The study of a foreign language, literature, and culture has traditionally been a core component of a true liberal arts education. In today’s globalized world, this academic tradition has acquired a more urgent, practical dimension.
The Spanish major at Keene State allows students to acquire an active command of written and spoken Spanish, with a knowledge of historical and contemporary issues in the Spanish-speaking world. It is designed to complement majors and minors in many other disciplines, including film studies, English, history, management, music, and education. Spanish majors study in Spain or Latin America through our exchange programs or through other approved programs.
Our courses encourage the highest levels of academic excellence, intellectual curiosity, language skills, and multicultural awareness.
Classes are small, usually no more than twenty students and often—especially at the upper levels—even smaller than that, which allows for plenty of interaction between the instructor and the students, opportunities for close collaboration between them, and time to actually use Spanish in the classroom. Outside of the classroom, we have a local chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the national collegiate Hispanic honor society, as well as a Spanish Club, both of which organize events and activities throughout the academic year. Language students have access to free tutoring to make sure they get the most out of their courses.
Everyone with a major or minor in a modern language is strongly encouraged to study abroad, and Spanish majors are required to spend at least a semester in a Spanish-speaking country.
Studying abroad does not necessarily cost more than a semester in Keene, thanks to our direct exchange programs. Spanish students can attend San Francisco University, our exchange partner in Quito (Ecuador), or may choose from programs in Seville or Alicante (Spain). Faculty in the Modern Languages Department work closely with staff in the Global Education Office to help students design individual programs in other locations as well.
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Career and Other Opportunities
Our graduates get jobs! The Spanish major and minor provide the foundation for the active use of Spanish in academic and professional fields such as:
- social work
- health services
- computer science
Students who pursue teacher certification in Spanish are often hired as soon as they finish their courses. Elementary education majors know how important it is to be fluent in a second language as they prepare to teach in our nation’s many bilingual schools. Employment for teachers is projected to grow and foreign languages are a critical shortage area in New Hampshire and other states. Our K-12 teacher certification program in Spanish is accredited by the New Hampshire Council for the Certification of Teacher Education and nationally recognized by the National Council on the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Spanish majors at Keene State attain the competence in communication and gain broad cultural perspectives. They are better prepared to adapt to working with people from other cultures in an increasingly global economy, regardless of their field. Spanish majors are required to study away, an experience students describe again and again as “life-changing.” Nearly all graduates achieve an advanced level of proficiency in Spanish, as determined by internationally-recognized testing.