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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Online master's courses offered through Spanish program at NMSU

New Mexico State University is offering an online master's degree in Spanish for students who are interested in either Spanish linguistics or Latin American and U.S. Hispanic literature but who may not be able to study it in a classroom for a variety of reasons.

The program launched one year ago with a pilot course in spring 2008 and is seeing great interest from Spanish teachers who need a master's degree, but is also geared towards individuals with an undergraduate background in Spanish studies who wish to further their knowledge at the master's level.

The master's of arts in Spanish online is the only program of its kind to be certified by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), an inter-university consortium that allows out-of-state students to take courses at near state-tuition rates. The courses are structured very differently from courses taught in a classroom due to the wholly online delivery of the courses, but are equally as rigorous, according to Patricia MacGregor-Mendoza, associate professor of languages and linguistics.

"For the online course, we needed to create capabilities for podcasts, visuals, blogging and other opportunities to let the students express themselves so intellectual development takes place," college associate professor of languages and linguistics, Jeff Longwell said. Professors hold office hours in person in addition to chat sessions for students near and far.

The courses offered for fall 2009 are History of the Spanish Language, Technical Translation and Spanish American Theatre of the 20th Century. All courses are taught in Spanish.

In addition to MacGregor-Mendoza and Longwell, Beth Pollack and the department's newest faculty member, Mark Waltermire and others are working with the online master's of arts Spanish program.

The languages and linguistics team has had program inquiries from a few Latin American countries and Spain in addition to some in-state and out-of-state inquiries. In addition to local students, individuals from Iowa, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia are currently enrolled in the courses. Students who have a full time job or other commitments that prevent them from taking classes on campus are ideal candidates for the program.

The long term plan for the department is to develop a stronger program online by growing the faculty and getting the current faculty more involved in online teaching and learning, Longwell said.

For more information on the program, how to apply or others offered by the Department of Languages and Linguistics visit http://nmsu.edu/~langling. The online program also has a blog at http://www.mainspanishonlinenmsu.blogspot.com/.

For more about other degree programs offered by NMSU's College of Extended Learning visit http://distance.nmsu.edu.