Spanish Concentration

Earn a BA and an MA in as little as five years!

Sarah Jackson, 2022

Sarah Jackson

We were delighted to learn that Sarah had been awarded a Fulbright to teach in Mexico shortly after her graduation from the Accelerated MA program in Foreign Languages with a concentration in Spanish.

When we first profiled Sarah as a student, she reported that she had been drawn to the program because of the possibility of combining MCL graduate studies on language politics, identity, and Hispanic literature with coursework in international relations. After she graduated, we followed up and asked her to share her thoughts and experiences in the program.

What did you like about the program?

I love that it allowed me to pursue an interdisciplinary focus on the subjects that interest me most, mainly Latin American history and culture as well as one of my home languages, Spanish. As part of the Spanish MA, I took Global Affairs courses at Mason and I also studied U.S.-Latin American relations at Georgetown University through the Washington Metropolitan Area Consortium. Most notably, Mason’s Accelerated Program allowed me to continue building on my BA studies in Spanish sociolinguistics and Spanish education in America while nurturing my budding ideas through in-depth research projects. 

How the program prepare you for your career?

The courses at Mason fortified my Spanish skills at the professional level and led me to revisit key markers of Hispanic identity which impacted how I esteem myself as an individual. This was crucial in as I began to think about my post-graduate life. After years of studying and researching the impact of hegemonic ideologies on education policies and community participation, I will use my skills to create a curriculum in Mexico that is informed by the interconnectedness of said issues. 

Are there other ways that the program or courses have had a lasting impact?

My courses have had a lasting impact on my perspective when talking with Hispanic parents about the importance of passing down the Spanish language to their children. With the more nuanced understanding of language that I acquired in the program, I can relay how quintessential family language planning and participatory pedagogy are in challenging preexisting systemic inequities in education. At the end of the day, I believe a critical curriculum is crucial in order to have a more efficient pedagogical praxis for all children regardless of their background.            

What did you like best about your time at Mason?

I loved how compassionate the professors at the department of MCL were regarding all of my academic, personal, and career needs. Without their help, I would not have been able to receive the Fulbright Scholarship or study abroad as much as I did. In the course of my five years at Mason, I studied at the University of Granada, Oxford University, and Georgetown University, all of which redefined how I understood my relationship with academia and contributed to my personal development in general. 

Do you have any advice for current students or applicants?

My advice for current students is to take advantage of all the clubs and events going on at Mason because there are many people doing incredible projects. I mostly enjoyed participating in the Roosevelt Club and learning about policy writing in the Northern Virginia community. I also advise students to go to the writing center because the tutors are incredible and have great insight on how to find your voice when writing.