John Reed, Ph.D., Chair
The Modern/Classical Languages department offers an intellectually stimulating curriculum to students within a comprehensive study of the language, literature, and cultures of the Hispanic world. The program is organized to prepare students for a professional career in international business, a career in teaching, or graduate study in Spanish. The use of proficiency-based methodologies and audio-visual tools in the study of culture and language bring the student to an understanding and an active command of Spanish in the areas of reading, writing, listening, and speaking. All Spanish courses are conducted in the target language. A full complement of courses for a Spanish major or minor is available on the Winona campus. The Modern/ Classical Languages department also offers a wide variety of Spanish courses that contribute to the General Education Curriculum. Additionally, the department offers beginning and intermediate courses in Latin and Greek, as well as beginning courses in Hebrew.
General Department Goals
Upon completion of their studies, majors are able to demonstrate:
- The ability to engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions;
- The ability to understand and interpret both spoken and written language on a variety of topics; and
- The ability to present information, concepts and ideas to an audience of readers on a variety of topics.
Credits By Placement
- All students who have taken Spanish in high school must have an interview with a Saint Mary’s University professor prior to continuing in that language at Saint Mary’s University. The interview facilitates placement at an appropriate level and is given prior to registration each semester. Upon completion of one semester of study with a final grade of B or above, a student earns 2 credits for each class bypassed in the language sequence (courses numbered 101, 102,201, 202). If a student earned a 3 or higher through the CEEB AP program, she/he may receive 4 100-level credits. A maximum of 8 credits may be earned that count toward a Spanish minor, and as elective credits that count toward graduation.
- Native/Heritage speakers may test out of SP301 Advanced Spanish Converstion with consent of chair.
- Native speakers who have completed high school in their home country may test out of SP302 Advanced Grammar/Composition with consent of chair.
The department offers several extracurricular opportunities. Alpha Mu Gamma is a national foreign language honor society. Eligible seniors majoring or minoring in Spanish or who have taken at least two Latin or Greek courses are annually inducted into the Eta Delta Chapter. The department also sponsors Cineclub, which is open to the university community. Films from both Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries are screened throughout the year, providing a venue for both artistic and cultural reflection.
Spanish Studies Abroad
Saint Mary’s University has an affiliation with Spanish Studies Abroad, which offers courses an internships in Spain (Seville, Alicante, Barcelona), Argentina (Cordoba), Cuba (Havana), and Puerto Rico (San Juan). These are semester or academic-year programs as well as short-term options during the winter, spring, or summer. Saint Mary’s University also partners with the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA), which offers semester-long internship opportunities in Ecuador. The department also offers a short-term study abroad program in Buenos Aires through the Saint Mary’s University study abroad office on an alternate year basis.
Department Honors at Graduation
The department of Modern/Classical Languages awards departmental distinction in Spanish at faculty discretion to graduating seniors. These honors are to inspire and reward students who have completed outstanding work within the department. Students must have a minimum 3.700 department and major-field GPA and a 3.300 cumulative GPA. Students must complete a superior senior capstone project with a grade of A, present some piece of their work in a public forum, and demonstrate truly distinctive ability and performance in Spanish/Spanish Education major.