College of Education / Special education

Master’s in interpreting studies earns award for outstanding program

Western Oregon University’s Master of Arts in Interpreting Studies (MAIS) has won the 2013 University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) West Region Outstanding Credit Program Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and continuing education programs allowing students to earn academic credit. The award will be presented at the UPCEA West Region Conference in Tucson, Ariz. on Oct. 3.

“External recognition from an organization like UPCEA is a powerful tribute to the work we do here at WOU in the MAIS. We are deeply honored and humbled to have received such an award,” said Dr. Elisa Maroney, coordinator of the MAIS program and president of the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education.

The MAIS program provides interpreters and interpreter educators advanced scholarship that focuses on theoretical, practical, and teaching applications to advance the standards and leadership of the interpreting profession via research, rigorous study and practice. The goals of this program are to provide professional interpreters with the opportunity for growth and development beyond the undergraduate level and to participate in observation, practice, and supervision; to add to a growing body of research on interpreting and interpreter education, and to develop highly qualified interpreter educators and leaders in the field of interpreting.

Within the program, interpreting professionals will take courses primarily online to enhance their experience and knowledge. These professionals will be uniquely skilled in helping students understand interpreting as a practice profession, educate the next generation on self evaluation and continued growth, and will be committed to seeing quality research to advance the profession. Professionals exit this program with excellent leadership skills to take the field to the next level.

The field of interpreting and interpreter education is young and the literature is sparse. One of the most exciting results of the MAIS is the body of scholarship that has already been completed and published on the Digital Commons @ WOU. There are currently nine masters theses and two professional projects available for download. The 11 projects have been downloaded more than 1,600 times since the first one was published January 2013. This indicates a high degree of interest and need for scholarship in interpreting and interpreter education.

About the University Professional & Continuing Education Association
UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves more than 365 institutions, including most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. The association serves its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. Based in Washington, D.C., UPCEA builds greater awareness of the vital link between adult learners and public policy issues.

Dr. Elisa Maroney
Coordinator of the MAIS program and president of the Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education
503-838-8735 or

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