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.

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 $55,000.*

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.


Fall 2019: Core Courses

  • Module One (August 26 - October 20): Community Interpreting as a Profession
  • Module Two (October 28 - December 22): Basic Interpreting Techniques

Spring 2020: Choose Your Track

Legal Track

  • Module Three (January 27 - March 22): Legal Concepts and Terminology
  • Module Four (March 30 - May 24): Written and Sight Translation of Legal Texts

Medical Track

  • Module Three (January 27 - March 22): Medical Concepts and Terminology
  • Module Four (March 30 - May 24): Written and Sight Translation of Medical Texts

June 2020: Residency in Monterey

  • Legal Track (June 8 - 12): Legal Interpreting Workshop (5 days)
  • Medical Track (June 1 - 5): Medical Interpreting Workshop (5 days)

Next Steps

  • Request info
  • To apply, visit our How to Apply page and follow the on-screen instructions to begin.
    • The deadline for Fall 2019 is passed. If you would like to be notified when our 2020 application opens, please complete this contact form.​​​​​​​
  • 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


Contact us if you have any questions.


*Data source: Median salaries for medical and legal interpreters in California for 12-month period September 2017–August 2018 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.