Shippensburg University’s modern languages department recently received national recognition for the first time in the department’s history. The department received the recognition from the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

According to Dr. Agnes Ragone, chair of the department, this means “the program meets the rigorous standards of the councils. Our students can compete nationally thanks to the quality of the education that they receive at Shippensburg.”

Dr. Barbara Lyman, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, said, “It is very gratifying to have our own conclusions about the high quality of the modern languages program affirmed through an external review process that has brought national recognition status from both the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages and the National Council on Accreditation of Teacher Education. I applaud the faculty for their dedication to providing a high quality experience and for these outstanding results with our students. I am very proud of the collaboration between the colleges of arts and sciences and of education and human services and of the fact that we are now one of only four institutions in our 14- member PASSHE system earning this recognition.”

According to Ragone, this recognition is valuable for Shippensburg and its students. “Since the reputation of Shippensburg University is well known for the overall quality of the education it provides, we may be able to attract more students who will then be able to be employed nationwide. Employers will recognize that we meet high standards.”

The recognition culminates the department’s efforts over the past three years to provided evidence that it met six main criteria. The criteria included a demonstration of students’ abilities; integrations of standards into curriculum and instruction; assessment of languages and cultures; and professionalism.

“Our department is always striving for excellence. We are exploring the possibility of increasing (students’) exposure to the languages we offer. This could be through scholarships that would allow them to study abroad or by increasing the number of internships that would hone language skills. We also want to make the students more aware of their responsibilities when learning languages and encourage them to become more aware of the cultures where the languages are spoken.”