When Erika Maqueda, a sophomore majoring in education and minoring in bilingual Spanish education, learned the French course she was enrolled in was canceled, she didn’t let that stop her. Maqueda discovered she could enroll in a French course at Carroll University through the Milwaukee Area Collegiate Language Consortium.
The MACLC is an agreement between Mount Mary University, Carroll University, Alverno College and Wisconsin Lutheran College that allows MMU students to take language courses at the other institutions for credit. Students can take one MACLC course per semester without paperwork or pay additional tuition.
“Mount Mary students can still study languages like French, German, Chinese, at one of those schools,” said Dr. Mary Ellen Kohn-Buday, Spanish professor and chair of the World Languages Department.
Twenty-five years ago when Kohn-Budy started teaching at Mount Mary it offered a major and minor in German, French and Spanish. Only Spanish remains a major and minor. French, American Sign Language and Italian are only offered as elective classes.
Despite the elimination of other language programs, Mount Mary’s Spanish program is thriving, growing from five to 10 students in 1990 when Kohn-Buday started the program to almost 100 majors and minors today. She said the department now has two full-time employees.
According to Dr. Jason Meyler, assistant professor Spanish, “The word is getting out that (Spanish classes) are good classes to take … you don’t just learn the skill. You learn about the cultures, and you learn how to use that skill to go into the workforce or to go into more academia … ”
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American Sign Language (ASL) courses, taught by Dr. Patti Gondek, have also garnered recent student interest. Mount Mary is the only college in the consortium that offers ASL I and II. Some students are pushing for the course offering to be expanded.
“When I first came here, there were a little bit smaller classes, but this semester we had a waiting list,” said Gondek, who also said her ASL classes attract students from Wisconsin Lutheran College each semester.
“There are eight of them that come here to meet me once a week for no credit or anything, just because they love signing,” Gondek said.
To participate in the MACLC, download and complete the Milwaukee Area Collegiate Language Consortium Registration Form.