The Spanish program aims to teach the practical skills of understanding, speaking, reading, and writing Spanish. At the same time, it attempts to develop both insight and appreciation of the world's Spanish-speaking people and cultures. The curriculum encompasses introductory through advanced instruction in the literature and culture of Spain and Latin America.
Why study Spanish?
The United States is the fifth largest Spanish speaking country in the world. Hispanics are now the largest minority in the United States. The time for calling Spanish a "foreign" language is over. It is here to stay and growing. It is obvious to anyone living in Ohio that Hispanics are found in our daily lives. The need to communicate effectively with this growing segment of the population is clear.
Because Hispanic influence is felt everywhere, the college graduate who has knowledge of Spanish and who is culturally aware will have greater success in the job market than the monolingual candidate. Consider the following scenario: two recent college graduates apply for the same job which requires knowledge of Spanish. One candidate has taken college classes relevant to the job at hand. The other candidate is bilingual but with little or no classroom instruction related to the job. Who gets the job? Answer: the bilingual person. Why? The logic most employers use goes something like this: in many cases an employer can prepare the bilingual candidate to do the job in a series of month-long workshops, seminars and conferences. But this same employer cannot expect the monolingual candidate to learn Spanish in the span of one month. It takes years to master a foreign language and to become culturally savvy. Therefore, the bilingual person gets the job. With American companies increasingly doing business with Hispanics, more and more employers are following this line of thinking. As the U.S. Hispanic market continues to grow – now ranked as the third largest Latin American economy behind Brazil and Mexico - employers see the bilingual employee as a bridge to new Hispanic customers and their purchasing power projected at over $1 trillion for 2007.
Additional benefits of foreign language study include improving critical thinking skills as well as analytical and interpretive capabilities. These qualities are valued by any employer and necessary for success in any field. Foreign language students are also identified as having a flexibility of mind, willingness to adapt and acceptance of otherness. Finally, foreign language study will improve math and English skills and can improve entrance exam scores on the SATs, GREs, MCATs and LSATs for those considering Graduate school.
Why study Spanish at Wilmington College? Special opportunities offered at WC:
- Foreign Experience: Faculty has lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America (Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica);
- Study Abroad: WC has its own study abroad program in La Paz, South Baja California, Mexico. For more information on this program go to www.sehablalapaz.com. Also, WC participates in a program in Segovia, Spain. In addition to sending students to the Segovia and La Paz programs, recent WC Spanish students have studied in Cuzco, Peru, Sámara Beach, Costa Rica and San José, Costa Rica;
- Sigma Delta Pi: The Spanish National Honor Society has a chapter (Sigma Nu) at WC;
- Spanish Club: Meets several times a semester to watch movies in Spanish, meet with local Spanish speakers to practice their language skills, learn to dance Salsa/Merengue and dine at Mexican restaurants in town;
- Flexibility: Students will find Spanish faculty willing to work around students’ schedules, such as offering courses by appointment and independent studies to fit in a Spanish major if students choose to double major;
- Obtainable Major: Spanish is one the shortest majors/minors on campus requiring only 30 credit hours for the major and 18 for the minor. This will give the student ample opportunity to double major;
- Internships: Working with local organizations that deal with the large Hispanic community in Wilmington, WC students have participated in a variety of internships in which they use their language skills;
- Advanced Placement Credit: College credit is granted for those who have taken AP courses in high school. Also students who have studied in high school may take the proficiency exam to test out of some courses while gaining credits and accelerating the completion of the major;
- Spanish Licensure Program: Recently reactivated program for students wishing to become Spanish teachers; and
- Graduate School: Most graduate school programs in the humanities require foreign language proficiency.
Possible career options for Spanish majors:
Knowledge of Spanish can open many doors for the WC graduate and will certainly make you a more attractive candidate in an increasingly competitive job market. Employers are looking for the skills a candidate can bring to a job, not necessarily a laundry list of classes or a particular major. Because of this, an educated Spanish speaker can embark on a variety of career paths regardless of one’s particular major. Here is a sample of what you could do with your knowledge of Spanish:
- Numerous business options
- Embassy Worker
- Administrative Assistant
- Peace Corps
- Foreign Service
- Human Resources
- Law Enforcement
- Social Work
- Bilingual Education
- Financial Advisor
- Health Professional
- Travel Industry
- Immigration Lawyer
- Sports and Entertainment
- The Military/intelligence/security agencies
Companies & organizations currently in need of Spanish speaking employees:
This list encompasses both Ohio-based as well as national and international companies:
- Procter and Gamble
- National Security Agency
- Superior Linen & Apparel Services
- American Red Cross
- Johnson & Johnson
- Time Warner Cable
- Advocates for Basic Legal Equality
- Hispanic/Latino Scoutreach Program
- J.P. Morgan/Chase
- Cincinnati Spanish Academy
- Lockheed Martin
- RDI Marketing Services
- Sara Lee
- JC Penny
- The Home Depot
- Facs Group, Inc.
- McGraw Hill
- Child Focus, Inc.
- Alliance Data Systems
- Fifth Third Bank
- John Nolan – Ford
- CCS Medical
- The Spanish Journal
- Children’s Hospital
- The Columbus Dispatch
- The Alliance for Battered & Abused International
- Multilingual Services Network, Inc.
- Price Waterhouse Coopers
- FBI, CIA, Defense Intelligence Agency, etc.