The NIEC is a center committed to excellence in interpreting education. Housed at Northeastern, we are funded by the Department of Education, Rehabilitation Services Administration, to contribute to the nation-wide effort to increase the number of qualified interpreters in the US, with a specific focus on consumers who use Vocational Rehabilitation services.

The NIEC is one of the successful results of Project TIEM.Online. In 2005, we applied for funding from the Department of Education to establish a national interpreter education center. Our proposal was successful, and the National Center was started.

No. The National Center (NIEC) is a founding member of the NCIEC (National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers).

The grant funding was to support:

  • coordination of the activities of the Regional Interpreter Education Programs (RIECs)
  • ensuring the effectiveness of the educational opportunities offered by the RIECs
  • ensuring the effectiveness of the program as a whole by evaluating and reporting outcomes
  • providing technical assistance to the field on effective practices in interpreter education
  • providing educational opportunities for interpreter educators.

An RIEC is a Regional Interpreter Education Center. The Department of Education has divided the nation into sectors to ensure that every area has a local Regional Center to serve them. If you’d like to see the different regions, please visit the National Consortium web site. The National Consortium is made up of 5 RIECs and the National Center, which coordinates them.

The NIEC is a great resource for information if you’d like to become an interpreter, but we do not teach ASL or interpreting classes. We have collaborated with the National Consortium to create a Resource Center that is rich in helpful information for interpreters, interpreter educators, and interpreter mentors. You can also find more information about interpreting courses by visiting our partner, the ASL Program at Northeastern. You can also find more information about the ASL Graduate Program at Northeastern, which offers graduate level education for current and prospective interpreting educators and administrators.

The NIEC office is located in Boston, Massachusetts on the Northeastern University campus. We have partnered with the ASL Program there. However, each member of the NIEC works from a different location around the country, so you should contact whomever you wish to meet with first. You can email us at for more specific information, or to set up an appointment.

The National Center offers non-credit professional development opportunities for interpreting educators and mentors, as well as for IEP administrators and ASL instructors. Academic, for-credit courses can be taken online through Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies, ASL Graduate Program.

The NIEC and the National Consortium have created a number of different resources to help interpreters just starting in the field. The National Consortium Resource Center and the web site are two examples, and a great place to start.