The need: more challenging classes for bilingual students
Calvin’s Spanish department wants to invest in you—even before you’re thinking about college. If you’ve grown up learning Spanish and English, you know that by the time you get to high school, there aren’t many Spanish classes that will stretch you. Professors at Calvin have noticed the same problem.
“Many high schools don’t have appropriate coursework for that level of Spanish competency. And they aren’t staffed to develop a program,” explained Dwight TenHuisen, a Calvin Spanish professor.
The idea: a university-level Spanish immersion program
From this unique need came the creation of Calvin’s Spanish Immersion Program, designed specifically for high schoolers who are fluent in Spanish. As a high school student, this program allows you to earn a minor in Spanish at Calvin along with a semester’s worth of college credit—before you graduate from high school.
Calvin University began this with a partnership with Calvin Christian High School. And now Calvin’s reaching out to other schools in west Michigan that face the same dilemma. As a high school student, you’re invited to take classes at Calvin alongside university students. The program will culminate with a three-week, high-schoolers-only interim in a Spanish speaking country.
The benefits: a better education for everyone
This is a great opportunity for you to expose yourself to what a college-level class looks like. It’s also beneficial to the university students you’re studying with.
“With more students taking classes, we’re able to offer courses like ‘History of the West and the World’ in Spanish. There are more academic options for everyone,” noted Professor TenHuisen.
This program also allows Calvin to build partnerships with hosting high schools in places where the university already has relationships with colleges and universities, like Mexico, Spain, Peru, and Honduras.
“We’re hoping this will lead to exchange opportunities for their English immersion students to study here at Calvin,” shared Professor TenHuisen.