In the United States, the study of Spanish is an invaluable asset for any career path. Students who major or minor in Spanish at Westminster will study Spanish in a variety of contexts. The primary mission of the Department of Foreign Languages is to develop communicative competence in its students in line with the Standards for Foreign Language Learning proposed by ACTFL. They will acquire linguistic competency through learning basic structures of the language and, using it as a springboard, they will study culture, literature, medicine, translation, art, business, and history. Learning a foreign language allows students to truly live the Westminster mission and the Columns Concept of being leaders in a global community.
The Spanish major consists of 27 hours of study beyond the novice level (Spanish 101 and Spanish 102 do not count toward the major). The major has three core courses: Spanish 381 (Advanced Grammar and Composition), Spanish 303 (Advanced Spanish Conversation), and Spanish 353 (Introduction to Latin American Literature). A student can major in Spanish beginning with Spanish 101 in four years.
The Spanish minor consists of 18 hours of study beyond the novice level. The core courses of the minor are Spanish 381 (Advanced Grammar and Composition) and either Spanish 210 (Intermediate Spanish Conversation) or Spanish 303 (Advanced Spanish Conversation).
There are three faculty members in the Spanish Department at Westminster, all of whom have lived in and traveled extensively through the Spanish-speaking world.
|Dr. Heriberto Del Porto
||B.A. Auburn University, 1968 |
||M.A University of Georgia, 1972|
||Ph.D University of Georgia, 1979|
|Dr. Craig Dennison
||B.A. University of Northern Iowa, 2001|
||M.A University of Northern Iowa, 2003|
||Ph.D University of Houston, 2008|
|Dr. Susan Divine
||B.A. Iowa State University, 2000|
||M.A University of Arizona, 2003|
||Ph.D University of Arizona, 2008|
The Spanish Program has several successful study abroad opportunities for our students. There are fall, spring, and summer study abroad programs in Oviedo, Spain; Quito, Ecuador; and Viña del Mar, Chile. Students live with Spanish, Ecuadorian, or Chilean host-families and actively engage in language-learning both in and outside of the classroom. The Department also actively helps students to find post-study abroad opportunities, such as business internships in Spain, volunteering or interning at medical clinics in Peru, teaching English at an orphanage for girls in Mexico, or interning at law firms in Chile or Ecuador. The Department highly recommends that Spanish majors and minors participate in a study abroad or post-study abroad program.
Students who study Spanish at Westminster are employed in fields as varied as education, business, marketing, accounting, government, NGOs, and healthcare. Many have testified that their language-ability has helped them advance in their careers. Other students have gone on to graduate school, to medical school, and to law school. Having the ability to communicate in another language is undoubtedly a desirable skill in today’s job market.
Students who wish to obtain certification in secondary education must complete the major in Spanish and take all the required classes in the Education Department, including EDU 400 (Methodologies of Teaching a Foreign Language).
On Campus Experiences
There is a Spanish Club and an academic fraternity, Sigma Delta Pi. Both organizations give students the opportunity to speak Spanish outside of the classroom. The International Club on campus also exposes students to the countries of our international students, many of whom come from Central America, South America, and Mexico.
“A value certainly cannot be placed on the numerous advantages of learning to speak a second language like Spanish, especially given the current population trends. With Westminster’s stellar faculty in the Spanish Department, learning the language was not only incredibly fun, but also readily achievable with their guidance and assistance.” Clayton Jordan, ’09.
Name: Craig Dennison
Position: Assistant Professor of Spanish
Office: Room 42, Newnham Hall