World Languages and Literatures M.A. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The mission of the graduate program in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, which offers a Master of Arts degree in World Languages and Literatures with a specialization in Spanish, is to educate students in Hispanic languages, literatures, and cultures at the highest possible level, as well as to provide students with both a broad knowledge base from which to pursue specialized studies and a depth of experience in scholarship and pedagogy that will advance their future research and professional activities. Among the practical objectives of the program is the formation of highly educated individuals who will be capable of one or more of the following, according to their abilities and interests:

  1. successfully completing a Ph.D. program or another advanced degree (M.D., J.D., etc.);
  2. securing a teaching position at an educational institution;
  3. improving their standing within the institutions in which they may already be employed;
  4. pursuing any career in which profound knowledge of Spanish and/or Hispanic cultures is a valuable asset.

Program Outcomes

1. Upon graduation, student will be prepared to achieve one of the following objectives: 1. Student pursues an advanced degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., J.D., etc.) in a program in which s/he has been accepted. 2. Student secures a teaching position at an educational institution. 3. Student improves standing within the institution where s/he was employed while pursuing coursework leading to the M.A. in WLL. 4. Student secures a professional position in which profound knowledge of Spanish and/or Hispanic cultures is a valuable asset.

Assessment Method

  • Graduate student surveys, electronic communication, and telephone interviews conducted by the graduate director, the UNR Graduate School, and/or the UNR Office of University Assessment.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Student will be able to demonstrate familiarity with a variety of theoretical and research tools relevant to the field, including the use of MLA and APA Style (where appropriate), to engage in original research.

Assessment Method
  • Student will complete multiple theoretically grounded research papers where either MLA or APA Style are used. Research papers are evaluated by graduate faculty during a student's participation in graduate coursework. Successful completion of an approved graduate Program of Study demonstrates successful completion of this Student Performance Indicator.

2. Student will be able to demonstrate command of at least one world language other than English or Spanish.

Assessment Method
  • Besides completing graduate coursework in English and Spanish, student completes coursework in an alternate world language (second-year level, minimum) or a translation exam in which the student translates from a target language (not Spanish) into English. Transcripts that demonstrate satisfactory completion of coursework in the alternate language or evaluation of a translation exam by a faculty member fluent in the target language are used to determine successful completion of this Student Performance Indicator.

3. Student will be able to demonstrate an advanced command of the Spanish language in all four skill areas: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Assessment Method
  • Besides completing an approved Program of Study where use of the Spanish language in multiple forms is essential, student takes a comprehensive written exam over multiple areas concerning Spanish linguistics and pedagogy, as well as Hispanic literatures and cultures. Student also completes an oral defense where this Student Performance Indicator is evaluated. Graduate faculty assess the degree to which a student has achieved the knowledge base and communication skills necessary to satisfy this Student Performance Indicator.

4. Student will be able to demonstrate a profound knowledge of Hispanic literatures and cultures.

Assessment Method
  • Besides completing an approved Program of Study that explores various aspects of Hispanic literatures and cultures, student takes a comprehensive written exam over multiple areas of Hispanic literatures and cultures based on a corresponding reading list. Student also completes an oral defense where this Student Performance Indicator is evaluated. Graduate faculty assess the degree to which a student has achieved the knowledge base and critical skills necessary to impart relevant information to others in various forms.

5. Student will be able to demonstrate an ability to critically analyze cultural texts and deliver a professional academic presentation in Spanish.

Assessment Method
  • Student completes a written comprehensive exam and an oral defense in Spanish where multiple cultural texts are critically analyzed. Additionally, students may opt to complete an M.A. thesis. All graduate faculty evaluate the written comprehensive exam, while the student's Advisory-Examining Committee assesses student performance on the oral defense. Overall, the Advisory-Examining Committee determines if a student has satisfactorily completed this Student Performance Indicator.