Volunteers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Becoming a TIP Volunteer

Are you a bilingual or multilingual Cornell student? Do you want to use your language skills to serve community agencies in emergency and non-emergency situations?

If so, then attend a Volunteer Training Session (VTS) to start your process on becoming a volunteer translator and/or interpreter for TIP! During the VTS, we will provide you with training on:
- How our program works
- How to become a TIP volunteer
- What is expected of you when you translate and/or interpret

After you attend a VTS and sign our Volunteer Contract, you will then be allowed to take a certification exam with a TIP-associated language professor at Cornell to certify your proficiency.

Once we receive your exam results and required paperwork, we will enter your contact information and availability onto our password-protected online volunteer database so that community agencies can contact you when they are in need of translation/interpretation services.

AGENCIES OUR VOLUNTEERS SERVE

Hospitals and Clinics
Fire Departments
 
Police Departments and Sheriffs Offices
 
 
Government Departments
 
 
 
Local Courts
 
 
 
 
Local Schools
 
 
 
 
 
Non-profit organizations
 
 
 
 
 
Cornell Offices and Departments
 
 
 
 
 
 
And more
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

HOW OUR VOLUNTEERS SERVE

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Translation of written communication

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Interpretation of oral communication

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

Sign up to get notified about our upcoming events

     
     
     

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the time commitment as a volunteer?

    After attending a 90-minute Volunteer Training Session and taking a 15-40 min certification exam(s), volunteers accept emergency and non-emergency translation/interpretation requests from community agencies based on their stated availability and the agency’s language needs. Though emergencies may arise at any time, volunteers are expected to spend no more than 4 consecutive hours interpreting or 2 pages translating for a non-emergency situation. Some translation/interpretations for non-emergency situations may be longer on a case by case basis.

    How often will I get translation/interpretation requests from community agencies?

    You will receive requests based on agency-specific language needs and your availability at the time the service is needed. The nature and number of requests you receive in any given semester may vary.

    When does the club meet? Are there G-body meetings/socials?

    The Translator Interpreter Program is not a club but rather a student-run service learning program of the Cornell Public Service Center. Currently, we do not hold G-body meetings. However, we do plan social and supplemental training events every semester and the date(s) will be announced and posted on our website once they are determined.

    What proficiency do you require of volunteers?

    Your proficiency will be determined by the TIP-associated language professor who will conduct your certification exam(s). The faculty member will certify whether or not you are able to adequately communicate the needs of those you assist to the service provider in both emergency and non-emergency situations.

    If I can only read/write/speak in the language, can I still become a volunteer?

    Yes, you can become certified in only translation (written language) or only interpretation (spoken language) if you prefer. You can also become certified in both, depending on what you feel comfortable with.

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    What do you mean by “certification”?

    When you are certified as a volunteer translator/interpreter, you are certified to provide translation/interpretation services only through TIP and the Cornell University Public Service Center. We are a student-run program of the Cornell University Public Center and we do not certify students as professional translators/interpreters.

      Disclaimer: TIP does not certify volunteers as American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters. Since the program was founded in 2000, TIP has always referred any emergency and non-emergency requests for ASL interpreters to professional American Sign Language interpretation agencies as per the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

       
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