Spanish B.A. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The Bachelor of Arts in Spanish program aims to educate students in reading and writing at advanced or higher proficiency levels, and in speaking and listening at intermediate mid or higher proficiency ranges, as well as to impart specialized knowledge of the diverse literatures and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world and to instill the ability to appreciate, analyze, and interpret Hispanic literary and cultural texts. The major is designed to provide students 1) a broad knowledge base from which to pursue an advanced degree, 2) the skills necessary to teach elementary levels of the language, 3) training for other careers that require linguistic and cultural competence in Spanish, and 4) personal fulfillment.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to write research papers in Spanish that reflect organized literary or cultural analysis, critical thinking, and writing proficiency in the Advanced (or higher) range.

Student Performance Indicators
  • Research papers at this level demonstrate familiarity with the subject matter, coherent introductory paragraphs with or without thesis statements, analytical development, critical thinking, logical conclusions, and citations that adhere to the MLA format. In accordance with the ACTFL Guidelines, writers at the Advanced level are characterized by the ability to write narratives, descriptions, and summaries of a factual nature. They can narrate and describe in the major time frames of past, present, and future, using paraphrasing and elaboration to provide clarity. Advanced-level writers produce connected discourse of paragraph length and structure. At this level, writers show good control of the most frequently used structures and generic vocabulary, allowing them to be understood by those unaccustomed to the writing of non-natives.
Assessment Method
  • In an anonymous manner (see Implementation Plan, below), research papers completed by graduating seniors in a 400-level Hispanic literature or culture course will be submitted to the Spanish B.A. Literature and Culture Assessment Committee, which evaluates each paper using a rubric based on 1) the literary and cultural competencies exhibited in each paper, as expressed in the Performance Measures above, and 2) the ACTFL standards for writing at the Advanced level.

2. Students will be able to converse in Spanish at the Intermediate Mid to Intermediate High (or higher) ranges.

Student Performance Indicators
  • In accordance with the ACTFL Guidelines, speakers at the Intermediate High range are able to converse with ease and confidence when dealing with routine tasks and social situations. They can successfully handle uncomplicated tasks and social situations requiring an exchange of basic information related to their work, school, recreation, particular interests, and areas of competence. Speakers at the Intermediate Mid sublevel can successfully handle a variety of uncomplicated communicative tasks in straightforward social situations.
Assessment Method
  • On a voluntary basis (see Implementation Plan, below), graduating seniors will take part in a 20- to 30-minute Modified Oral Proficiency Interview with an ACTFL-trained tester of the Spanish B.A. Speaking and Listening Assessment Committee. The recorded interview is double-rated by the tester and by another ACTFL-trained member of the Committee against criteria outlined in the latest published ACTFL Speaking Guidelines by the interviewer and by another ACTFL-trained tester of the Committee.