The College of New Jersey has launched four undergraduate certificates in Spanish for the Professions, which will build job-specific Spanish language competency and intercultural skills for students pursuing careers in business, counseling, healthcare, and law and justice.
As Spanish is the native language of over 40 million people in the United States and one of the world’s three most commonly used languages, bilingualism is a valuable credential in today’s labor market.
“Building our students’ Spanish language competency and intercultural skills will help them to communicate with future colleagues and clients, and provide them a competitive edge in the job market,” said Ann Warner-Ault, assistant professor of Spanish and creator of the new certificate programs.
TCNJ offers four distinct Spanish certificates:
- Spanish for Business
- Spanish for Counseling and Human Services
- Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
- Spanish for Law and Justice Practitioners
Each certificate builds students’ Spanish language and intercultural skills so they can interact respectfully and appropriately in Spanish in their chosen professional area. The new certificates build on the department’s existing strength in teaching Spanish for health care, which faculty member Regina Morin created in 2007 and continues to teach, along with Isabel Kentengian.
Dr. Monica Koncicki ’08, a pediatric intensive care physician at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx participated in the inaugural medical Spanish class.
“The course not only provided me with the contextual words needed to communicate with patients, but also with my first real life experience using medical Spanish as a clinic interpreter,” she said. “I continue to build on my college medical Spanish foundation everyday as a physician.”
For Jesse Goldis ’23, a psychology major whose career goal is to be a clinical psychologist, the certificate program means he’ll be equipped with the cultural competency necessary to connect with future patients.
“When people come to therapy, they want to be understood. Not just by the language they speak, but also by the culture they come from, and the values they hold true to themselves,” Goldis said. “Because of the Spanish certificate program, I’m not just learning more advanced vocabulary, but I am also learning about other cultures that the average student may not be exposed to during their education.”
In addition to classes at TCNJ, students also can develop their language and intercultural skills in programs in Spain and Latin America: spring semester study abroad at University of Alcalá in Spain; a four-week faculty-led summer immersion program in Madrid; and a new two-week faculty-led study tour to Costa Rica, beginning June 2023.
Visit the program’s website for more information.
— Emily W. Dodd ’03