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Foreign Language Dual Enrollment Coming To Tech

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Foreign Language Dual Enrollment Coming To Tech

Tennessee Tech is adding foreign language courses to its online dual enrollment program this fall, available to any high school student in the state.

Foreign Language Department Chair Martin Sheehan said the department is looking for new ways to engage high school students and create opportunities to pursue foreign language studies. He said there is a foreign language teacher shortage in grade schools across the state. This gives students the chance to learn from highly qualified, advanced professors and build a foundation before pursuing upper-level courses.

“There are a lot of underserved students across the state,” Sheehan said. “Especially in our region, in rural areas, or students in homeschool environments, who would not normally have access to the high-caliber education and instruction that Tennessee Tech can offer.”

Sheehan said while French is leading the way, students can also sign up for Spanish and German college credit courses. He said in addition to introductory courses, students can take culture classes on the identities and cultures of the groups that speak these languages around the globe.

“They’ll be prepared for those classes in a better way because they will have already experienced the rigor of the university classroom setting,” Sheehan said. “So, just like students taking Algebra I and some of the high school prep courses in middle school, this is kind of similar.”

He said many homeschooled students are required to have dual enrollment credits to be eligible for the HOPE Scholarship. He said many Tennessee Tech degree pathways like History, English, Sociology, and International Business require foreign language credit as well. He said the sooner students start to develop these skills, the more advanced they will be when they reach college.

“A lot of students can use these introductory classes to, if they are going on missionary trips,” Sheehan said. “That was a great way for them to remove language barriers and cultural barriers.”

Sheehan said these courses give students a way to open new doors for their future. He said those interested can reach out to the university’s Interdisciplinary Studies Department.


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