Alternative Pathway Program

Credit Point System.

No College Degree? No Problem!

Alternative Pathway Program2024-03-15T13:35:41+00:00

If you do not hold the required degree to take your exam, you may apply for the Alternative Pathway Program.

Alternative Pathway Program.

If you do not hold the required degree to take your exam, you may apply for the Alternative Pathway Program, which is an alternative route to exam eligibility. The Alternative Pathway Program consists of an Educational Equivalency Application (EEA) which uses a point system that awards credit for college classes, interpreting experience, and professional development.

  • Email
  • Log in to your RID member portal and clicking on “Upload Degree Document”.
  • Please note that the Certification Department has gone paperless and is no longer accepting anything mailed to HQ. Anything mailed to HQ will not be not be reviewed and processed, and will be shredded.

*When we receive your completed application, we will email you with instructions for submitting payment online through your member portal.

*Once your application has been reviewed and approved, you’ll receive an email notification that your account has been updated. The standard processing time is 7-10 business days.

Note that while approval of your EEA satisfies RID’s educational requirement and allows you to take the CASLI Generalist Performance Exam, it is for RID’s internal purposes only and is not something that we would verify to a third party.

C2003.05 Motion.

At the 2003 RID National Conference, in Chicago, IL, the membership passed motion C2003.05, establishing degree requirements for RID certification candidates.

View entire motion

Update regarding the impact of the moratorium on the educational requirements as they relate to Deaf candidates for certification:

The motion stated the following related specifically to the CDI Performance Exam: Effective June 30, 2016, Deaf candidates must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, due to the moratorium, the RID Board of Directors has determined the following adjustment to the implementation to the CDI Performance Exam Educational Requirements: The moratorium began six (6) months before the implementation of the Bachelor’s degree requirement for the CDI Performance Exam (set to be implemented on July 1, 2016). To allow individuals who do not have a degree a fair opportunity to take this exam before the requirement changes, the RID Board of Directors has determined that six (6) months will be added to any date that is established for ending the moratorium on the CDI Performance Exam. For example, if the new CDI Performance Exam is launched July 1, 2018, individuals will have until January 1, 2019, to meet the BA requirement or alternative pathways to eligibility.

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Certification verification for interpreting services for assignments.

To request verification of your credentials, including test status and membership verifications, please complete and submit this form.

What is the Educational Equivalency Application?2022-04-21T16:08:04+00:00

The Educational Equivalency Application (EEA) is a system that measures a combination of qualifications that can be collectively considered an acceptable substitute for the new educational requirements. The EEA uses a point system that awards credit for college classes, years of interpreting work, and interpreter-related training.

How is equivalency of a degree determined?2022-04-21T16:08:24+00:00

There are three categories in which Experience Credits can be earned. Each Experience Credit is roughly equal to one semester hour of college credit. All Experience Credits earned on the application are totaled and reviewed to determine if the candidate earned 60 Experience Credits for an associate’s degree or 120 credits for a bachelor’s degree.

Is there an application fee for the Educational Equivalency Application?2022-04-21T16:08:41+00:00

Yes, each application has a $50 non-refundable processing fee. This fee is to help offset the intensive administrative work required to evaluate and process the application.

Do I have to have a minimum number of Experience Credits in any one category?2022-04-21T16:08:56+00:00

No, it is possible that a candidate may be able to meet the minimum number of Experience Credits in only one category. For example, a candidate who has over 120 hours of college credits, but has not received a formal degree, would be deemed to have the equivalent experience of a bachelor’s degree based on their college experience alone. Additionally, someone who has interpreted on a full-time basis for 4 years meets the educational equivalency of an associate’s degree for the purposes of RID’s educational requirement.

I have way more than the required number of Experience Credits, should I submit all my documentation for every single category?2022-04-21T16:09:32+00:00

No, earning more than the required number Experience Credits will be documented the same as if you earned strictly the required number of Experience Credits. By submitting the least amount of paperwork to get you to the required Experience Credits it will be less work for you and can be processed faster by RID.

I have taken classes at more than one college. Should I submit transcripts for each college?2022-04-21T16:09:54+00:00

Yes, you must submit an official academic transcript for each credit that you wish to count toward the Educational Equivalency Application. Experience Credits cannot be earned for undocumented coursework.

My school is mailing my academic transcript directly to RID. Can I send documents separately?2022-04-21T16:10:07+00:00

No, send only completed applications with full documentation. You are welcome to have your official academic transcript sent to your home address and after opening the official transcript from the envelope, send us the original or a scanned copy along with your complete application.

What is the difference between semester hours and quarter hours?2022-04-21T16:10:23+00:00

Most college and university schedules are built on either a semester or quarter hour system. If your classes met for 15 weeks, your college was probably based on a semester hour schedule. If your classes met for only 12 weeks, your college was probably based on a quarter hour schedule. Because of the difference in contact hours between these systems, semester hour classes earn slightly more Experience Credits than quarter hour classes.

Are college credits accepted from any institution?2022-04-21T16:10:38+00:00

College credits will be accepted if they are received on an official academic transcript and are from an accredited institution.

How do I calculate my experience as an interpreter?2022-04-21T16:10:54+00:00

For each year that you have worked as an interpreter, you must determine if you worked for a single employer or multiple employers. Additionally, you must determine if you worked on a part-time or full time basis. Once you have determined the number of years you have worked, enter those numbers in the appropriate field on the form and calculate your Experience Credits.

What information must be provided on my Interpreting Experience letter?2022-04-21T16:11:09+00:00

To apply credit towards Interpreting Experience the provided letter must state 1) that you worked as an interpreter, 2) how many years you have worked and 3) how many hours a week you have worked.

What is the difference between “Single Employer” and “Multiple Employers/Freelance Interpreting?”2022-04-21T16:11:23+00:00

“Single Employer” is for contracted/staff employees. “Multiple Employers/Freelance Interpreting” is for individuals working for multiple agencies and or working as a self employed Freelance Interpreter. When possible please provide proof by submitting a letter from the employer. Freelance Interpreters may submit a notarized letter.

What is the company I used to work for is no longer active? How do I get a letter from them?2022-04-21T16:11:39+00:00

If you are unable to obtain a letter from the employer you may submit a notarized letter stating 1) that you worked as an interpreter, 2) how many years you have worked and 3) how many hours a week you have worked.

Is there a place on this application for experience as a CODA?2022-04-21T16:11:56+00:00

While having Deaf parents undoubtedly helps to develop some interpreting skills, the Alternative Pathway is designed to assess experience gained through formal education and professional experience. CODAs will have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities through RID’s exams, but no specific credit is given on the Alternative Pathway.

Can my Educational Equivalency Application be reviewed before I provide payment?2022-04-21T16:12:10+00:00

No, the $50 processing fee must be submitted with the application. If you choose to submit the application without payment it will not be reviewed until payment has been confirmed.

If I submit my application without payment and/or it does not meet the required Experience Credits, how long will it be held for?2022-04-21T16:12:26+00:00

Incomplete applications will be held for 60 days. After that time they will be discarded and a new and complete application will need to be submitted.

If I am approved for Educational Equivalency, what are the next steps?2022-04-21T16:12:40+00:00

Your next step will depend on where you are in the processes of certification. For more information on this please review the appropriate Candidate Handbook which you can find at

If I am disapproved, how soon can I apply for Educational Equivalency again?2022-04-21T16:12:53+00:00

You are welcome to apply for the Educational Equivalency as often as you wish. However, each application must include a $50 non-refundable application fee.