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Overview of Spanish

Spanish Ries

The mission of the Spanish Section at UWEC is:

  • to offer quality instruction in the areas of Spanish language, and the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world (for both Liberal Arts majors and Teaching majors) and Spanish for the Professions;
  • to encourage and foster interest in the Spanish language and in the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world;
  • to promote the study of those languages and cultures as part of the humanities and other university courses of study.

Through effective communicative instruction, students are prepared to read, speak, write, and understand Spanish. Course offerings reflect and respond to the diversity of our students, who include: heritage speakers, non-traditional students, professionals in a variety of fields, as well as traditional undergraduates. We encourage students to participate in study abroad programs and extra-curricular activities as a means of improving proficiency and cultural awareness.

Faculty are actively engaged in advancing knowledge in their respective areas of expertise and striving to link, in the manner most beneficial for students, critical and scholarly work to classroom instruction and advising activities. We assume a role in disseminating Hispanic and US Latino culture, not only to the campus community but to the Chippewa Valley area and the Upper Midwest as well.

The growing number of Spanish-speakers in the United States has significantly increased the need for teachers and speakers of Spanish. Although some students choose to study Spanish primarily for personal growth and intellectual enrichment, graduates in Spanish have found satisfying careers in teaching, international business, translation and interpretation, personnel work, public relations, business management, social work, government service, and other fields. The Spanish major is also an excellent preparation for graduate study.

We believe that proficiency in more than one language and an understanding of other cultures are essential for peace in a mutually interdependent world. Learning a new language is a life-long endeavor, only part of which can be accomplished in the classroom. Therefore, all students of Spanish are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities the Department provides to travel and study in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Chile.

All Spanish majors and minors in any of the emphases offered must complete an appropriate period of language immersion in residence in a country in which the language is spoken, or participate in an alternative language immersion experience that must be approved by the Spanish section. The minimum time period for meeting the residence/immersion requirement is six weeks; however, the Spanish section recommends that students spend at least one semester abroad.


Ashley "The Department of Languages is full of diversity. There are professors from many different countries and they all bring their experiences to the classroom. They all have a passion for the languages that they teach and the cultures that speak those languages. There are many opportunities to improve language skills through the Department of Languages."  Ashley – Spanish