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Osher 50+

Healthcare Interpreting

Offered at the San Marcos Campus


If you are bilingual and working in a position that may require you to be a liaison to someone who has limited or non-English-speaking proficiency, this program will give you the skills to become an invaluable resource to your patients, community and organization.

Program Flier

Information Sessions

Learn about program details, costs, the registration process and much more.

  • None at this time. 
  • Enter a growing field

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of trained interpreters and translators is projected to grow 29 percent from 2014 to 2024

  • Learn from the best

    Learn from licensed industry professionals who teach the program and facilitate interactive exercises and lectures

  • Learn faster

    This program is designed to help you learn faster with comprehensive study materials and interactive class structures

  • Become a qualified interpreter

    Help facilitate communication for your non-English-speaking patients and family members with doctors, nurses and other medical staff

Program Details


    This program is designed for:

    • Those who speak English and at least one other language and who are looking to start or advance their career
    • Those working in healthcare or another industry that serves non-English-speaking customers or patients
    • Those responsible for ensuring your organization provides language-accessible services to all patients

    Course Dates Registration

    Healthcare Interpreting

    Feb. 4 - May 12, 2020

    Healthcare Interpreting 

    Course Details

    • Classes held at CSUSM on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
    • Program fee is $1,599
    • Online language assessment NOT included in the program fee

    Fee Includes

    • Course materials, including required textbook
    • Parking


    • CSUSM alumni and students receive a 15% savings; call Extended Learning at 760-750-4004 to register and receive your savings code
    • MyCAA and WIOA funding approved; call the veteran services coordinator at 760-750-8705 for more information

    Please note: All rates are subject to change without notice.


    This 14-week program is designed to provide the basics of healthcare interpreting for bilingual participants who speak English and any additional language. The program covers ethics, skills and protocols required of interpreters. Class discussions and content cover the various modes of interpretation, codes of ethics and standards of practice required for aspiring healthcare interpreters.

    The program uses the comprehensive learning content and materials developed by Cross-Cultural Communications (CCC), a program recognized nationally and internationally for healthcare interpreters in the United States.

    Additional topics covered in the course include: positioning, terminology, steps for sight translation, intervention strategies and scripting, cultural mediation and other vital skills and protocols. Content is designed to include decision-making tools to help you make on-the-spot judgment calls in your daily work environment. The dynamic classroom experience of this course includes role-playing, individual and group activities rooted in real-world practice and immediate job application and relevance.


    Maribeth Bandas is vice president of BEAM Translation and Media Corporation in San Diego and director of translation services for the Hispanic Link Legacy Project. Maribeth is a certified translator and a licensed lead trainer of community and medical interpreters with 25 years of experience as a professional translator and Spanish instructor. She is licensed to teach The Community Interpreter (CI-000134-01 Cross Cultural Communications). Maribeth has trained students in the MA Program in Translation at the University of Puerto Rico through extended learning internships. She has taught English at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru, and Spanish at the University of Texas, Austin, at Cibeles Internacional, Madrid, Spain; and at Georgetown University, The World Bank and The George Washington University. In addition, she served as translator for the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office and as consultant for the Center for Applied Linguistics and evaluator for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

    “Professionally trained interpreters provide accurate, confidential and cost-saving support to the organizations and institutions that employ them. Effective communication reduces medical errors, increases patient satisfaction, saves costs on unnecessary testing and much more.”

  • FAQ

    What does a healthcare interpreter do?

    Interpreters are skilled at converting meaning from one spoken language to another. Healthcare (or medical) interpreters and translators have an important role in facilitating communication for non-English-speaking patients and family members because they allow doctors, nurses and other medical staff to communicate effectively and accurately with their patients. Healthcare interpreters must be sensitive to patients’ personal circumstances and maintain high levels of confidentiality and ethical standards.

    Healthcare Interpreters are often found in a variety of healthcare-related settings such as hospitals, clinics, private practice, specialty care clinics, pharmacies, occupational therapy sites and community resource departments, and they may be employed in roles such as front office, in-room assistants, technicians and other medical staff. Interpreters may work in departments such as diabetes education, urgent or acute care, doctor’s visits, health fairs, physical therapy, women’s or pediatric services.

    Are there any prerequisites?

    Each student must take an online language proficiency assessment.

    CSUSM has contracted with LTI The ACTFL Language Testing Office to administer the online language proficiency exam. Exam fee is $105. Please contact Cathy Scavone at 760-750-8706 or for exam registration. The following languages are currently available: Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Portuguese-Brazilian,Russian, Spanish and Tagalog. If additional languages are requested, please contact Cathy. Students must pass their exams with a score of Advanced Mid-Level score.

    Will I be certified if I pass the class?

    After you successfully attend all course sessions, pass the two-hour written assessment and provide documentation of passing the individual language proficiency exam, you will be qualified as a healthcare interpreter and you will receive a Professional Certificate in Healthcare Interpreting from California State University San Marcos. You may use proof of successfully passing the classroom training and language proficiency exam if you choose to apply for the national certification exam for medical interpreters through the National Board for Certified Medical Interpreters or Certification Commission for Healthcare Interpreters.

    National Certification Websites:

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please contact Eric Sandoval, our veteran services coordinator at 760-750-8705 or to learn more about how we can help.


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