Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies


American Sign Language (ASL)-English interpreting education, which began as a community apprenticeship and vetting process, has within the last several decades moved into higher education. Most recently, the number of baccalaureate-granting ASL-English interpreting programs have continued to increase while the number of associate's degree programs has remained steady. This shift to higher education and to four-year colleges in particular has received little empirical analysis. The overarching objective of this study, which was framed by a conceptual model of the relationship between employment context, faculty member characteristics, perceptions and productivity, is to better understand how ASL-English interpreting education programs and their faculty fit within the academy. The first purpose was to describe the institutional context and professional and personal characteristics of faculty members within baccalaureate-granting ASL-English interpreting education programs in the United States. A second purpose was to describe the faculty members' and department chairs' perspectives regarding criteria and requirements for tenure and the extent to which their perceptions were aligned. The final objective was to determine if employment qualifications and context predict perceptions and productivity. Data were collected from program websites, department chairs, and faculty members of baccalaureate granting ASL-English interpreting programs in the United States. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used to analyze the data.

Analysis of the data indicated that relationships exist between components of the conceptual model. Employment context and faculty members' characteristics included variables that were significant predictors of perceptions and productivity. Implications for policy and practice include expanding degree opportunities for current and potential faculty members, increasing tenure-track appointments, increasing scholarly productivity in traditional outlets, and increasing the diversity of faculty members.