High School Spanish teachers from across the country have joined together at Reinhardt University for a unique experience. This summer, from June 21 until July 22, the University of Salamanca, the oldest university in Spain (founded in 1218), is offering classes for its master's degree in Spanish for teachers on Reinhardt's main campus in Waleska, Ga.
"It is very exciting to have professors from Spain and graduate students from Georgia and other states-all of them speaking Spanish and exploring the richness of the Spanish language and culture," said Dr. Wayne Glowka, Reinhardt dean of arts and humanities.
A team of five USal professors will be teaching the classes for various periods of time during the program's time frame. Around 30 American teachers of Spanish are taking the USal classes, and will be on campus from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The professors and students have enjoyed their Reinhardt experience thus far.
"It couldn't be better," said Carmen Fernandez Juncal, vice dean in the USal Faculty of Philology. "We received a very warm welcome, characteristic of what we have heard about Southern hospitality. We are very grateful to the administration at Reinhardt and the community of Waleska that have received us with open arms."
Offering the degree at the University this summer was a surprise, but it was a welcomed one. Reinhardt had been in discussion for offering a joint master's degree in Spanish with the University of Salamanca for more than a year now. The program had been intended to be at Reinhardt in the summer of 2011, but changes in the schedule of the Cobb County School District, where USal had been offering the program for several summers, encouraged Reinhardt to consider moving the program to its campus this summer.
"Ultimately, we are interested in globalizing our curriculum, and the opportunity to have graduate courses taught in Spanish to Spanish teachers struck us a very exciting," said Glowka. "Needless to say, we have heard a lot of Spanish spoken around campus these past two weeks!"
Reinhardt plans to continue its collaboration with USal into the foreseeable future. "We want to offer a joint master's degree in Spanish for teachers of Spanish," Glowka said. "The students would graduate with a degree accredited in Europe from the University of Salamanca and a degree accredited in the United States from Reinhardt University. The graduates will be scholarly citizens of two worlds."
Fernandez Juncal added to Glowka's sentiments. "We want this partnership to be a focal point for excellence in the graduate level preparation of Spanish teachers in K-12 and community colleges in the United States. We have just begun, and the possibilities are unlimited!"
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