Bachelor of Arts
Communication Arts, Languages & Literature

Spanish speakers are in high demand across many fields—from education and health to business and government.


Spanish students study the language, literature, linguistics, history and culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish is also an excellent complement to majors in Education, Business Administration, Economics, Politics & Government, Biology, Recreation & Outdoor Recreation, Sociology, Psychology, Exercise & Sport Science and Environment & Sustainability. Students can understand and speak Spanish fluently and work in a myriad of professional fields.


The Spanish program has two tracks: the Standard Major and K-12 Licensure Emphasis. The Standard Major prepares students for positions with the federal government or major corporations concerned with international business. They are also prepared for a variety of other positions, such as teachers, court interpreters and business managers. The K-12 Licensure Emphasis qualifies students for the State of Colorado Licensure in Spanish Education. Graduates of either emphasis gain an understanding of and fluency in speaking, reading, writing and listening to Spanish; are acquainted with the phonology of modern Spanish dialects and explore the sound system; can read, discuss, critique and appreciate the literary value of Hispanic literature; and are familiar with and appreciate Hispanic civilization and culture. Students majoring in other programs can earn the 18-credit Spanish Minor, which equips them with a fundamental understanding of the Spanish language and culture in a variety of settings.

FAIR SCHOLARSHIP: Open to students majoring or minoring in Spanish, this scholarship provides up to $5,000 to be granted to one or more students for annual tuition and fees.


Career Opportunities include:

  • International Business 
  • Interpreter/Translator 
  • Banking Foreign/Diplomatic Service 
  • Travel Industry Media or Public Relations 
  • Immigration/Customs 
  • Peace Corps 
  • Teaching 
  • Bilingual medical or health worker 
  • Foreign correspondent


Our friendly faculty would love to hear from you.

Lorena Gomez, PhD



VOLUNTEERING: Students serve at Gunnison County’s Multicultural Resources and Project Hope to provide support for local Spanish-speaking individuals searching for additional resources to succeed in life.

MULTICULTURAL CENTER: Immerse with students from many cultures on campus and participate in community service and organizing cultural events.


Kodi Enkler smiles for the camear
"I chose Western because it is a small community that strives to be a home away from home."
Karlye Enkler smiles at the camera
"I had the opportunity to study abroad in Puerto Rico twice. This is something I never could have done without the help of the Spanish Department."
Andrew Butterfield smiles at the camera
"Learning a second language is exciting and being able to do so in such a beautiful mountain setting makes Western the perfect school for me."
Shelby Deutsch smiles at the camera
"I chose Western to be known as a student rather than a number."


Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309. To find scholarships based on year of study (e.g. - Freshmen Scholarships), please see the navigation to the left.

 Fair, Scholarship In Modern Languages

Fair, Scholarship In Modern Languages is Available to:

Colorado Resident and US citizen. Declared Foreign language major preferred or a minor with strong interest in studies of other cultures. Awards will be awarded to incoming Freshman who demonstrates a strong interest in and an aptitude for foreign languages. Balance of awards given to students who obtained at least Sophomore standing. Must have 3.0 GPA or better and demonstrate financial need. Scholarship may be renewable. Cultural diversity shall be valued in making award decisions.

Modern Language Scholarship Provided by:

Dr. Jeane Fair, Professor of Modern Languages from 1948-65, in memory of her parents.

Amount: Depending on funds available.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Department of Modern Languages.

Application: Contact the CALL Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943- 2025 - Taylor Hall 216

Find out more about Western's Spanish Program at

Faculty & Staff


Lorena Gomez, PhD headshot
Assistant Professor of Spanish
B.A., Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota Colombia, M.A., University of Mississippi, Ph.D., The University of Alabama
Phone: 970-943-2306
Office Location: 222A
Terry Schliesman, Ph.D. headshot
Department Chair of CALL
B.A., Central Washington University, M.A., Washington State University, Ph.D., Washington State University
Phone: 970.943.2036
Office Location: Taylor Hall 216A


FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a sample of courses offered by Western Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the university course search.

 SPAN 254 - Intermediate Spanish I (3 credits)

A continuation of SPAN 102. A grammar review and extensive practice in conversation, reading, and writing. Prerequisite: SPAN 102 or equivalent (two years or more of high school Spanish).

 SPAN 255 - Intermediate Spanish II (3 credits)

A continuation of SPAN 254. Further practice and development of speaking, reading, and writing skills. Prerequisite: SPAN 254 or equivalent.

 SPAN 270 - Spanish Conversation and Composition (3 credits)

A course to develop oral proficiency and writing skills in Spanish. Focuses on structure and vocabulary, emphasizing both speaking and listening, as well as basic writing skills within the Spanish language. Prerequisite: SPAN 255 or equivalent.

 SPAN 340 - Spanish Civilization and Culture (3 credits)

An introduction to the general trends of Spanish civilization and everyday life. Includes Spanish development from prehistoric times to the present. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 255 or equivalent.

 SPAN 341 - Latin American Civilization and Culture (3 credits)

An introduction to the general trends of Latin American civilization, culture and thenational character, as expressed in everyday life in the various countries of Latin America. Includes pre-Columbian history to the present. Conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 255 or equivalent.

 SPAN 370 - Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition (3 credits)

A course designed to give students the opportunity to develop their oral proficiencythrough discussion and presentations. In addition, consideration is given to composition, using tasks that reflect the type of academic work generally asked of Spanish majors and minorsÀanalysis and classification, argumentation, definition, exposition, comparison and contrast, and cause and effect. Prerequisite: SPAN 270.

 SPAN 375 - Judical And Medical Interpreting I (3 credits)

A study of specialized Spanish vocabulary in two major areas: Medicine and Law. Students are exposed to sight, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting modes. Emphasis is placed on reaching 120 words per minute. Prerequisite: SPAN 255

 SPAN 385 - Introduction to Hispanic Literature (3 credits)

Students read authentic Hispanic literature concentrating on details such as style, point of view, theme, and symbolism rather than simply reading for comprehension. Students read works by authors from Spain and Latin America with emphasis on works from major literary movements and styles. This course is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 270.

 SPAN 460 - Hispanic Lit: (3 credits)

A course to give students the opportunity to read and analyze works by major Hispanic novelists, dramatists, essayists, poets and short story writers. The content of the course varies. This course may be taken for credit more than once. This course is conducted in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 385.

 SPAN 475 - Judical and Medical Interpreting II (3 credits)

An advanced study of highly specialized Spanish vocabulary in two major areas: Medicine and Law. Students are presented with various advanced sight, simultaneous and consecutive interpreting opportunities. Emphasis is placed on reaching 140 words per minute.

 SPAN 494 - Capstone Experience (3 credits)

A research project written by the Spanish major in an area of Spanish language and culture that is appropriate for the studentÀs undergraduate experience. This course is offered yearly. Prerequisite: 24 credits in Spanish beyond SPAN 101 and SPAN 102.