Pursuing an online associate degree in Spanish gives learners the chance to explore their interest in Hispanophone culture while also improving their language proficiency. Graduates are prepared for entry-level careers as translators and interpreters. Alternatively, they can enroll in bachelor's programs in Spanish.
This guide contains a ranked list of the top online associate degrees in Spanish. You can also learn more about what to expect when applying to and enrolling in an associate program in Spanish.
What Are the Best Spanish Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Four:
|1||Lake Tahoe Community College||South Lake Tahoe, CA|
|2||Laramie County Community College||Cheyenne, WY|
|3||Foothill College||Los Altos Hills, CA|
|4||Austin Community College||Austin, TX|
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the demand for interpreters and translators will grow by 19% between 2018 and 2028. These projections reflect the increased sensitivity to the needs of minority language groups in the United States, which is home to approximately 43.2 million native Spanish speakers. Associate degree-holders may qualify for some of these positions, although a bachelor's degree is also a common requirement.
While language fluency continues to rank as the most important qualification for translation positions, education plays an increasingly important role in the job market, especially among government and academic employers.
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2020 Best Accredited Online Associate in Spanish Programs
Lake Tahoe Community College
|South Lake Tahoe, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
LTCC's associate in Spanish program offers two tracks: an AS in Spanish and an AS in Spanish for transfer. The latter option features additional general education coursework. Degree-seekers take language courses like in reinforcing grammatical concepts, conversational scenarios, and Spanish slang.
LTCC's career services office offers one-on-one counseling sessions through Zoom and Cranium Cafe. Additional services include a free life-planning course, interest assessments, and links to essential career development texts. Students can also explore job boards that feature in-state career opportunities.
Admission requirements include completing a virtual orientation, meeting with a counselor, and submitting FAFSA results. Out-of-state and international students pay approximately 50% more on tuition. Some California residents may qualify for a tuition waiver.
Laramie County Community College
|Cheyenne, WY||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 28%||
LCCC's online associate degree in Spanish includes a concentration in liberal arts. The curriculum of this AA program is suitable for learners planning to enter a bachelor's program. The college partners with the University of Wyoming, allowing graduates to transfer seamlessly.
LCCC's career advisors provide students with career checklists, resume guides, and mock interviews. The center also features advice for learners planning to take a gap year and provides links to internship boards.
The admissions process includes creating a student account, taking placement exams, and speaking with an advisor. LCCC accepts transfer credit and awards credit to incoming learners who pass challenge exams. The college also awards more than 400 scholarships each year.
|Los Altos Hills, CA||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 63%||
Aspiring healthcare, education, and law professionals often enroll in Foothill's 90-quarter-credit associate in Spanish program. Major courses include elementary Spanish, intermediate Spanish, and advanced composition and reading. Students also learn about Hispanic culture, society, and politics.
Foothill's career services website features resources that relate to career readiness, job hunting, and self-assessment. Students can also find links to job boards that focus on careers in sustainability and the environment.
Degree-seekers must maintain a 2.0 GPA to graduate. Foothill's application process involves meeting with an academic advisor and creating a school success plan.
Austin Community College
|Austin, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 8%||
ACC's online associate degree in Spanish includes a four-semester curriculum, in which students take a Spanish language course each semester. Additional requirements include English composition, U.S. history, and Texas state and local government. Learners personalize the program by selecting three electives.
More than 75% of ACC's alumni who do not enter a bachelor's program start a career soon after graduation. Degree-seekers can learn about top careers and bachelor's programs on the college's career services website. ACC also offers a free resume review service.
ACC uses a simple application process that involves watching an informational video, attending an online orientation, and submitting FAFSA results.
Online Associate in Spanish Program Overview
Students who earn online associate degrees in Spanish cover the four critical aspects of language acquisition: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Many programs also cover introductory explorations of Hispanophone literature and culture. Graduates can find entry-level positions as translators and interpreters.
The list below describes five common courses found in Spanish associate programs.
Common Associate in Spanish Degree Courses
- Elementary Spanish
Elementary Spanish courses cover linguistic essentials, such as pronouns, present-tense verb conjugations, and vocabulary.
- Intermediate Spanish
Intermediate Spanish language courses typically cover idiomatic expressions and imperfect, preterite, conditional, and future verb tenses.
- Advanced Spanish
Advanced courses in Spanish lead to fluency. Learners at this level complete assignments that require highly evolved reading, writing, speaking, and comprehension skills.
- Introduction to Hispanophone Culture and Literature
This course covers history, art, architecture, literature, and cinema in Spain and Latin America.
- Fundamentals of English-Spanish Translation
In this course, students gain a foundational understanding of the principal techniques and strategies translators use when interpreting spoken language and written texts. Professors grade students on the accuracy and grammatical correctness of basic translations.
Online Associate in Spanish Admission Requirements
High School Diploma or GED Certificate
Nearly every online associate program in Spanish requires a high school diploma. Students who did not graduate from high school can submit GED scores.
Standardized Test Scores
Many junior colleges and universities require ACT or SAT scores. However, community colleges that offer open enrollment generally waive this requirement.
Academic Background in Spanish
Many associate programs move through elementary Spanish at a fast pace because they assume or require an existing familiarity with the language. As such, learners are often expected to have studied Spanish in high school.
Some programs favor applicants who earned strong grades in their high school Spanish classes.
Applicants who did not take high school Spanish but are still familiar with the language may need to take a test designed to evaluate their current Spanish abilities.
Online Associate in Spanish Career Paths
Graduates who earn an online associate degree in Spanish may qualify for some entry-level roles as interpreters and translators, although many of these positions do require a bachelor's degree. Interpreters work with spoken language or sign language, usually in official or semi-official capacities related to the justice system or the provision of public services. Translators focus on written documents.
Translators who work with documents related to immigration, court proceedings, or other official capacities must be certified. Certification requires credentials from a public official or a professional organization like the American Translators Association.
Additional career paths may be related to Spanish proofreading and editing. Most proofreaders and editors work as freelancers. Graduates can also qualify for positions in education, government, and foreign service by earning a bachelor's or master's degree and a professional license.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is a Spanish degree worth it?
It depends. For example, if you are a native Spanish speaker, you may not get as much value from an associate program in Spanish.
- How long does it take to get a Spanish degree?
Associate programs in Spanish typically require 60 credits, which equates to approximately four semesters of study for full-time students. Most full-time students graduate in two years.
- What kind of jobs do Spanish majors get?
Spanish majors who earn an associate degree can sometimes find employment as interpreters and translators. These professionals can work as independent contractors or with companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Some graduates go on to earn their bachelor's degree and teaching license, preparing to become a Spanish teacher.
- What is the salary of a Spanish teacher?
According to PayScale, elementary school teachers with Spanish language skills earn an average salary of about $50,000 per year.
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