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Our Department's Mission and Goal

Our mission and goal is to serve the university and its students.  We do so through coursework; through advisement; through intellectual activities which foster an understanding of, and the ability to use and operate within, languages and cultures from around the world.  To that end, we offer coursework which facilitates our majors' and minors' graduation with a liberal arts degree in four years.  We offer also coursework which serves the general student body for the liberal education program.  To that end we offer language courses as available (for example, Chinese and Russian), and courses taught in English.  Moreover, we make our courses available to other programs across the campus which require or recommend us to their own students.             

More recently developed campus learning objectives also are supported within our department.  Our majors are expected to "demonstrate competence in a major field," to "communicate effectively through writing, speaking, and group interactions," to "think critically and creatively," and to "apply understanding of cultural differences."  We contribute as well to implicit and explicit goals of the University of Minnesota and UMD, in particular, those of internationalization and study abroad.

Generalists in our teaching, we specialize in different scholarly or creative areas which contribute to our teaching and our profession.  While we are literature faculty for the most part, our incorporation of film and cultural studies relative to our language areas has resulted in a broadened content in our courses.  Ultimately, we seek to enable our students to become bilingual and bicultural, and to see the world through the eyes of native speakers in the multitude of nations where our languages are spoken.

Student Learning Outcomes