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The First Master of Arts in Spanish Program in Idaho Celebrates Inaugural Cohort of Graduates

December 16, 2021

The Master of Arts in Spanish program will celebrate its first cohort of graduates at Winter Commencement. Five students will be the first individuals to earn a master's degree in Spanish in Idaho. 

The five graduating students are: Mayra Reyes-Toomer, Lilly Reyes, Catie Anderson, Susan Evans, Mariana Perez. These students come from a variety of places across the country. 

The Master of Arts in Spanish curriculum is fully online, and can be completed anywhere in the world. 

“Because of the online platform we are able to reach learners in rural areas, especially K-12 educators,” said Dr. Carmen Febles, one of the instructors in the program. 

This program is the first of its kind in the state, and one of the first fully online options in the nation. 

“Geography really plays a role in access to education,” Dr. Cathleen Tarp, program director, said. “Having the program online allows so many more students to have access.”

Cost for the program is $330 per credit. The price is the same for someone in state, out of state, or even outside of the US. 

The schedule is flexible. Students can apply to start their studies in any semester, and the program fits around a student’s schedule. Advisors and instructors are available to students at all times to help them in their academic journey.  All of this made the program very appealing for Wisconsin high school Spanish teacher, Catie Anderson.

“Getting a masters degree in Spanish has always been a dream of mine,” she said.  “But I never thought that I could do it with my schedule. I’m also a mom of two busy teenagers, so I’ve been teaching and being a mom full time. When this opportunity came up and I needed a Masters in Spanish, I had to jump on this opportunity.”

When the program started two years ago, the department was unsure how many students would be interested. Now the program has the third largest number of enrolled students of any graduate program at ISU. 

“The response has been fantastic,” said Dr. Raphael Njoku, chair of the Global Studies and Languages department. 

Keeping up with the demand has had its challenges for the four faculty members of this program. Online learning requires a great deal of preparation, and instructors have made themselves available to students during off hours and weekends. 

“We are very proud of our program because we really have dedicated instructors who have put everything they have into the program,” Njoku said.

Students have noticed the dedication of the instructors. 

“The faculty meets every week,” Tarp said. “We discuss what’s working and what’s not. We dedicate that time to improving things and supporting each other.”

Graduating student, Mariana Perez, loved how the instructors listened to student needs and interests. 

“The professors made sure that we all had a voice,” Perez said. 



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