Language Gaps

The needed class may not be offered

By Jackson Quall

Originally published in the December 2014 issue. 

“During enrollment last spring when I saw that Chinese would be offered

for Fall Quarter I jumped at the opportunity. I felt like a trajectory

for my remaining school year at SCC was charted.” – Wyatt Young

Buyer beware. The world language course you need to graduate might not be offered when you might think it should be. Wyatt Young, a second year student at SCC, is currently enrolled in Mandarin 121. He enrolled in the course with the expectation that he would be able to take the 122 and 123 course as well, studies which would’ve served him well in his journey to the foreign exchange program in China which he plans on taking next year.

Jackson World Lang

Midway through the course Young discovered that the 122 course would only be available in Spring, with a full quarter between. Additionally, the 123 course is not offered at SCC at all. [disclosure: a similar issue has occurred to the writer of this story] These potential gaps are not presented to students signing up for first year language courses. The only way to know is to meet with an advisor and bring the issue up with them.

“With a full quarter between courses, it’s difficult to retain what you have learned from the first course,” according to Young. Young inquired about independent study but Bradley Lane, the dean of the humanities department, declined.

“The biggest reason—really, the only reason—we do not offer more 122, 123, or second-year

language courses is that there are not large enough groups of students who wish to take those classes,” says Lane.

With this in mind Young started a petition for the Mandarin 123 course and got approximately 40 student signatures. Despite it’s submission to Lane, the course those students want to take will still not be offered in the foreseeable future.

Additionally, the majority of students enrolled at SCC indicate that they are planning on completing an AA degree in order to transfer to a four year institution. UW requires 10 credits of foreign language in order to be accepted.

“The AA degree actually limits the amount of world language students can take” according to Lane. “We are actually providing a general education, wide-ranging liberal arts background to students that include a world language course as one option among other humanities courses, but the idea behind the degree is to have breadth, not depth in one specific field.”

With all this in mind, remember this: If you or another student intends to enroll in any world language course with the intent of graduating or transferring within an explicit timeline, double check and meet with an advisor to make sure that the courses you need are indeed available when you need them. There is a significant probability that the student will have to change their plan.

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