Interpreter Training for Health & Human Services

This 40-hour course will prepare bilingual students (English-Spanish) to take the national certification exam for medical interpreters. This curriculum has been approved by both national certification boards: The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters.

40 hours of class contact plus a comprehensive (written & oral) exam at the conclusion of the course that mimics the national certification for medical interpreters.

Effective interpretation in the health, mental health, and human services settings extends beyond bilingualism. In order to ensure accurate and complete communication between Hispanic patients and providers, the interpreter must recognize and apply the role, ethics, and skills of interpretation. This onsite program will enable bilingual individuals to provide linguistically and culturally appropriate interpretation services in the medical, behavioral health and human services settings.

Instruction will be focused on developing the knowledge-based skills needed to pass the national certification exam administered by The Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters and by The National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters. The course includes a comprehensive review of the topics covered in the national certification exam. Students will take a mock (written & oral) exam that mimics the national certification exam.

$810.00 for 40 hours of instruction. The additional $75 manual can be purchased on the first day of class.

Near-native bilingual (English/Spanish) individuals.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old;

Applicants must be fluent in both Spanish and English.

Applicants must submit the online application and the non-refundable $200 deposit one week prior to the first day of class. The deposit is due at the time your application is submitted. This reserves your seat in the class; Remaining tuition of $610 is due one day prior to the first day of class.


  • Registration is not complete until full tuition has been paid;
  • Payment can be made with most major credit cards;
  • No payments will be accepted on the first day of class;
  • Cancellations are accepted up to 7 days before the first day of class. A refund will be granted of all tuition that exceeds the non-refundable $200 deposit;
  • Cancellation written notice must be received in writing to;
  • No refunds will be given for cancellation that occurs 6 days or less prior to the first day of class;
  • The course is limited to a maximum of 30 students per class. A minimum of 12 students is necessary to hold the course;
  • CSU reserves the right to cancel any scheduled course at any time. In the event a course is cancelled, all fees, including the deposit, will be credited to another scheduled Interpreter Training course or refunded.

Fall Course Dates
August 30-31
September 6-7
September 27-28
October 4-5

Weekend Schedule
Friday: 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Diana Saillant is the Founder & CEO of Saillant Language Consulting, a company that connects organizations, social service agencies, schools, and government agencies to Hispanic businesses and the community at large. As Vice President of the Hispanic Business Association, she assists Hispanic entrepreneurs and business owners in creating, stabilizing, and expanding their businesses.

Diana is a founding member of the College of Charleston’s Hispanic Studies Advisory Board and is an Advisory Board Member of the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs at the Governor’s Office. She is a YWCA Board Member and serves on committees supporting Trident United Way, the Coastal Community Foundation, Tri-County Cradle to Career, TEDxCharleston and the African American Leadership Council (AALC). For three years, she served on the MUSC Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council providing advice and insight to the Board of Trustees and President on matters related to cultural outreach.

Ms. Saillant is a CCHI Certified Healthcare Interpreter™ and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management degree and a Master of Business Administration from Charleston Southern University.

Course Content

Overview of the interpreter as the vital link that ensures the accurate and complete exchange of information between the provider and the consumer.

Reading comprehension, memory skills, and test-taking techniques that enhance the participant’s ability to learn and to test effectively.

Basic strategies for an effective preparation, including reading for content, style, and language enhancement.

Keys to effective interpreting such as listening techniques, memory development, cognitive processing skills, Metric-English Systems conversions, techniques for consecutive interpreting, and speaking strategies.

Specific parameters that make up the professional ethical standard for interpreters. An overview of how personal ethics, standards of morality, and personal policies may influence the interpreter’s conduct. A systematic look at a typical Code of Ethics Policy.

Application of the interpreter’s standards of practice as they relate to the self-management and professional management of encounters with patients and providers.

Description and assessment for the need of preventive practices and the use protective gear during the interpretation encounter.

An extensive overview of medical, behavioral health, and human services terminology as well as Mexican/Central American/South American/Caribbean/USA colloquialism relating to ancillary delivery systems, and the diagnosis, pathology and treatment of disorders.

Latino cultural values that may affect patient-provider relationship such as familism, fatalismo, respeto, and personalismo as well as a description of the impact that acculturation and Latino health beliefs have on health.

Opportunity for participants to apply interpreting principles and techniques in a safe environment.

Areas and resources for increasing vocabulary and honing interpreting skills.

Practical test-taking techniques within authentic settings that maximize the student’s abilities to pass the written and oral certification tests.

Medical Interpretation Comprehensive Exam (Post-Tests)

The “Medical Interpretation Comprehensive Exam” measures the student’s ability to facilitate oral communication between the English-speaking provider and the Limited English – Proficient patient. The battery of tests includes a written and oral test.

The comprehensive exam will measure the following topics:

  • Ethics of Interpretation
  • Interpretation Skills
  • Role of the Interpreter
  • Interpretation Techniques
  • Healthcare Delivery
  • Universal Precautions
  • Patient-Provider Interactions
  • Hispanic Cultural Competency
  • General Medical & Human Services Terminology
  • Latin American Colloquial Expressions
  • False Cognates: General and Medical

The tests are designed in such a way that the level of competency increases as the participant progresses through the tests. This provides for an objective and valid measurement tool. The actual composition of the written tests includes a True/False section that measures factual knowledge, a multiple choice that measures the participant’s interpretation application and usage, and the translation of brief passages. The oral test is a mock, interpretation interview based on authentic scenarios. The passing score is 70% or above on each the written and oral tests.