Jul 22, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Spanish, B.A.

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Department Contact:

Chair: Dr. Robin L. Cadwallader, rcadwallader@francis.edu, 814-472-3342

Program Description:

A major in Spanish can give students a competitive edge on a resume and increase their earning potential. There are almost a half billion Spanish-speakers in twenty-one countries worldwide and over fifty-five million in the United States, making Spanish a highly marketable skill everywhere for business, education, healthcare, law enforcement and social work. In business, Latin America is gaining the world’s attention because of its economic potential, and Mexico is the United States’ third largest trade partner. There is a pressing need nationwide for more healthcare professionals capable of providing culturally competent care in Spanish to the growing Latino population in the United States. The Department of Homeland Security is always in need of criminal justice majors with Spanish proficiency and cultural sensitivity in many areas of the country.

Majors and minors in Spanish take a variety of courses at both Saint Francis University and in an approved study abroad program. Study abroad is required to complete the Spanish language major or minor, the length of study abroad is determined according to the program students choose.

Double majors in Spanish with health sciences or criminal justice are encouraged to do internships in their disciplines, allowing them to develop expertise in specialized Spanish to serve Spanish-speaking populations.

The main objectives of the major are to develop skills at the Intermediate High to Advanced Low level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in writing, reading, listening and speaking Spanish, although the principal focus of the major is to develop speaking proficiency. Students will have the opportunity to refine their linguistic skills either in Costa Rica or another approved study abroad program. The chance to experience life with local host families will enhance their understanding of cultural issues from a global perspective.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Upon completion of the major, students will be able to:

  • Engage in formal and informal conversations in Spanish about any topic
  • Read and discuss written Spanish in all of its forms: Internet news and articles, newspapers, magazines, literature (poetry, short stories, novels) 
  • Explain ideas and important details of visual productions in Spanish: the media, movies and documentaries on any topic
  • Express feelings and emotions and exchange opinions in Spanish using socio-cultural nuances
  • Demonstrate knowledge of any grammatical aspect in Spanish, including: proper sequence of tenses, direct and indirect discourse, lexical variations and idiomatic expressions
  • Explain and discuss cultural concepts in Spanish, including: character and cultural identity, value systems, attitudes, and beliefs of people from Spanish-speaking cultures and their patterns of social interaction, i.e., what to do, when, where and how
  • Explain Latin American cultural concepts including the Other, the marginalization of indigenous populations, classism and racism, power and democracy
  • Explain Spanish cultural concepts, including Jewish and Moorish influence on Spanish national identity
  • Engage in formal discussions and debates in Spanish, including interpretation and reaction to human rights abuses in Latin America that have led to immigration problems in the US
  • Explain the cultural backgrounds and diversity of the many Latino cultures in the United States, the history of immigration in the United States, and issues pertaining to economic migration and the human rights of refugees.

Admission Requirements: 

  • Three years of high school Spanish

Total Credits Required:

128 minimum

Estimated Completion Time:

Typically 3.5 to 4 years of full-time study. Students usually do their study abroad during the summer, freeing up an entire semester.

Progression and/or Retention Criteria:

Students must take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) immediately after completing their study abroad requirement and achieve a minimum level of Intermediate High. Students may repeat this exam as needed until they achieve this minimum level.

Capstone Requirement:

Students in the Bachelor of Arts in Spanish program are required to complete a Spanish Capstone, designated as Spanish 499, approved by the Spanish program coordinator. Students may fulfil this requirement through study abroad, an internship, or one of the courses below:

  • Spanish 499 / Testimonios sobre la inmigración
  • Spanish 499 / Medicina alternativa y curanderismo
  • Spanish 499 / Literatura

Courses Required for the Major: (33 credits)

Major Requirements: 30 credits

Collateral Requirements: 3 credits


*SPAN 201 and SPAN 202 may be fulfilled through the CLEP exam or an AP score of four, and SPAN 301 with an AP score of five.

**SPAN 203 and 303 are for health science majors or students pursuing a career in translation or interpreting.

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