SAC is the Only Community College in Southern California with Programs to Professionally Train Bilingual Vietnamese Speakers for Jobs in Local Courthouses, Hospitals, Businesses, and More
(Santa Ana, Calif.) –With the need for professional interpreters and translators on the rise in Orange County and beyond, Santa Ana College (SAC) is filling a vital community need with its new training programs in Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation. As the only community college in Southern California with these programs, Santa Ana College is already attracting online students from as far north as San Jose and as far south as San Diego.
“From courts to hospitals, the need for Vietnamese interpreters and translators is high, and we are focused on meeting that need with people professionally trained in our new programs," said Dr. Annebelle Nery, president of Santa Ana College. “Interpreters and translators play a vital role in the justice system and in health care settings every day, ensuring people have a voice in proceedings or treatments that affect their lives. We are proud to send out Santa Ana College graduates to fill those roles."
To that end, SAC now offers both a 17-22 unit Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation certificate program and a 29-33 unit Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation associate degree program. Both options include cooperative work experience in the community. Registration for the Spring 2023 semester begins December 8, 2022, for new students.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 20 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average for all occupations." And with more than 200,000 Vietnamese Americans in Orange County, the need for Vietnamese translators is great, said Kathy Kieu-Diem Nguyen, a local business leader who is the lead faculty member for SAC's Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation programs.
Currently, there are only 56 court-certified and registered Vietnamese interpreters listed on the Judicial Branch of California website, and only 30 of them serve Orange County.
Vivian Luu, a certified court interpreter and medical interpreter is one of the program's adjunct faculty members at SAC.
“Court interpretation is a skill that one can only master through actual experiences after formal training, Nguyen said. “Having someone like Vivian Luu teaching and sharing her experiences and coping strategies puts our students at an advantage."
The Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation certificate and degree programs are offered by the Business Applications and Technology Department at SAC. After the program was approved in Fall 2021, the first 12 students began in Spring 2022, Nguyen said. They range in age from their 20s to their 70s, she added.
“Whether you are looking for continuing education to build your skills, or a degree in a fast-moving career, our training programs in Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation offer professional training right here in the largest Vietnamese American community outside of Vietnam," Nguyen said. “We have students who hope to work in healthcare and other professions, along with retirees who are seeking professional training, so they can help in the community."
For students attending full time, the certificate program is designed to be completed in two semesters, while the associate degree program is designed to be completed in four semesters. Currently, classes are online, but Nguyen said hybrid formats will be available in future semesters.
Minh Pham is an acclaimed Santa Ana College student, known for his multiple degrees and dedication to learning. He enrolled in the Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation program to improve his fluency, especially when it comes to complex terminologies.
“The program helps me to learn and appreciate the beauty of the Vietnamese language and preserve my Vietnamese culture and heritage," Pham said, adding that he plans to use his newfound skills as a medical or court interpreter while he applies for medical school.
Thanh Hoang, 70, is a retiree who enrolled in the Vietnamese / English Interpretation & Translation program to sharpen her bilingual abilities to help her community.
“I want to help new immigrants who are less proficient in communicating in English," Hoang said.
Prospective students for both the certificate and the degree programs must be fluent in Vietnamese and English (oral and written). New student registration opens December 8, 2022, and classes begin March 06, 2023. Visit the program website for more information or call SAC's Business Applications and Technology Department at 714-564-6773.
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Electronic Press Kit: https://bit.ly/EPKSACVietnamese
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and provides invaluable workforce training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college's School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation's top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.