Students who study Spanish become explorers in many dimensions. They discover, among other things, that Spanish represents less an alternative means for expressing what we see and think, than a cultural lens predisposing and empowering its speakers to see and think in unique ways.
On looking through this lens, students diversify their perceptions of the world and multiply their opportunities to interact with it. These opportunities may include experiencing the tragic ferocity of the Spanish Civil War in the pages of Sender’s Réquiem por un campesino español, serving as an interpreter for a Latino family in Northfield, teaching art to the children of imprisoned women in Quito, Ecuador, speaking with indigenous people on the shores of Guatemala’s beautiful Lake Atitlán about their struggle to preserve the land, probing the imposing complexity of Latin American life within the mythic dimensions of García Márquez’s Macondo, debating politics with impassioned university students in Seville, Spain, or talking into the night with a roommate from Costa Rica in the Spanish House. Whatever the channels opened- and they are countless- students who become proficient in Spanish discover that “Quien sabe dos lenguas, vale por dos.”
Being a Spanish Major (or Spanish Education Major) at St. Olaf has multiple components:
– Successful completion of a minimum of 8 (9 for Spanish Education) courses beginning with Spanish 250 with a grade above C- in 6 courses
– An extended period of study abroad (one semester) is highly recommended. (Occasionally a student may opt to spend a whole year abroad.) The linguistic practice and first-hand cultural knowledge you will gain abroad cannot be duplicated on campus. Study abroad is greatly facilitated by early planning. You may count up to two courses taken abroad for your Spanish Major or up to three courses for your Spanish Education Major, depending on your choice of program.
– Carrying out a program of experiential activities designed to compliment in-class learning and expand your ability to use Spanish in a variety of non-academic situations.
All components are essential for a well-rounded major. Although successful completion of course work is the basis for “certification” of the major for graduation, completion of course work is just the start. To prepare yourself to be able to interact appropriately with Spanish-speakers in the U.S. and abroad, to compete successfully in the job market if you wish to use your Spanish skills and cultural knowledge in a professional field, and to really be able to make the Spanish language and Hispanic cultures a part of your life and not just a field of study, you need to make a personal commitment to enhance your in-class learning with out-of-class experiences.
Your complimentary experiential activities are what will make you stand ou tin comparison to other majors, from St. Olaf and other institutitons, when opportunities for awards, scholarships, admission to graduate school, and/or jobs present themselves. Completion of courses with good grades is standard; going beyond that standard is your commitment to excellence.
Requirements for a Graduation Major:
Spanish 250, 275, 276; either 313 or 314, one additional 300-level course, plus three electives above the 250 level (of these five courses, at least one must focus on Spain and one on Latin America). A maximum of two courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above.
Requirements for a Spanish Major with K-12 Teaching Licensure:
Spanish 250, 275, 276; either 313 or 314, one additional 300-level course, plus four electives above the 250 level (of these six courses, at least one must focus on Spain and one on Latin America); English 250, Education 321, Educations 352, and all other requirements of the K-12 teaching licensure program in Spanish (see EDUCATION). A maximum of three courses above the 250 level may be counted from off-campus study. Independent study or research may not be counted in lieu of any of the courses referred to above. (Consult World Language Licensure Adviser.)
Requirements for a K-8 Specialty in Spanish Teaching:
Spanish 250, 275, and 276, English 250, and Education 353 and all other requirements of the K-12 teaching licensure program in Spanish. Licensure for K-8 Spanish teaching can be awarded only by an endorsement onto a full K-6, K-12, 5-12, or 9-12 license in another content area.