ASU looking at strategic-language goals
The Arizona Republic
Feb. 11, 2006

Laura Houston

Faculty members and administrators throughout the Arizona State University system have started talking about how the school's goals size up to President Bush's recent nationwide call for more strategic-language programs.

In January, Bush spoke at a summit meeting of university presidents that included ASU's Michael Crow, and asked that more colleges offer languages like Arabic, Chinese and Farsi to assist with national security.

Through the National Security Language Initiative, millions of federal dollars will be offered to help develop more elementary, high school and undergraduate language curricula and teaching positions. ASU has applied to get a share of the $27 million available to 27 schools nationwide, kindergarten through university level, in a program monitored by the Department of Defense and the Department of Education.

Spanish is the only foreign language offered at ASU West, and administrators say it's too soon to know what other languages might be offered as part of the national initiative.

Crow has three goals for the university as part of the national initiative, according to Peter Crouch, recently named vice provost for global engagement at ASU: Increase the foreign language training of each ASU student, boost enrollment of foreign students at ASU, and encourage more ASU students to study abroad.

One degree program recently approved by the Arizona Board of Regents will send ASU West students packing.

The leadership in international management degree is designed to put undergraduate students in Mexico for one semester of foreign study, immersing them in the some of the nation's culture and languages.