ARC Interpreter Preparation Program Students Dress for Success

May 17, 2019

Photo of students standing in front of Davies Hall wall Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) students

Not many ARC students have dress codes to comply with, but ASL-English Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP) students are required to arrive to class dressed in work attire - business casual, starting from the second semester in the program, and business professional in their final year.

And yet, the cost of acquiring business attire may present a financial challenge to some students.

“Over the past few years our program has worked hard to make sure social justice and equity is at the forefront of everything we do,” said Erica West Oyedele, IPP Program Coordinator. “That meant also acknowledging that the dress requirements - while important - can be a barrier to some of our students.” 

To remove these barriers, program faculty members came up with an innovative plan.

Faculty members Erica West Oyedele and Cindy Farnham developed the idea of creating a clothing resource to help students meet the program’s dress code. The “IPP Boutique,” as they named it, launched this spring. Faculty used their networks to ask interpreters for donations of business attire that fit the dress code (no patterns).

Faculty also used some of their own money to buy clothing for smaller and larger sizes that were not as well represented within the clothing donations received.

The IPP Boutique was set up two Saturdays this spring to coincide with the program’s Saturday classes in an effort to make sure that both 1st and 2nd year IPP students had the opportunity to avail themselves of the donated professional attire. Many students took advantage of the offer.

“We’re excited to provide this resource for students,” West Oyedele said. “Students have expressed their appreciation for the Boutique and we look forward to continuing the program into the future.”

Anyone interested in donating to the IPP Boutique should contact Erica West Oyedele at