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College Receives Department of Education Grant to Expand Access to Spanish Language and Cultural Education
(Delaware and Chester Counties, PA • October 29, 2018)—Delaware County Community College is one of only three community colleges to have received a grant from the Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language program this fiscal year. The two-year grant of $95,658 will allow the College to improve practical Spanish language and cultural knowledge throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania.
The project’s goals are to expand access to Spanish language and cultural education and enhance employment options for students in professional fields with demand for workers with Spanish language and cultural knowledge. Key academic components of the grant include creation of Open Educational Resources (OER) for introductory and intermediate Spanish courses and a new certificate program in Spanish for the Professions.
The OER would eliminate textbook costs for students in these courses and will be piloted during year two of the grant with expansion into other sections in the future. The grant also allows for training for Spanish faculty members who will teach using the OER. “Studies have shown that students who begin a course without a textbook are more likely to withdraw from or fail the course,” says Dr. Terri Amlong, Assistant Dean of Communication, Arts and Humanities and project director for the grant. “OER course materials are free and available to the students from the first day of class, so students save money and increase their chances of succeeding.”
Development of the new certificate program in Spanish for the Professions will include creation of two new courses: Spanish for Business and Law and Spanish for Early Childhood Education. The certificate will be able to be earned simultaneously with an associate degree or on its own. The certificate program will give students in a variety of professional fields access to marketable skills. Employers in many fields are looking for bilingual candidates or those with a basic understanding of Spanish.
Community members will also benefit from the grant as the College will host events highlighting Hispanic and Latinx culture, including lectures, performances and discussions. “The grant provides us with resources to engage in Latinx/Hispanic cultural awareness for our community at large. With eight campuses spread across two counties, we have a chance to create programming that highlights the great diversity of our community and the benefits of intercultural communication,” adds Amlong.
To learn more about this opportunity, contact Amlong at 610-359-5359.