TCNJ’s Board of Trustees approved two new majors at its meeting on February 19.
TCNJ will offer a Bachelor of Arts in world languages and linguistics and a five-year program in secondary education and special education beginning in fall 2019, pending state approval.
The addition of the BA in world languages and linguistics will address demand from students who wish to pursue advanced study in a language other than Spanish (currently the only option offered at the college) and prepare for employment in the growing field of linguistics.
“Linguists can seek important work in numerous fields across the world including international business, law enforcement, marketing, or government work,” said Holly Didi-Ogren, assistant professor in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
The program will offer students a strong grounding in linguistics coupled with in-depth study of one of five world languages already offered at the college: Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, or Spanish.
The new program also will encourage students to travel abroad and expand their knowledge and understanding of linguistic and cultural diversity on a global scale.
“Students who study abroad communicate in a new language and thereby create a new view of themselves, their own society, and the world,” said Joseph Goebel Jr., associate professor and chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures. “Graduate schools and employers recognize that an overseas experience matures an individual; this experience makes them more desirable candidates.”
The five-year secondary education and special education program follows a trend in teacher preparation to focus more attention on the needs of students who are eligible for special education services.
The new program, which will allow students to seek dual certification in a content major such as English, history, mathematics, or biology and a master’s degree in special education, will address a gap in the current preparation of special education teachers with a program that focuses specifically on the needs of adolescents.
“Secondary education majors are teaching in inclusive classrooms and have students with differing needs,” said Anne Peel, associate professor in the Department of Special Education, Language and Literacy. “We want to make sure our students leave TCNJ with qualifications well above what is required by the state. We want them to know how to teach every student they will encounter throughout their careers.”