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Spanish & Latin American Studies

//Spanish & Latin American Studies

MINOR – Spanish & Latin American Studies (SPLA)

Spanish & Latin American Studies

SCROLL DOWN FOR PLACEMENT EXAM INFO AND SIGN UP

About the Spanish & Latin American Studies Program

You do not need to pursue a minor in Spanish in order to take advantage of the benefits of our language courses and study abroad opportunities. Many students at Schreiner choose to study Spanish to fulfill their core curriculum requirements for the “Global Perspective” category, and others decide to enroll just for the benefit of improving their skills or because they enjoy the interactive, conversation-based classes. Most report that they learn more Spanish in one or two semesters at Schreiner than they did during their entire middle school and high school experience (and that they had more fun doing it!).

About the SPLA Minor

Our Minor in Spanish & Latin American Studies offers students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary study of the past, present, and emerging cultural realities of the Spanish-speaking world, a geopolitical entity that includes but is not limited to Spain, Latin America, and the United States. In addition to studying the Spanish language and its more traditional cultural artifacts (e.g., literature and film), students of this interdisciplinary minor contemplate the many social, historical, political, and economic contexts that shape and are shaped by the cultural production of the Spanish-speaking world.

SPLA Degree Plan Worksheet
“Non-Designated” Course Contract
Official Minor Proposal & Description

Why minor in Spanish & Latin American Studies?

  • Gain a distinct advantage in seeking job opportunities in the ever-growing bilingual U.S. job market, especially for students interested in fields like Healthcare, Business, Education and more!
  • Expand your mind and your opportunities by exploring cultural trends and taking advantage of unique travel opportunities at Schreiner and beyond
  • Expect a higher salary, according to studies like this one (Wall Street Journal)
  • Enjoy more flexibility and more choices for coursework options than any other minor on campus.

Why opt for an interdisciplinary minor?

An interdisciplinary minor allows you to enhance your college experience and increase your marketability by earning a well-rounded degree, complemented by a minor that tells future employers loud and clear that you have cross-functional skills and knowledge beyond just your major. Schreiner’s SPLA program produces graduates who not only have language skills, but who also know how to apply them across different contexts and to connect knowledge of language and culture to other fields that matter in their lives. While the SPLA minor’s central focus is in the humanities and social sciences, students are encouraged to incorporate relevant coursework options from numerous other disciplines, such as nursing, business, communication, education, or public health.

Spanish Placement Exam Information

For Fall 2018 the exam will take place FRIDAY NOVEMBER 9th 2018 beginning at 1:30pm in Weir 110. The testing session lasts approximately 60-75 minutes. The exam is only offered once per academic semester.

To sign-up, click here: Spanish Placement Exam Sign Up. See below for answers to some frequently asked questions about the test.

View Academic Catalog
The Spanish & Latin American Studies minor provides a foundational knowledge of linguistic, literary, and cultural aspects of the study of Spanish. It is designed to give students an overview of perspectives from all parts of the Spanish-speaking world. As the texts and cultures of these areas are examined, histories, politics, and arts and societies also will be examined. All course content emphasizes meaningful use of the language, and aims to raise student awareness of the interaction of language, society, and culture.

The minor requires 18 semester hours of coursework.

  • 6 credits of LOWER-LEVEL SPAN courses (SPAN 1401*, 1402*, 2303, or 2304)
    *SPAN 1401 and SPAN 1402 can fulfill Global Perspectives Core Requirement

** Students with a placement score at the level of SPAN 1402 or above may, upon receiving approval from the Registrar, be given credit for required courses at the appropriate level.

  • 12 credits of UPPER-LEVEL courses (designated SPAN or NON-designated interdisciplinary – 3000 course code and above
    • Required – SPAN 3310 Gateway to Hispanic Studies
    • At least 6 credits must be from “DESIGNATED” options (SPAN-language courses)
    • Option to elect 6 credits to dually count for your major and the minor

UPPER-LEVEL “NON-DESIGNATED” options (Interdisciplinary / courses relevant to your major

(You may elective 6 credits to dually count for your major and the minor)

  • Any Major
    • IDST 4340 Problems & Solutions in Global Society
  • Business & Marketing Majors
    • BSAD 3322 International Marketing
    • BSAD 3340 Borderless Business
  • Communication Majors
    • COMM 3320 Intercultural Communication
    • COMM 4310 Conflict and Communication
  • Education Majors
    • EDUC 4305 Curriculum & Assessment (EC-6)
    • EDUC 4307 Curriculum & Assessment (7-12)
    • RDNG 3309 Disciplinary Literacy
    • RDNG 3310 Reading and Language Arts
  • English Majors
    • ENGL 4335 Studies in World Literature
    • ENGL 4363 Religion in Literature & Film
  • History Majors
    • TXST 3330 Texas Culture, Literature, and Song
  • Public Health and Nursing Majors
    • PBHL 3371 Introduction to Public Health
    • PBHL 3372 Global Health
    • PBHL 4374 Community Health (*travel course)
  • Political Science Majors
    • POLS 3372 International Law
    • POLS 3381 Globalization Theories, Issues & Trends
    • POLS 3382 Comparative International Political Systems
    • POLS 3383 International Political Economy

Other options for interdisciplinary credits are available. These, above courses, are examples and are already approved.

Note: Any “non-designated” course will require a course contract between the student and professor, stating your goals and expectations to focus on content relating to the SPLA minor.

The SPLA Minor is one of the best options for Schreiner students, because it is so flexible! You can easily complete this minor without the concern of extra finances or extra semesters.

View these sample degree plans to see how YOU can fit the Spanish & Latin American Studies Minor into your degree.

SAMPLE DEGREE PLANS WITH MINOR… COMING SOON!

Note: These are not official degree plans, only examples. To make this official for you, visit with the SPLA Program Coordinator, Dr. Russo. If you would like to view a different degree not listed, contact the SPLA Program Coordinator.

Through Schreiner University, students can study in several locations to immerse themselves in the Spanish. The University offers faculty led winter and summer trips abroad. Students have recently studied in Colombia (Barranquilla), Spain (Madrid and Salamanca) and Mexico (San Miguel de Allende).

The study abroad opportunity that is most closely coordinated with Schreiner’s SPLA course offerings is the Colombia Exchange Program. Easily take placement exam for current Spanish level or obtain SPAN 1401 and SPAN 1402, and spend a 7-week summer immersed in the Caribbean city of Barranquilla, Colombia.

Colombia Exchange Program

Study abroad opportunity

Study abroad opportunity

Russo, Maureen

Russo, Maureen
Maureen Russo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Academic Affairs

Education

  • B.A., Georgetown University (Italian; Spanish)
  • M.S., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)
  • Ph.D., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)

Dr. Russo earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where she trained alongside some of the nation’s top researchers in languages and linguistics. At Schreiner, she enjoys teaching all levels of Spanish language as well as courses in Cultural Studies and World Literatures. Her main research background lies in Comparative Literature and Hispanomedieval Studies, however she also enjoys researching advances in language pedagogy and international education initiatives.

Empowering undergraduates to broaden their horizons through international education, global service and study abroad are topics that she is very passionate about. As Coordinator of the SPLA Program and Faculty Liaison for SU’s Colombia exchange, Dr. Russo likes to remind herself and others that when she was a college freshman, she did not yet even own a passport! Since beginning those adventures, she has lived, taught and volunteered abroad throughout Latin America and Europe, including Bogotá, Colombia; Milan, Italy; and Sinaloa, Mexico.

Education

  • B.A., Georgetown University (Italian; Spanish)
  • M.S., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)
  • Ph.D., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)

Dr. Russo earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where she trained alongside some of the nation’s top researchers in languages and linguistics. At Schreiner, she enjoys teaching all levels of Spanish language as well as courses in Cultural Studies and World Literatures. Her main research background lies in Comparative Literature and Hispanomedieval Studies, however she also enjoys researching advances in language pedagogy and international education initiatives.

Empowering undergraduates to broaden their horizons through international education, global service and study abroad are topics that she is very passionate about. As Coordinator of the SPLA Program and Faculty Liaison for SU’s Colombia exchange, Dr. Russo likes to remind herself and others that when she was a college freshman, she did not yet even own a passport! Since beginning those adventures, she has lived, taught and volunteered abroad throughout Latin America and Europe, including Bogotá, Colombia; Milan, Italy; and Sinaloa, Mexico.


Nystrom, Nancy

Nystrom, Nancy
Nancy Nystrom, PhD
Visiting Assitant Professor of English
Academic Affairs

Education

  • A.B., Brown University (Comparative Literature)
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin
  • Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Nystrom has had a long and wonderful career in the field of English and language education. Her scholarly work is generally in applied linguistics, and her professional activities have focused on the education of bilingual students and teachers. She has taught English to international students and Spanish to grades 1 through university-level in public and private schools in Texas, Louisiana, and Connecticut. She has been a supervisor of teachers and has served on the faculty of Tulane University (6 years), the University of Hartford (4 years) and UTSA (5 years), teaching a variety of courses relating to the teaching of English as a Second Language, Spanish, and bilingual teacher-training.

She loves anything that relates to effective teaching, and her primary concern with teaching students to write at Schreiner is to give helpful and timely feedback. Fascinated by innovations in teaching, she most recently developed a web-based application that helps bilingual pre-service teachers in Texas prepare for the state certification test in Spanish. She is currently working on integrating service learning into her sections of English 1301 so that students can participate in writing partnerships in the community.


Meet our faculty members for SPLA!

Hernandez, Nelson

Nelson Hernández
Adjunct Instructor of Spanish
Spanish & Latin American Studies

Education

  • Master of Arts Degree in Spanish, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Texas Spanish Teacher Certified

Experience

  • Spanish II NISD Jay High School
  • Spanish I and II NISD Alternative High School
  • Spanish I St. Philip’s College

Prior to coming to Schreiner, Mr. Hernández taught Spanish II and was the Head Soccer Coach. Originally, he is from Honduras Central America and Spanish is his native language. He earned a Master of Arts Degree in Spanish with concentration in Cuban Science Fiction Literature. His research interests are in the areas of utopian and dystopian elements in science fiction literature from Cuba and Honduras. Currently, he is learning Brazilian Portuguese and enjoys playing fútbol in his spare time.


Gomez, Carmen Ramos

Carmen Ramos Gómez
Adjunct Instructor of Spanish
Spanish & Latin American Studies

Education

  • B.A. University of Cádiz, Spain (English Philology)
  • B.A. University of Granada, Spain (Translation and Interpreting)
  • M.A. University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (Second Language Studies)
  • A.G.C. University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (Second Language Studies and Spanish Applied Linguistics)

Carmen is from El Puerto de Santa María, Spain, and language study has always been her passion. Prior to her arrival at Schreiner, Carmen taught beginning and intermediate Spanish at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa. She has also extensive experience teaching English, and Spanish at the University of Cádiz, Spain, as well as experience working as a translator and interpreter. She enjoys yoga, and before leaving Hawaii was an avid outrigger canoe paddler, participating in races throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

Spanish & Latin American Studies

Program Coordinator

Russo, Maureen

Russo, Maureen
Maureen Russo, PhD
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Academic Affairs

Education

  • B.A., Georgetown University (Italian; Spanish)
  • M.S., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)
  • Ph.D., Georgetown University (Spanish Language, Literature & Culture)

Dr. Russo earned her Ph.D. in Spanish Language, Literature & Culture from Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where she trained alongside some of the nation’s top researchers in languages and linguistics. At Schreiner, she enjoys teaching all levels of Spanish language as well as courses in Cultural Studies and World Literatures. Her main research background lies in Comparative Literature and Hispanomedieval Studies, however she also enjoys researching advances in language pedagogy and international education initiatives.

Empowering undergraduates to broaden their horizons through international education, global service and study abroad are topics that she is very passionate about. As Coordinator of the SPLA Program and Faculty Liaison for SU’s Colombia exchange, Dr. Russo likes to remind herself and others that when she was a college freshman, she did not yet even own a passport! Since beginning those adventures, she has lived, taught and volunteered abroad throughout Latin America and Europe, including Bogotá, Colombia; Milan, Italy; and Sinaloa, Mexico.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT’S A “PLACEMENT EXAM?”2018-10-25T15:32:04+00:00

A placement or proficiency exam tests your general competency in a language in order to match those skills with a corresponding level of study. Placement tests evaluate language capacities in a broad way; they are not associated with any single course, textbook, or topic.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?2018-10-25T15:32:45+00:00

IT’S FREE! Schreiner offers this test at no cost to incoming students.

WHEN IS IT? HOW DO I SIGN UP?2018-10-31T16:08:23+00:00

To sign up for the next upcoming exam, see sign-up link and scheduling details posted above on this SPLA webpage.

WHAT’S ON IT? WHAT’S THE FORMAT?2018-10-25T15:45:33+00:00

This is a written exam that lasts approximately 50-60 minutes and evaluates language capacities from a competency standpoint (i.e., it won’t ask you to “identify X verb tense,” it will ask you to demonstrate that you understand what things mean in context). It includes audio comprehension, reading comprehension, multiple choice questions that test overall proficiency knowledge of language use, and a brief writing segment in which you are prompted to share some information about yourself and your interests.

WHAT SHOULD I STUDY?2018-10-25T15:46:20+00:00

There is no study guide for the exam because it is a proficiency exam and not a course exam. Some might say “it’s not the kind of test you study for,” since it tests your overall ability rather than your specific knowledge of any one particular set of vocabulary or forms. If you feel truly compelled to “study up” in some way prior to the exam, you can use any resources you’d like to refresh your knowledge or past studies.

WHAT “KIND” OF SPANISH IS ON IT?2018-10-25T15:47:57+00:00

No specific regional variety of Spanish is on this exam. Whether your Spanish resembles the kind spoken in Spain or the kind spoken in México, or in Cuba, or in Argentina . . . you have no distinct advantage or disadvantage based on that regional variety.

I TOOK SPANISH IN SCHOOL – WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR HOW WELL I’LL DO?2018-10-25T15:51:02+00:00

Actually, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything! Your level of knowledge and skill in the language doesn’t always correlate strictly with the amount of years you’ve studied. Some students who have had Spanish throughout high school still place into the intro level at SU, and there is nothing wrong with that.

WHAT DO I NEED TO GET TO “PASS”?2018-10-25T15:52:41+00:00

It’s not the kind of exam that you “pass” or fail. Rather, your score will place you into one of the following 5 categories, each of which corresponds to a class level at SU:

1. Basic I: placement in SPAN 1401
2. Basic II: placement in SPAN 1402, credit for SPAN 1401
3. Intermediate I: placement in SPAN 2303, credit for SPAN 1401 & 1402
4. Intermediate II: placement in SPAN 2304, credit for SPAN 1401, 1402, & 2303
5. Advanced: placement in any 3000 level SPAN course, credit for SPAN 1401, 1402, 2303, & 2304

HOW MANY TIMES CAN I TAKE THE EXAM?2018-10-25T15:54:58+00:00

You may take the Spanish Proficiency Exam only once.

I HAVE AP CREDITS IN SPANISH, DO I NEED TO TAKE THIS EXAM?2018-10-25T16:02:09+00:00

The Registrar honors AP scores of 3 or higher with credits equivalent to two semesters of Spanish, but the placement exam allows you to earn up to FOUR semesters of credit hours, so, you should definitely still take the exam. Students with transfer credits who are interested in studying Spanish at Schreiner should also definitely take the exam because it’s not unusual for students who have studied Spanish elsewhere to find that those levels do not line up exactly with Schreiner’s levels, and the placement exam exists to help you to avoid the problem of being put into a class that’s not the right class for you.

IF I’M A NATIVE SPEAKER OR HERITAGE SPEAKER, DO I HAVE TO TAKE THIS EXAM?2018-10-25T16:02:58+00:00

If you are a native speaker with satisfactory reading abilities, you will likely do very well on the exam, but you do still need to take it if you wish to receive credit for lower-level classes or placement into an upper-level class. The only exception would be for students who hold a high-school degree earned a Spanish-speaking country.

I MISSED THE EXAM THIS TIME AROUND, WHAT DO I DO?2018-10-25T16:04:27+00:00

Placement exams are given outside of the scheduled dates only in cases where students can confirm their intent to enroll in a Spanish class regardless of their placement (i.e., they will definitely be studying Spanish but they merely need to verify that they are enrolling in the correct level). If you are interested in taking the exam to potentially “test out” and earn credits, and you miss the test date for a given term, you will need to wait until next year.

IF I’M SURE I SHOULD BE IN THE LOWEST LEVEL, DO I HAVE TO TAKE THE EXAM?2018-10-25T16:05:48+00:00

Not at all, you can sign up for SPAN 1401 without having taken the placement exam.

MY LEVEL IS PRETTY LOW, BUT I’M NOT SURE. HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S WORTH A SHOT?2018-10-25T16:07:20+00:00

Ask yourself this: could you successfully communicate a comprehensible answer to the question of what you did yesterday in Spanish? If you think you could probably manage to convey several complete thoughts in response to that question, it’s worth it for you to take this test. But if you’d probably struggle to use even the most basic past tense to express a thing or two about where you went or what you did, or if you would likely resort to stock phrases (“Yesterday go to work. I like money. I have 2 cats. Do you like cats?”) then you should sign yourself right up for SPAN 1401, where you can learn how to say what you did yesterday as well as how to have much more interesting conversations about your cats (and so much more!)

Let’s Talk

2018-10-31T16:12:10+00:00