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Heritage Spanish

The Penn State Heritage Spanish Program offers two courses for students who grew up speaking Spanish in their homes or communities. Both courses are conducted online and count towards the major and minor in Spanish. Heritage students enroll in these courses instead of SPAN 001, SPAN 002, SPAN 003, SPAN 100, SPAN 200, or SPAN 300.


Course Description: Can you talk with your familia about daily life but sometimes get stuck when trying to discuss more formal topics or use complex sentence structures? Does the Spanish system of written accent marks seem like a mystery? In this course, we review various grammar and writing topics in formal academic Spanish to help you use the language successfully in various contexts.

Who takes this course?

This is the course where most heritage learners start their Spanish studies at Penn State. There are exceptions made in two situations:
  1. Having AP or IB (Spanish A) credit
  2. Having completed at least part of your high school education in a Spanish-speaking environment

Majors and Minors

SPAN 100A fulfills the same requirement as SPAN 100.

SPAN 301 - Advanced Writing and Stylistics in Spanish for Spanish Speakers (3 credits)

Course Description: Do your Spanish-speaking abilities outpace your writing abilities? Can you chat with your abuela about your life but get nervous at the thought of preparing a report in Spanish in a future job?  In this course, we develop our writing skills in formal academic Spanish. We practice with several genres to gain experience using the language successfully in academic and professional contexts.

Who takes this course?

Students who have taken SPAN 100A, the prerequisite course, or who have AP/IB (Spanish A) credit that counts for SPAN 100A. Also, students who completed at least part of their high school education in a Spanish-speaking environment can obtain instructor permission for the course; this includes students who 1) attended high school in Puerto Rico or a Spanish-speaking country abroad or 2) attended a Spanish immersion high school in the mainland US.

Majors and Minors

SPAN 301 fulfills the same requirement as SPAN 300.

Online Course Structure

Instead of meeting at a specific time and place, all of the course requirements for SPAN 100A and SPAN 301 can be completed online. Many of the assignments are either uploaded to CANVAS (for example, compositions) or done directly on CANVAS (forums and quizzes). Supplementary material, such as Powerpoint presentations, are also accessed on CANVAS. We use other websites as well, such as the online workbook and Yammer. Information in CANVAS orients students to the technology and describes assignments and expectations.

Contact Information:

Dr. Ariana Mikulski regularly teaches SPAN 100A and SPAN 301. She can be reached at

Ms. Becky Cross handles course scheduling for the Spanish program. She can be reached at