To be able to communicate in a foreign language is a fundamental asset in any profession, from careers in education, translating and interpreting, to those in international studies, health, business or law. A minor in Spanish addresses the needs of students who seek the ability to communicate in more than one language in order to be competitive in their chosen profession. The study of Spanish language and culture is of special importance in the United States, the country with the second largest Spanish-speaking population in the world. The Spanish minor offers students the linguistic confidence needed for studying in another country and the benefits of being exposed to other cultures.
Program Learning Outcomes
Upon finishing the Spanish minor, we expect students to have developed supporting skills in critical thinking, written expression, reading, listening and oral proficiency in Spanish, meaning that students will:
- Possess Spanish listening and speaking skills equivalent at least to the advanced level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines: Understand the main ideas of most speech in a standard dialect and use oral Spanish to speak about a variety of everyday activities, school, and work situations, but also to support opinions, explain in detail and hypothesize.
- Possess Spanish reading skills equivalent at least to the advanced level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines: Understand parts of texts that are conceptually abstract and linguistically complex; demonstrate awareness of the aesthetic properties of language and of its literary styles, which permits comprehension of a wider variety of texts, including literary texts.
- Possess Spanish writing skills equivalent at least to the advanced level of the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines: the student will be able to write about a variety of topics with significant precision and detail, and to produce organized compositions and short research papers.
- Be able to identify the linguistic and pragmatic components of the Spanish language.
- Demonstrate in their oral presentations, compositions, research papers and other class assignments a reasonable knowledge of the ways of thinking, behavioral practices, and the cultural products of the Spanish-speaking world.
The Spanish minor serves students across the UC Merced campus, supporting their studies in the major discipline. Students who complete the Spanish minor with us also major in the SSHA disciplines and the Natural Sciences such as Microbiology and Immunology, Human Health, and Molecular and Cell Biology.
Each year, our program assesses the classroom learning experiences of students to ensure that students are building the necessary skills and knowledge-base in this discipline. The assessments allow our program to engage in continued creative and visionary curriculum and instruction approaches that ensure students are exposed to rigorous undergraduate training. Every discipline has a unique assessment schema and set of student performance benchmarks, reflecting the priorities of the discipline.
Check back in Spring 2013 to see preliminary findings.
Student graduates from our program are currently engaging in graduate studies and careers. A few of these after-college endeavors are listed below. If you have an alumni update to share, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations so we can share your success!
Student graduates from the Spanish minor are studying at the University of California campuses at Berkeley, Davis and Los Angeles; University of Southern California; and Pepperdine University.
From a message sent by a former student now studying in the Spanish Literature master's program at UC Davis: "Sí, gracias a Dios y a la preparación que usted me dio me ha ido bien en los seminarios y con los dos últimos cursos introductorios de español 1 y 2 que les he estado impartiendo a estudiantes de pregrado que quieren aprender a hablar y a escribir el idioma."
Student graduates from the Spanish minor are working in a variety of professional settings including legislative departments, school districts, state agencies, and university administration offices.