In order to provide students with both a specialized and a general education, Fredonia not only prepares the students in particular fields of knowledge. The university also must provide a general education to help students find a sense of direction and become better able to cope with a changing world, regardless of their specializations.
Students must complete the minimal general education requirements at Fredonia within the framework of the College Core Curriculum. Some courses offered by the Department of Modern Languages will fulfill different categories of the College Core Curriculum, and the students must check in every semester's Courses Offerings Bulletin.
Foreign Language Requirement
for Completion of Foreign Language General Education Category
at The State University of New York at Fredonia
Completion of the Foreign Language Category is based on demonstration of language proficiency, not on completion of a specific course.
Students in the BA program must demonstrate a language proficiency at the 116 level or beyond; all other students must demonstrate a language proficiency at the 115 level.
To demonstrate proficiency, all students may:
a) score 85 or higher on a NYS Regents Foreign Language Exam, or
b) complete the externally-administered standardized test for foreign language of either the AP (3 or higher) or CLEP (50th percentile or higher), or
c) have native fluency in a language other than English, or
d) study abroad with a language component (and submit a Course Appeal/Substitution request to the Director of General Education prior to traveling abroad), or
e) successfully complete an appropriate 3 to 6 credit foreign language course at Fredonia in this category at the appropriate level (115 or 116 or 120/121).
BA students must demonstrate a language proficiency at the 116 level or beyond; in some cases this may mean also taking a 115 level course as a prerequisite. For BA students, this prerequisite course does not count as completion of this category.
To demonstrate proficiency, students enrolled in some professional programs, those leading to certification in elementary or secondary education, or programs leading to careers where there is likely to be significant contact with the hearing impaired (e.g., Early Childhood Education, Childhood Education, Childhood Inclusive Education, Middle Childhood Education, Adolescence Education, Music Education, Communication Disorders and Sciences, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology), may successfully complete 3 or 6 credits in American Sign Language (ASL) (i.e., students who will receive a BA must complete 6 credits of ASL). Inquiries related to the ASL proficiency should be directed to the Director of General Education.
Students unsure of their proficiency in any area other than ASL should consult with the Chair of the Modern Languages & Literatures Department.
Only the completion of a 115, 116, SPAN 120/121 or ASL course will earn credit hours; all other options will fulfill this category but earn 0 credit hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens if I do satisfy the requirement in any of the above ways?
You have fulfilled the requirement and do not need to take any further language courses. If you satisfy the language requirements thru the Regents exam, you do not receive credit hours.
What if I have met the requirement with a test score but want to develop my language skills?
You should talk to a faculty member or the chair of the Department of Modern Languages to find out the appropriate level for you to continue. Please note that 100-level courses do not count towards a major or a minor and will not enhance your linguistic skills beyond a novice level.
What if I have met the requirement with a test score but need to improve my GPA, and obviously I have a strong background in languages?
Historically, students who enroll in elementary language courses so that they can get an ‘easy A’ usually end up not doing so well. They find themselves bored and soon they start missing classes and important assignments. You should enroll at the appropriate level so that you can continue to improve your language skills.
What if I scored a few points below the 85 cut off, but have had many years of language studies and feel that I can fulfill the proficiency requirement?
If you scored a few points below the 85 cut off, you should contact the chair of Modern Languages, who can assess your language skills on an individual basis. This assessment can take the form of a written and/or oral test. For those who took Spanish in high school, you should explore our blended or hybrid course, SPAN 120 / 121 Spanish in Action, 5 credit-one semester program.
What if I have several years of language studies but my state does not have the Regents exam?
If you have a strong language background, you should contact the chair of the Department of Modern Languages, who can assess your language skills on an individual basis. This assessment can take the form of a written and/or oral test.
What if I have had several years of language but did not score high enough in the Regents exam?
If Spanish was your H.S. language, you should enroll in SPAN 120 and SPAN 121, a hybrid course of five credits in one semester. Other students with two or more years and with grades of B or above should enroll in 116.
As a B.A. student who successfully completes 116 without taking 115, do I have to take 3 more hours of language?
NO. By successfully completing 116, you have fulfilled in one semester the 6-credit requirement.
Guidelines for Enrollment in Foreign Language Courses
Who should enroll in 115 courses?
Students with NO previous language experience or with 1-2 years of high school study in that language with a course grade of 79 or below. For SPAN 115, students have to get departmental approval from the chair.
Who should enroll in SPAN 120/121 Spanish in Action?
Students with 2 or more years of Spanish in high school, with an average of 80 or above.
Who should enroll in 116 courses?
Students with 2 or more years of high school language other than Spanish with an average of 80 or above.