Our French, German, and Spanish classes are small, usually no more than 20 students, and many are smaller. Students work closely with faculty, and these faculty are native (or near-native speakers) who come from Spain, Mexico, Cuba, and Austria. Students responding to our survey of graduates wrote "really outstanding" faculty, and "lots of one on one contact between professor and student." "The faculty is terrific - even adjunct faculty"; "my teachers at Keene were magnificent." Student assistants from direct exchange institutions in France, Quebec, and Ecuador or KSC students with native speaker abilities work in language classes and tutor in our new multi-media state of the art language lab in Morrison Hall.
Our graduates get jobs! One survey respondent wrote: "Every job that I applied for, I was offered a position." Students who pursue teacher certification in French or Spanish are often hired as soon as they can finish courses. Elementary education majors know how important it is to be fluent in a second language as they prepare to teach in our nation’s many bilingual schools. The average teacher pay in the US is now $46,597 and 83% of teachers say they are satisfied with their jobs. Employment for teachers is projected to grow, and foreign languages are a critical shortage area in New Hampshire and many other states. Forty percent of public school teachers are expected to retire within the next five years. Our K-12 teacher certification programs in French and Spanish are accredited by the New Hampshire Council for the Certification of Teacher Education and nationally recognized by the National Council on the Accreditation of teacher Education (NCATE).
Besides teaching, other graduates have gone into Peace Corps work in Africa, social services, media relations, marketing, or a variety of other fields. They enroll in graduate programs at Middlebury, Lesley University, the University of Connecticut, and many other institutions. A Bachelor of Arts in French or Spanish or a minor in these languages or German can open many doors.
The Department of Modern Languages provides a foundation for the active use of French, German, and Spanish in fields such as education, business, government, social services, computer science, teaching, management or other careers. Our courses encourage the highest levels of intellectual excellence, curiosity, language skills, and multicultural awareness.
It is our mission:
- To create knowledge that transforms and challenges our students’ views of the world.
- To train teachers of French and Spanish who are certified nationally in grades K through 12.
- To address the challenges and opportunities facing not only the United States but the 21st century’s global societies.
- To foster scholarship that honors cross-cultural and multilingual process in order to improve cultural understanding within a diverse society.
- To train professionals with language skills in a wider range of public service disciplines as health care providers, health sciences professionals and educators.
- To encourage scholarship that honors the art, literature, and history from different countries.