Contact

Juan A. Thomas
Associate Professor of Spanish and Chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages
1600 Burrstone Rd
Utica, NY 13502

Foreign Language

Division of Social Sciences and Management

(Bachelor of Arts Degree)

Department Mission Statement



Utica College’s mission statement states that "The College strives to be academically distinctive by recognizing the connection between liberal and career education." The major in Foreign Languages will suit those students whose future endeavors will have them working with a non-English speaking population, be it in the health services, education, social services, counseling or journalism, to name just a few. Students who successfully complete a major in either French or Spanish [more languages may be added as student demand necessitates], with an accompanying minor or sequence of courses in a second language or subject area, will have been exposed to a variety of linguistic, literary and cultural models upon which to draw in their professional lives. They will have also developed empathy for non-native speakers of English, having undergone a similar experience while learning their second and possibly third languages. Furthermore, the knowledge of other languages is a positive attribute for anyone entering the job market or pursuing a graduate degree.

Utica College has a uniquely diverse student body. Many of our students come from, and will return to, multi-lingual families and populations. Many other students have become cognizant of the increasing heterogeneity of their regions and of their future work places. Those students who research the job market may readily discover that more than 70 federal agencies require employees with foreign language skills, and thousands of positions remain unfilled due to the lack of language-qualified personnel (Katherine McIntire Peters. "A Critical Shortage of Federal Employees with Foreign Language Skills is Hurting National Security", Government Executive May 2002). Even at the local level there is a great need for students who should broaden their cultural horizons in order to successfully function in the professional arena. The Mohawk Valley is home to speakers of more than 30 different languages. Job-seekers who are at least conversant in one of these other languages will find themselves to be the more attractive candidates in the educational, health, social services and business fields because of their abilities to communicate.

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