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Student Affairs Policies

Policy 307.00 Limited English Proficiency Policy

Northwest Tech will take reasonable steps to ensure that persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) have meaningful access and an equal opportunity to participate in coursework, programs, and activities. The policy of Northwest Tech is to ensure meaningful communication with LEP students involving their education.

The policy also provides for communication of information including but not limited to, FERPA, financial aid, etc. All interpreters, translators and other aids needed to comply with this policy shall be provided without cost to the person being served, and their families will be informed of the availability of such assistance free of charge.

Language assistance will be provided through use of competent bilingual staff, staff interpreters, or translation services, or technology and telephonic interpretation services. All staff/faculty will be provided notice of this policy and procedure, and staff that may have direct contact with LEP individuals will be trained in effective communication techniques, including the effective use of an interpreter.

Northwest Tech will conduct a regular review of the language access needs of our student population, as well as update and monitor the implementation of this policy and these procedures, as necessary.


1. Identification:
Northwest Tech will promptly identify the language and communication needs of the LEP person.  When documentation is kept of past interactions with student or family members, the language used to communicate with the LEP person will be included as part of the record.

2.  Obtaining a Qualified Interpreter
(Identify responsible staff person), responsible for:
(a) Contacting the appropriate bilingual staff member to interpret, in the event that an interpreter is needed, if an employee who speaks the needed language is available and is qualified to interpret;
(b) Obtaining an outside interpreter if a bilingual staff or staff interpreter is not available or does not speak the needed language.

Some LEP persons may prefer or request to use a family member or friend as an interpreter. However, family members or friends of the LEP person will not be used as interpreters unless specifically requested by that individual and after the LEP person has understood that an offer of an interpreter at no charge to the person has been made by the college. Such an offer and the response will be documented in the person’s file. If the LEP person chooses to use a family member or friend as an interpreter, issues of competency of interpretation, confidentiality, privacy, and conflict of interest will be considered. If the family member or friend is not competent or appropriate for any of these reasons, competent interpreter services will be provided to the LEP person.

Children and other students will not be used to interpret, in order to ensure confidentiality of information and accurate communication.

3. Providing Written Translations

Northwest Tech will provide translation of written materials, if needed, as well as written notice of the availability of translation, free of charge, for LEP individuals.

4. Providing Notice to LEP Persons

Northwest Tech will inform LEP persons of the availability of language assistance, free of charge, by providing written notice in languages LEP persons will understand.

5. Monitoring Language Needs and Implementation

On an ongoing basis, Northwest Tech will assess changes in demographics, types of services or other needs that may require reevaluation of this policy and its procedures. In addition, Northwest Tech will regularly assess the efficacy of these procedures, including but not limited to mechanisms for securing interpreter services, equipment used for the delivery of language assistance, complaints filed by LEP persons, feedback from students and the community etc.

Board Approved: May 12, 2017
Publication Date: May 17, 2017