El Centro & Master of Arts Higher Education

Elon’s Master of Arts in Higher Education (MHE) is designed to prepare highly effective professionals for roles as administrators, educators and mentors in a variety of college and university settings. The Elon MHE program responds to the need of providing higher education leaders who are immersed in campus-wide models of best practices in undergraduate education. The program emphasizes critical reflection and synthesis of knowledge and experiences.

So, why is it important to have cultural competence in higher education institutions in the United States? Why is it important for MHE students to learn Spanish and the cultures of the Speaking people of the world?

The increasing diversity of the nation brings opportunities and challenges for higher education professionals to provide culturally competent support services. Cultural competence is defined as: “the ability of professionals and organizations to effectively provide support services that meet the social, cultural, and linguistic needs of students”. Institutions of higher education must work to offer opportunities for students to interact with and learn from other cultures. University administrators and university attendees need to have more dialogue on developing infrastructure to facilitate cross-cultural competence.

El Centro Conversation classes are not only a resource to learn about the language grammar and culture, but also to learn about elements of equity, social justice, intercultural awareness, and identity.

Our goals are:

  1. To make the University Spanish language resources more accessible to students in the MHE program.
  2. To encourage MHE students to expand their Spanish language skills providing them with even more competitive skills upon graduation.
  3. To allow MHE students to learn about the Hispanic/Latinx cultures, promoting cultural competence by increasing cultural awareness and sensitivity; a necessity in higher education institutions today.
  4. To invite the MHE students to participate in the unique and exciting cultural events sponsored by El Centro, such as Hispanic Heritage Month.
  5. To help prepare MHE students for Study Abroad and National/International Internship opportunities and allow them a venue to maintain their Spanish skills after them.
  6. To encourage MHE students to participate in service projects in the Latinx/Hispanic community of Alamance county in conjunction with El Centro.
  7. To allow MHE students to utilize benefits related to accruing El Centro hours (70 or 140) toward airfare ($325 or $650) to a country with primarily a Spanish speaking population.

Personal attendance will be as time permits although greater attendance will improve skills and skills build throughout the classes. We understand that at certain times, priorities may shift and will also email missed materials with the hope that anyone attending classes will return even if they need to miss a few.

Please, contact Diana dprietovinas@elon.edu with any questions and to sign up for the class.