practicum placement, the student will write a paper describing the internship experience.  This paper will be 3-5 pages, typed and include:

* An evaluation of your progress.

* The effectiveness of the placement you were assigned in meeting your practicum goals

* A comparison of the results of your placements with your own expectation

* An evaluation of the program in terms if its effectiveness in preparing you for the field of interpreting and your understanding of the Deaf experience.



Your grade will be calculated as follows:

In each of your three placements -

* Journal documentation ... 25%

* Evaluation by mentors 25%

* Placement papers ....25%

* Seminar discussions/presentations ....25%


Three placement papers, and journal documentation for all three placements are required in order to receive the final grade.  Otherwise, you will receive an incomplete (I) for the course.  Once you complete all the work, your final grade will be computed with points deducted for late submission of your work in addition to one letter grade lowered for the final grade.


Regular attendance is expected for classes and on site placements throughout the 15 weeks.  You are also expected to be punctual.  Excessive absences (3) will result in a reduced grade for the course.  Three (3) tardies will equal one absence.



The semester is divided into three modules of approximately 5 weeks each. 

Module 1:  Jan. 26 to Feb. 27

Module 2:  March 2 to April 10

Module 3:  April 13 to May 15


Expect to log an average of 50 hours per module.  The second module is six weeks but includes Spring break.  Please note that the college's breaks may be different from that of the target school.  Plan accordingly.



In addition to the 10 hours per week out in the field, 3 1/2 hours per week are spent in seminar.  During this time, we discuss issues pertinent to your placements.  Your mentors, if available, are welcomed to come and participate in our discussions.  Please remind them of this.  Additionally, we have articles we will read, share, and discuss.  Be sure to come to class having read the assigned articles. 


In preparation for class discussions on experiences associated with each mentorship site, students will complete five worksheets for each placement (one on demand/control schema, one on organization, one on mentor, one on cross cultural and fit, and one for the mentorship meeting) and submit on the dates they are due.   


In addition, each student will be responsible for leading one class discussion.  For each class discussion, one of the readings will be pre-assigned (see the list below) and the second article will be selected and distributed by the student. 


Book Chapters to be discussed in class:


Class #/Date       Topic (discussion leader)

06.  2/11             On Language, Power, and the Deaf

08.  2/18             Close Intercultural Relationships

12.  3/4               Characteristics of Oppressed and Oppressor Peoples

14.  3/11             Warning!  Crossing Cultures Can be Hazardous

16.  3/18             Issues Involving Black Interpreters

18.  4/1               Cross-Cultural Cross-Racial Mediation

20.  4/8               Interpreting for Southern Black Deaf

22.  4/15             Interpreting:  The Culture of Artful Mediation

24.  4/22             The Interpreter as Cross-cultural Mediator

26.  4/29             The Secret of the Orchard


To receive an "A" for the class discussion, you will need to do the following: 
1)  Make sure the second article is relevant to the assigned topic and is of interest to your classmates;
2)  distribute the second article on time; and
3)  synthesize the information from both the chapter and article and provide a clear structure for a productive discussion on the topic.   



The staff and faculty of the college are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health.  You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health Center. For more information see online: _____



Use of cell phones, pagers, headphones, our such in the classroom is distracting and will not be tolerated.


Cheating and plagiarism will not be tolerated. See the college's policy on Academic Dishonesty posted at:


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