St. Catherine University awarded two Department of Education grants for CATIE Center

Campus gates of St. Catherine University

St. Catherine University announced today that the Collaborative for the Advancement of Teaching Excellence (CATIE) Center was awarded two grants from the Department of Education. Each grant will provide $2.1 million over 5 years to prepare a diverse workforce of interpreters who can serve Deaf and Hard of Hearing,and DeafBlind individuals in employment settings and increase the number of working interpreters who are trained and qualified to interpret in healthcare settings.

It is always a good feeling to have good work confirmed and endorsed,” said ReBecca Koenig Roloff ‘76, president of St. Catherine University. “These grants help further our mission of educating women to lead and influence, growing a much-needed sector to help advocate and improve access for those who face barriers. They will change the world for the better.”

Ways to Work: Enhancing Proficiencies for Novice Interpreters aims to increase the competence of Novice Interpreters in order to grow a diverse workforce of interpreters who can serve Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind individuals in employment settings. To do this, the CATIE Center will design, pilot, evaluate, and refine curriculum and materials for a three-phase cohort model (20 participants per AY) to prepare Novice Interpreters to attain the required credentials needed in the locations in which they work. 

The project planners will design, offer, and evaluate two self-directed tracks offering the educational material used in the cohort tracks, including structure, modules, and resources, for use by interpreters across the United States. Program leads will produce and disseminate an evidence-based model program packaged for replication by Novice Interpreters in an IEP or as a self-directed learning commitment; and disseminate evidence-based, effective, and promising practices, as well as Ways to Work products and lessons learned, to prepare novice interpreters to achieve the credentials required by their locations in order to serve the community.

Project Level Up: Advancing Healthcare Interpreter Competencies aims to increase the number of working interpreters who are trained and qualified to interpret in healthcare settings, reducing the gaps in equity in healthcare communication for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind, individuals. Project Level Up will offer a cohort track and self-directed track. Both tracks include foci on interpreting via VRI in healthcare settings, cultural competency, and working with individuals that are “hard to serve” as defined by RSA. Over the 5-year project, 175 interpreters will complete the Cohort Track, and it is anticipated that over 3000 working interpreters will participate in the self-directed track. A community of practice will be available to all participants to foster ongoing discussion, reflection, and learning. With these two tracks, the quality and quantity of interpreters qualified to interpret for individuals who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and DeafBlind, and individuals in healthcare settings will be increased. 

St. Catherine University has a documented history of providing innovative and quality education for interpreters. It was the first institution to establish a medical interpreter program in 1983, and has continued to be a leader in healthcare interpreting education. St. Kate’s is also one of 16 baccalaureate degree interpreter education programs in the nation accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE). 

The CATIE Center is committed to promoting excellence in interpreting education. Our work involves Deaf and hearing faculty, staff, students, stakeholders and innovative partners both locally and nationally. St. Catherine University has been awarded grant funds from the U.S. Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration to advance interpreter education since 1999. 

$2,100,000 of Federal funds will be allocated over 5 years for each program. None of the total costs of the project or program will be financed by non-governmental sources.