ISU Meridian Health Science Center

ISU to offer unique Spanish for the Health Professions degree in fall 2013

July 24, 2013

Idaho State University will offer a Spanish for Health Professions degree program beginning fall 2013 that will help graduates better serve the health care needs of the state, region and country. Courses will be available at ISU-Meridian via distance learning.

“While we were designing the program we did extensive research and we didn’t find anything like it in the U.S.,” said Helen Tarp, ISU associate professor of Spanish and the director of the new program. “As far as we know, this is the only program of its kind in the country.”

The program will be a joint effort between the ISU Department of Languages and Literature in the College of Arts and Letters and the ISU Division of Health Sciences. It provides both health professions and language students additional credentials and expertise for their careers.

“For students in the health professions it will help them find better jobs and be more competitive getting into professional health schools,” Tarp said. “For the language students it opens whole new career paths.”

There is a great need for Spanish speakers in health care settings in the United States. In Idaho, for example, the Hispanic population increased by 63 percent in the last 10 years, according to Tarp. Nationally, by 2050, the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population will be approximately 24 percent of the entire population of the United States. Some of these residents are more proficient in Spanish than English and some speak English “not well or not at all.”

“In emergency rooms or doctors’ offices having someone proficient in communicating in Spanish will make everybody’s lives easier,” Tarp said.

For the language-oriented students from the College of Arts and Letters, the degree could potentially open up jobs and careers in medical translation and other fields. There’s a huge demand for people who can translate from English to Spanish for everything from prescription information to medical information displayed on websites, to communicating with Spanish-speakers in a medical, dental or agency setting.

The program is designed to dovetail with existing curriculum requirements in both the College of Arts and Letters and the Division of Health Professions, making it easier for students to double-major in their chosen fields. Language and culture will be emphasized in the curriculum.

“The program will offer the best of both worlds,” Tarp said. “Our students will learn concrete language and cultural skills so they can use both effectively.”

For more information on the program, contact Tarp at tarphele@isu.edu or visit the Department web page  http://www.isu.edu/foreign/spanish.shtml.

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Founded in 1901, Idaho State University enjoys the distinguished rating of Research University-High by the Carnegie Foundation, and is a leader in a broad range of innovative research, teaching and learning through its six colleges and Division of Health Sciences.  ISU is Idaho’s lead institution in health science education and offers more than 280 certificate and degree programs in numerous disciplines. Visit ISU today at www.isu.edu and www.isu.edu/meridian.

 

 

IDAHO STATE UNIVERSITY

921 South 8th Avenue
Pocatello, Idaho, 83209