Oct 122011
 
Authors: Andrew Carrera

The campus Foreign Language and Literatures Department voted last week to push for majors in French, German and Spanish to start being offered at CSU in spring 2013.

Currently, students interested in studying another language at CSU major in languages, literatures and cultures (LLC) and concentrate in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish, or a combination of them. Eventually, three of them will be majors.

Despite offering degree programs in five other languages, the department chose to make French, German and Spanish majors because they are the most popular, with 365 university students currently pursuing degrees in the three fields combined.

“The courses are the same, the course numbers are the same, the advising and all the things we offer is the same,” said Jonathan Carlyon, the department’s undergraduate coordinator. He added, in a way the move was simply “a name change.”

The modification was motivated largely by department members fearing the LLC degree wasn’t a straightforward statement to employers about a student’s proficiency in the language they studied, and changed three dialects to majors to remedy this.

“It’s not a huge deal, but it’s something that people ask. ‘Does a concentration mean you’re fluent?’” Carlyon said. “We’re hoping that, number one, this makes them more competitive in the job market.”

The department used to offer these majors approximately 10 years ago. Its low program enrollment rate at the time, however, meant that the state government could eliminate the degrees in the name of cost saving. To avoid this, said Paola Malpezzi Price, the Foreign Languages and Literatures department chair and faculty members agreed to consolidate their various programs into one degree –– the LLC –– thereby boosting the number of students involved in the department.

Kailey Feit, a sophomore languages, literatures and cultures major, is double concentrating in French and Spanish and agrees the faculty’s move will increase her chances of getting hired after graduating from CSU.

“I think it helps because it’s more official. Instead of a concentration, it’s a major now. It just looks better that I’m majoring in French and Spanish instead of languages, literatures and cultures,” she said. “(LLC) is really broad.”

But people like Feit will have to wait until spring 2013 to see their concentrations officially classified as majors. Those graduating before then will receive an LLC degree.

“It’s very premature to say that the change has been done,” Price said. “It has to go through countless venues before being fully approved.”

The vote taken by faculty members in favor of the three majors marks the beginning of a lengthy bureaucratic process necessary to have it become official. Department members will send the details of their proposal to the College of Liberal Arts Dean Ann Gill, who will then hand the information to Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda.

To Price, the piles of tedious paperwork required to establish the three majors is worth the effort. The move will serve to strengthen the department, she said, which will increase student gravitation to its vital fields.

“And how could you not recognize the importance of languages and cultures in this global society and culture?” Price asked.

Senior Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

By the numbers

16
Number of French concentrations being finished

7
Number of German concentrations being finished

67
Number of Spanish concentrations being finished

365
Total number of French, German and Spanish concentrations

 Posted by at 4:34 pm

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