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Blinn College to offer online Spanish program in Spring 2018

Online courses feature innovative tools, interactive instruction to maximize student engagement

December 7, 2017

As more students opt for the convenience of online foreign language courses, Blinn College is making it easier than ever to learn the foundation of the world’s second most spoken language.

Beginning in Spring 2018, students can earn their Associate of Arts in Spanish without ever stepping foot on campus. The new online program will feature innovative technology and interactive instruction to maximize student engagement and ensure full equivalency to the traditional face-to-face courses.

“Blinn’s foreign languages faculty are in constant pursuit of the latest advanced online tools to engage students in conversations,” said Dr. Pat Westergaard, Dean of Humanities. “We are very proud of their innovation and commitment to quality online courses. For example, we have had success teaching Czech and Spanish through a collaborative online program that allows participants to practice their language in an online, face-to-face format.”

Blinn’s Associate of Arts in Spanish provides students an understanding of the Spanish language in its spoken and written forms, and introduces students to the Hispanic culture. Coursework consists of vocabulary memorization and verb conjugation, speaking practice, readings, lecture, and Hispanic culture.

The online associate degree program in Spanish features four Spanish courses – SPAN 1411: Beginning Spanish I, SPAN 1412: Beginning Spanish II, SPAN 2311: Intermediate Spanish I, and SPAN 2312: Intermediate Spanish II – that utilize interactive tutorials, video conferencing, and virtual proctored exams to guarantee students are mastering the material.

“Online courses follow the same rigorous curriculum that is taught in a traditional classroom setting,” said Irma Valdez, Foreign Language Department Head. “Once they complete the online program, our students will be fully prepared to take the next step in their education or career.”

Students who complete Spanish 1411 and Spanish 1412 or their equivalents are eligible to complete the last two courses of the degree plan through a Blinn study abroad course in Grenada, Spain.

“We are proud of the study abroad opportunity,” Westergaard said. “Students accelerate their language skills when immersed in the culture.”

Program graduates gain a basic understanding of the Spanish language that can be used in a wide variety of career fields, including social services, education, international relations, healthcare, tourism, and customer support. As the U.S. economy becomes more globalized, the need for employees with foreign language skills is expected to grow.

“An associate degree in Spanish complements any career that involves high interaction with people,” Spanish Instructor Isaac Martinez said. “Individuals who are bilingual have a huge advantage in the workplace – not just with communication, but by understanding and appreciating the different cultures of the world.”

Blinn’s online programs are fully equivalent and hold the same accreditation as its traditional face-to-face courses. Academic and student support are available to students who take online programs through the College’s online student portal, myBlinn. Blinn also offers a variety of resources for students considering online courses at www.blinn.edu/online/students, including an orientation course, tips for taking an online course, tutorials, and frequently asked questions.

Regardless of whether students choose to enroll in online or face-to-face courses, they benefit from Blinn’s exceptional academic reputation. According to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), Blinn’s academic transfer rate of 34.2 percent ranks second in the State of Texas and exceeds the state-wide average of 21.1 percent.

THECB data also shows that Blinn students who take 30 credit hours during the 2017-18 school year save $3,717, approximately 42 percent, in tuition and fees compared to state residents at the average Texas public university.

Registration for the Spring 2018 semester is available through Monday, Jan. 15. College officials encourage early registration for convenient scheduling and placement in high-demand courses. Registration for Blinn’s Winter Minimester, which runs Dec. 15-22 and Jan. 3-10, is available through Thursday, Dec. 14.

For enrollment or financial aid information, visit www.blinn.edu.