English & Modern Languages

The Cal Poly Pomona B.A. in Spanish

Meaning of the Spanish B.A.

The Spanish B.A. prepares students for leadership and professions in a changing multicultural and plurilingual world through a curriculum that enhances students’ ability to read analytically, think critically, and write clearly in dealing with literature, linguistics and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. The CPP Spanish degree is distinct in that it offers courses specially designed to address the linguistic needs of both Spanish heritage speakers and non-Spanish heritage speakers, and in that it offers a strong linguistics component and a cross-linguistic approach that set this program apart from other Spanish programs that are almost exclusively literature-oriented. The specific balance of courses in linguistics, literature and civilization, as well as service-learning and undergraduate research opportunities, prepares students well for an array of Spanish language-related professions as well as postgraduate coursework.  

In alignment with the university’s learn-by-doing philosophy, we offer service-learning, practicum, and internship courses in which students have the opportunity to teach children in bilingual programs or interpret Spanish-English in a legal setting. In line with the Teacher-Scholar philosophy, students collaborate with faculty in research and pedagogical projects. Finally, our program strongly embraces diversity through understanding and appreciation of linguistic and cultural diversity.

Our students arrive with an intermediate level of Spanish language proficiency, from their Spanish-speaking heritage and/or from the study of the language in a school setting, and many of them have passed the AP exam in high school, as our 2016 exit survey indicates. Our program allows students to increase this intermediate level of language proficiency to an advanced-high level in all for skills (based on the ACTFL proficiency guidelines), and prepares them with the metalinguistic skills, cross-linguistic understanding, and cross-cultural awareness necessary to pursue a career in translation and interpretation. Also, our program is accredited by the California Commission for Teacher Credentialing (CCTC), and our graduates are ready to begin the Spanish Teaching Credential Program upon graduation. The program’s academic rigor also allows students to pursue a postgraduate degree. Indeed, many of our graduates work in either interpretation or teaching fields, and some of them pursue a M.A. and/or Ph.D. degree. Read more about our alumni here.

Our curriculum balances language proficiency, linguistics, literature, and culture courses. It also includes service-learning courses that prepare students to function effectively in different cultural and professional contexts, and many courses require observation in professional settings.  Most of our courses include a research component, and we offer many opportunities for students to attend or present their research at conferences. The required English linguistics support courses enhance cross-linguistic (Spanish-English) and metalinguistic understanding. 

Quality of the Spanish B.A.

The Spanish degree prepares students for a variety of professional settings. At the end of the program, students must be able to communicate orally and in writing in Spanish in a variety of topics and settings and for different purposes at the ACTFL advanced-high proficiency level.  Students must also be able to read critically, interpret analytically, and write coherently about literatures produced in Spanish and about fundamental principles of the Spanish language. Finally, students must demonstrate deep understanding and appreciation of the cultural values of Spanish-speaking peoples. 

SPN intermediate and advanced language proficiency courses increase students’ language oral and written proficiency while introducing them to the use of metalinguistic tools to approach language study. SPN linguistics courses increase students’ understanding of language as a system, its internal variation, and the role of language in society and the professions. SPN literature and civilization courses increase students’ understanding of the culture of the Spanish-speaking world through art and architecture, literature, societal perspectives, history, etc. Two professional development courses (SPN 4410 and SPN 4440) offer students a diversity of opportunities that will prepare them to enter multiple professional environments. Finally, the Spanish Capstone course is a culminating experience that allow students to integrate all competencies and demonstrate their mastery in the form of a research project. 

In addition to the specific skills targeted in each curriculum component, every course in the curriculum provides opportunities to increase oral, listening, reading and writing proficiency through the study of linguistics, culture, and literature, as well as to strengthen students’ understanding and appreciation of the values of Spanish-speaking peoples through the study of the political, religious, social, economic, and educational systems and institutions in the Spanish-speaking nations and the analysis of social, ethnic and linguistic diversity, the explicitly drawn connections with other disciplines, and the engagement with multilingual communities.

Integrity of the Spanish B.A.

The department assesses its progress in reaching its goals at two distinct points: core coursework and the senior capstone. We assess students’ progress within our core courses, through questions embedded in our tests and written and oral assignments and/or through separate assessment activities that assess specific aspects of our program. These are then viewed in relation to students’ performance in the senior capstone experience.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Oral communication: Students will communicate orally in Spanish at a high level of proficiency about a variety of general and discipline-related topics.
  2. Written communication: Students will communicate effectively in writing in Spanish about a variety of general and discipline-related topics, in academic, creative, and professional genres.
  3. Critical reading of literary and cultural texts: Students will (a) contextualize a variety of literary and cultural texts produced in Spanish within their time periods and countries, and (b) critique literary and cultural texts using current critical language.
  4. Metalinguistic awareness and knowledge: Students will (a) apply the fundamental principles of the Spanish language structure, language use, and first and second language acquisition and learning, and (b) analyze the different subsystems of the Spanish language.
  5. Appreciation of culture: Students will recognize the value of linguistic, social, and cultural diversity in the Spanish-speaking world, both at a local and a global level.

Other Accreditation Documents

Curriculum Matrix (PDF)