Posted by William Nunnelley on 2006-11-09

Samford's Healthcare Interpreter Training (HIT) certificate program, which trains individuals who are bilingual in English and Spanish to become qualified interpreters in a medical setting, has received a 2006 Distinguished Non-Credit Program Award from the Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE). The national award was presented to Samford Metro Programs Executive Director Cindy Kirk at the recent ACHE meeting in Los Angeles.

The HIT program was one of two ACHE national award winners in non-credit education this year. Last spring, ACHE cited the program as the Distinguished Non-Credit Program in the Southeast.

Samford introduced the certificate program in the fall of 2004, and the first 21 students completed the program in the spring of 2005. The program includes both traditional classroom activities and field experience, and brings together several campus departments and community organizations serving Birmingham's Latino population.

"These interpreters are now better equipped to bridge the communication divide between healthcare providers and limited-English-proficient patients," said Dr. Kirk.

A second HIT course began in September and will conclude in April, 2007. HIT Classes meet on Tuesday evenings and alternating Saturdays.

The ACHE award came as Samford prepared to celebrate Nontraditional Student Week in mid-November. The university's Metro Programs, of which Samford After Sundown is a part, are designed to serve the unique needs of such students, who are older than the typical18-22 year-old residential undergraduates and may have work and family obligations that require evening study schedules.


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.