Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates of BIPOC and/or Male Students in ASL Interpreting at Sinclair Community College

Date of Award


Degree Name

Ed.D. in Educational Leadership


Department of Educational Administration


Matthew Witenstein


The following is a mixed-methods action research study entitled, "Increasing Retention and Graduation Rates of BIPOC and/or Male Students in ASL Interpreting at Sinclair Community College." This action research broadly focuses on increasing student retention in the American Sign Language and Interpreting for the Deaf (IEP) program for students of color and/or males by increasing equity, cultural competency, a sense of belonging, and diversity of curriculum in the Sinclair College ASL IEP program. The study has a foundational framework in the Critical Theory of Love, Sociolinguistic Theory, Catholic Marianist values and by (Re)Framing the Deaf Heart Theory. This research addresses the fact that BIPOC and/or male interpreters are not well represented in the field or classroom. For this study, both qualitative and quantitative data was gathered through surveys, interviews, and focus groups. The participants were alumni, and current students in the SCC IEP program. The participants' responses identified four themes which guided the SCC IEP program towards creating a more equitable, and inclusive IEP. Listening to the alumni and students' voices throughout this research was powerful and demonstrated where the program is doing transformation work, as well as identified gaps. This action research can be easily replicated in one's own program, by following the action plan. Having hard conversations in the classroom, with the Deaf community and out in the field to address racism, and microaggressions against BIPOC and/or male ASL interpreters make way for transformational change to the field of ASL interpreting.


Educational Leadership, Language, ASL American Sign Language IEP Interpreter Education Program ITP Interpreter Training Program NAD National Association of the Deaf RID Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf SCC Sinclair Community College BIPOC Interpreters Male Interpreters BIPOC and/or Male Interpreters

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