HANCEVILLE, Ala.—Wallace State Community College in Hanceville is delving into the world of massive open online courses, or MOOCs, with a new Conversational Spanish class, now available through the Wallace State Continuing Education Department.

The MOOC movement, led by some of the nation’s most prestigious universities – Stanford, MIT and Harvard were among the initiators – makes courses free and available anyone with access to the internet. College credit is not offered for completing MOOCs but some colleges issue certificates of completion, and students completing the Wallace State Conversational Spanish MOOC will get one of those. There are no grades issued; success is merely rated pass or fail.

The MOOC mindset is one of learning for learning’s sake, teaching for the advancement of mankind, and inspiring creative and collaborative thinking that will change the world. One Stanford course on artificial intelligence attracted 160,000 students of all ages worldwide.

Dr. Beth Bownes-Johnson made establishing a MOOC one of her top priorities when she was named Interim Dean of Academic Affairs at Wallace State this summer. In her previous role as English Department Chair, she was also responsible for speech and language classes, including Spanish language instruction.

Spanish is spoken by more than 400 million people around the world. Dr. Bownes-Johnson hopes to see 100,000 more students join those ranks by enrolling in Wallace State’s first MOOC.

“Our mission here at WSCC is to train, educate, and support all members of our community, and we feel by providing this free online course, a plethora of individuals can benefit, both professionally and personally,” she said. “We share in the vision of other outstanding schools in the belief that collaborating in a non-profit model is an excellent way to assist in distributing higher education and enriching lives.”

The Conversational Spanish MOOC is designed for anyone who wants to learn how to better communicate in Spanish – whether that is to talk with a client, to communicate with a waiter at a Mexican restaurant, to converse with a friend who speaks Spanish, or to travel to a Spanish-speaking country.

During the eight-week course, students will learn social etiquette, greetings and introductions, everyday phrases and questions, numbers and colors, days and times, and how to complete personal data for business forms, order in restaurants, and many more practical uses.

Registration may be done online through Wallace State Continuing Education by visiting www.wallacestate.edu/Programs/Continuing-Education, then scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on the Register Now button.

For more information about Wallace State Continuing Education classes, call 256.352.7826.



Kristen Holmes
Director, Communications & Marketing
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8118 direct
256-352-8314 fax 256-339-2519 cell
Visit us online at www.wallacestate.edu