The Professional Certificate in Spanish Community Interpreting prepares participants for successful careers in the high-demand job market for trained community interpreters.

Community Interpreting as a Profession

My name is Holly Mikkelson and I am the Director of the Spanish Community Interpreting Graduate certificate, which is a program that is available to students who are not enrolled in the masters program but who would like to be trained as community interpreters.

The courses begin with all online instruction and that happens from the fall through the spring semester.

And then beginning in June, students come to Monterey and we have face to face instruction where they're actually practicing interpreting.

"Okay, let's try another little scenario. So Annette will be our witness this time. If you could try to give longer answers to give Erin some practice in intervening, if necessary."

The bulk of the program teaches students the basics of legal, medical, and educational social services interpreting. However, the last portion focuses specifically on certification test preparation. So throughout the course, the students get the basic skills that they need, and then at the end, we go into detail about what they specifically need to know just to pass the tests.

I think that this course does an excellent job of giving a detailed overview of the different fields where you can work and really use your language skills as an interpreter.

One of the things that differentiates this course from others is the hands-on nature of it and the fact that we actually simulate real life interpreted scenarios.

You are really right on the ground, in the trenches when people have a family crisis or something happens to them that changes their life. And community interpreters allow people to tell their story. They allow service providers to communicate effectively and provide the service they're supposed to. So it's very rewarding to be able to use your language in a way that really makes a difference in someone's life.

The 2020 Application is Now Open>>

Follow the steps below to access the application:

Please select one: Middlebury Institute of International Studies

I confirm that I am applying to: Non-Degree or Certificate

What level are you applying for?: Spanish Community Interpreting

Please select one: Fall 2020

See here for more application instructions>>

Gain New Skills and Sharpen Existing Ones

In just nine months, you will gain the skills necessary for a rewarding career in legal or medical interpreting. California is the largest employer of community interpreters in the United States, with average annual salaries of $61,500.*

The Middlebury Institute Advantage

Our low-residency program is intentionally designed so that you can attend classes without giving up your current job.

  • Complete four online modules, and then attend a final one-week residency in Monterey.
  • Choose to specialize in either legal or medical interpreting.
  • Learn from our expert faculty, who are also practitioners in the field.

Curriculum and Schedule for 2020-2021

Fall 2020: Core Courses

  • Module One (August 24 - October 18): Basic Interpreting Techniques
  • Module Two (October 26 - December 20): Community Interpreting as a Profession

Spring 2021: Choose Your Track

Medical Track

  • Module Three (January 25 - March 21): Medical Concepts and Terminology
  • Module Four (March 29 - May 23): Written and Sight Translation of Medical Texts

Legal Track

  • Module Three (January 25 - March 21): Legal Concepts and Terminology
  • Module Four (March 29 - May 23): Written and Sight Translation of Legal Texts

June 2021: Residency in Monterey

  • Medical Track (June 7 - 11): Medical Interpreting Workshop (5 days)
  • Legal Track (June 14 - 18): Legal Interpreting Workshop (5 days)

Next Steps

  • Request info
  • To apply, visit our How to Apply page and follow the on-screen instructions to begin.
    • Deadline for Fall 2020 applications is May 1, 2020.
  • In addition to a completed application, prior to admission you will submit an online Language and Skills Test to determine your bilingual language proficiency.

Tuition Cost: $5,000 

  • Payment plans are available.
  • Workforce development funds may be available from your community. 
Payment and Refund Policies for 2020-2021


Contact us if you have any questions.


*Data source: Mean salaries for medical and legal interpreters in California for 12-month period March 2019 – February 2020 from Burning Glass® Technologies.

Middlebury offers distance education in accordance with the regulations of the United States Department of Education and the regulations of each state or territory.

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) aids in remedying inconsistencies among state regulations and aids in satisfying consistent customer protection by centralizing the authorization process. NC-SARA is a voluntary agreement among member states and U.S. territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. The intent is to make it easier for students to take online courses that are being offered by postsecondary institutions in other states. You can read more about NC-SARA here. Middlebury is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocal Agreement (SARA) initiative. Verification of approval by SARA to offer online courses can be found by visiting the NC-SARA website. 

Student Complaint Process 

Prior to any formal complaint, students are encouraged to seek an informal resolution of their complaint directly with the employee, faculty, and/or individuals involved. Often a problem may be resolved in this informal manner. In the unfortunate event that a resolution is not achieved, students may follow Middlebury’s complaint filing process. If the issue is not satisfactorily resolved internally and the student seeks additional resolution, grievances may be appealed to either the student's home agency or the institution's home state agency. Please use this resource to locate each state's contact agency.