Students taking Arabic classes now have the opportunity to integrate the language into their chosen career paths as part of a new grant given to WKU's Arabic program.
The Arabic program received the $154,000 grant from the federal department of Education.
The grant will fund the Arabic for International Careers Program, said David DiMeo, the coordinator of the program. The program will allow students to study the Arabic language alongside other career fields. The fields will include journalism, business and international service. WKU is one of the few universities that offer this type of program, Dimeo said.
Integrating the three chosen career fields is only the beginning of the grant's plan. The grant will help expand the program to other fields, DiMeo said.
The department applied for the grant this past summer and was awarded $154,000. There were other universities competing for the grant, but WKU fit the bill perfectly, DiMeo said. The grant went into effect this month and will last for 2 years.
Materials and textbooks will be developed with the program. These resources will be available to other nationally recognized Arabic programs. The grant also provides funds to hire new faculty members and two new full-time professors to help the creation of more classes, DiMeo said.
Richmond junior Kenoa Gallion said she has had the same professor for her Arabic classes since her freshman year. The grant will give her as well as other students taking Arabic classes the opportunity to see other professors' teaching styles, Gallion said.
Olive Hill junior Alexandria Knipp said she also believes the grant will provide more opportunities.
"Students that maybe have different secondary majors that didn't think that Arabic could fit their program after this grant is implemented, I think they will be able to find a lot of different classes that suits their needs," Knipp said.