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"There is no area of education with a greater potential—or a greater responsibility—than that of foreign language education [because] in our classroom we have the opportunity to help students become open, accepting, caring citizens of the world community." —Genelle Morain

In addition to providing fundamental knowledge of the Spanish language, the Spanish faculty at Colorado Mesa University is committed to helping students develop effective communicative skills in Spanish as well as providing an understanding of the relationship between language and its various cultural manifestations.


Mission Statement

The Spanish program seeks to prepare and graduate students who have a solid foundation and understanding of the Spanish language, culture, and artifacts of the Hispanic world. They will be prepared to continue their education or pursue careers in a number of fields, including many that are not directly related to Spanish (i.e., medical, law, political science) as well as those directly related to language (i.e., teaching, translating, interpreting, editing). Students will develop the ability to be the impetus for change as they become informed citizens.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

In order to achieve our mission and reach the institutional student learning outcomes, the Spanish program has selected the following student learning outcomes, with Colorado Mesa University's student learning outcomes identified in parentheses.

Graduates of the Spanish and Hispanic Studies Program will be able to:

  1. Express themselves coherently in written and oral Spanish. (Communication Fluency)
  2. Apply knowledge of the structure of the Spanish language, including syntax, phonetics/phonology, and morphology in speech and writing. (Applied Learning)
  3. Demonstrate an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of important literary and artistic movements/works, linguistics, history, translation, interpretation, and/or cultural aspects in relation to the Spanish-speaking world. (Specialized Knowledge)
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the linguistic variations that exist in the Spanish speaking world. (Specialized Knowledge)
  5. Develop a research project focused on the application of Spanish in an area of the student’s choosing (e.g. analyzes significant literary movements/works and the authors; the application of Spanish in a professional context; second language acquisition or teaching methodologies). (Critical Thinking)
  6. Compare commonalities and differences between Hispanic and other U.S. cultures. (Critical Thinking)
  7. Reflect on and respond to ethical, social, civic, and/or environmental challenges at local, national, and/or global levels. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  8. Find and incorporate reliable, relevant academic sources in their written research. (Information Literacy)

Why Is Spanish and Hispanic Studies Worth Considering?

The major in Spanish and Hispanic Studies at Colorado Mesa University is designed to provide knowledge and skills intended to produce effective communication in Spanish, as well as an understanding of the relationship of the Spanish language and its cultures to the world in which we live. Students with the Spanish and Hispanic Studies major gain valuable insights into Peninsular and Latin-American language and literature, their histories and their cultures. With a focused study of Spanish phonetics and phonology, students are also introduced to the linguistic properties of the Spanish language. This program of study develops in its graduates a wide understanding of the many variations of Spanish as it is spoken throughout this hemisphere as well as how it was spoken during phases in the language’s development.This breadth of study provides the graduate the ability to understand and navigate the nuances of various speech characteristics that exist within the Spanish-speaking population of our region, in the United States, and in the 21 Spanish-speaking countries.

What can I do with this Major?

Graduates from CMU’s Spanish & Hispanic Studies program work in a variety of professions, such as directors of human services, law enforcement officers, lawyers, business owners, administrators for nonprofit organizations, teachers, and politicians. In many instances our graduates have continued their studies in graduate schools, where they have increased their skills in these areas as well as a variety of other fields, such as social work, law, health care, and education.

Thinking of Becoming an Interpreter or Translator?

The major provides invaluable insights and cultural competencies. Your next steps may be to add professional strategies to your bilingual skills. You might consider becoming trained in the high-paying and highly desirable career as professional translators and interpreters, working in the courts and medical fields. Given the demographics of the United States and that it is a destination country for immigrants, the skills required to serve the Spanish-speaking community are in high demand, both locally and in the country as a whole. After pursuing certifications and graduate studies at specialized programs (i.e. Middlebury Institute in Monterrey, CA or Denver University), graduates from CMU’s Spanish & Hispanic Studies program can work as court and medical interpreters and freelance translators, where they are able to apply their cultural competencies that they acquired in classes such as Spanish for Medical and Social Service (FLAS 431), Spanish for the Professions (FLAS 433) Introduction to Translation (FLAS 434) and Introduction to Interpreting (FLAS 435).

Spanish and Hispanic Studies Major

 See the course requirements for the Spanish Major at HIspanic Studies Major

Spanish Faculty 

The Spanish faculty at Colorado Mesa are valued for their expertise and experience. Among their ranks, there is a professional journalist; a federally-certified translator/interpreter; a specialist in linguistics; a specialist in Latin American women writers; and a specialist in Spanish for Secondary Education. The faculty members are professionally active in their fields and routinely research, present, consult, publish and lecture. Spanish faculty



Placement Exam

Are you curious about which Spanish class to take? Find out

Visit Us

Our offices are always open to our students. Please stop by and visit with us about our program. Our offices are located on the second floor of Escalante Hall.

Declare a major or minor

If you would like to declare a major or minor in Spanish, please see Shannon Davidson in Escalante Hall 237. She can also be reached at 970.248.1687

Spanish can complement any other major, making students more marketable in their respective fields. Please see the requirements for minoring in Spanish. Minor in Spanish