The United States is now home to over 41 million native speakers of Spanish plus 11 million English-Spanish bilingual speakers, making this country the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world only second to Mexico with 121 speakers (www.cervantes.es). There is now a widespread need for professionals who can show Spanish proficiency in professions such as criminal justice, national security, social work, business and banking and nursing, as well as in education– where the need for Spanish teachers for K-12 grades is also increasing.
The Spanish program at Fairmont State is designed to address the linguistic and cultural proficiency needs of our students by gradually developing speaking, comprehension, reading and writing skills while gaining an understanding of Spanish-speaking cultures both outside and inside of the United States. The Spanish program adheres to the Standards of Foreign Language Learning established by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).
Students are strongly encouraged to integrate Spanish into their chosen careers as double majors, or as minors. In addition, both Elementary and Secondary Education students can choose to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in Education with a teaching specialization in Spanish for grades pre k-adult, or may add this specialization to another teaching field. The program offers a variety of courses aimed at helping students reach their career goals, including Spanish for the Medical Professions, Spanish for Criminal Justice and Spanish for the World Economy (Business).
Spanish majors are strongly encouraged to spend at least one semester abroad in a Spanish-speaking country, preferably but not necessarily in their junior year. Students have the option of traveling to a Spanish-speaking country and doing research on an approved topic, for which they will receive 3-6 credit hours (SPAN 4402). Students in approved internships (SPAN 3300) will receive 3-6 upper-division credit hours, depending upon the type and duration of the internship.
All students who have taken Spanish in high school should take a placement test to determine at what level they should begin. Students who test out of beginning courses may receive credit for these courses by asking their instructor to complete Credit by Exam paperwork, and paying a fee.
Students in the Spanish BA program must take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview as part of the Departmental Assessment Program and must have their scores officially reported to the Spanish Coordinator. The target score for all Spanish majors is Advanced Low; however Spanish BA students are not required to attain this level for graduation. Students are responsible for all test costs.