CSUSB awarded grant to offer criminal justice Spanish certificate

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As the Inland Empire’s Hispanic population continues to grow, so has the urgent demand for linguistically and culturally prepared criminal justice professionals.

Cal State San Bernardino will offer a new Criminal Justice Spanish Certificate program for students majoring in criminal justice professions beginning fall 2021, thanks to a U.S. Department of Education’s Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language program grant of nearly $340,000.

The UISFL program provides funds to plan, develop and implement programs to strengthen and improve undergraduate instruction in international studies and foreign languages.

“This is a much-needed project that will benefit so many students and have a great impact on the Hispanic community in the Inland Empire and beyond,” said Carmen Jany, CSUSB professor of Spanish and linguistics in the World Languages and Literatures Department, who oversees the grant.

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The three-year grant was written by Jany in collaboration with Nerea Marteache Solans, an associate professor in the CSUSB Criminal Justice Department, as well as María Mayberry, a professor of Spanish at California State University, Sacramento, with whom CSUSB partnered to develop the certificate program.

“I am thrilled that we have received grant support to carefully develop this project and all related activities and eager to get started,” Jany said. “It has been a great experience to collaborate with CSUSB faculty from criminal justice and to learn about their programs, disciplines and needs for their students. This is a collaborative effort, and the collaboration is what will make it a successful endeavor.”

According to Jany, the consortium with Cal State Sacramento is an effort to address the urgent need for linguistically and culturally prepared law enforcement workers serving the rapidly growing largest minority group in the state: Hispanics. Besides collaboration in the development of the Spanish Certificate Program, specialized instructional materials, and the international cultural experience in Spain, this partnership provides a means of addressing the same needs of a larger segment of California’s Hispanic population.

“Students in the criminal justice and related fields can now combine their field of study with language study and gain specialized language and culture competency which will ultimately make them much more competitive in the workforce and help them deal with the Spanish-speaking population,” said Jany, who has co-developed other professionally-oriented language programs, such as the Healthcare Spanish Certificate Program.

Both campuses consulted with criminal justice faculty and professionals. At CSUSB, Jany has already offered an upper-level course in Criminal Justice Spanish after teaming up with Solans to create the content.

This project is intended to help students gain specialized Spanish proficiency at an intermediate level or higher. It aims to broaden the communicative skills attained in elementary Spanish. The project-specific and newly developed textbooks are designed to be incorporated into second- and third-year Spanish courses, said Jany. 

The goal of the coursework and internships in Spain is to develop linguistic, cultural and behavioral demeanors appropriate for successful communication with persons of Hispanic heritage in a professional situation.

For more information about the Criminal Justice Spanish certificate, contact Carmen Jany at (909) 537-7386 or email cjany@csusb.edu or Nerea Marteache Solans at nmarte@csusb.edu.

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