Lead with Languages!

An essential skill for those entering the 21st century workforce is to be able to communicate effectively in Spanish with Spanish speakers in the U.S. and abroad. The Spanish major introduces students to important structures of the Spanish language and builds intercultural competence. Upper division Spanish coursework integrates cultural studies, literary studies, and linguistics. In addition, students participate in different experiential opportunities to study the Spanish language and the Latino culture within the context of the classroom and Latino communities in Michigan, the United States, and abroad.

The Spanish major is designed to help students reach advanced levels of proficiency in Spanish on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI).


Student Success

Katherine Luber

Katherine Luber

Why did you choose Madonna University?
When I was looking at potential colleges, one of the top qualities on my list was the "feel" of the school. Did it seem welcoming? How were the class sizes and student body? After touring Madonna, I knew it was a good fit for me. Everyone I met, from faculty to staff to students, was friendly and helpful.

What do you think makes the experience and education at Madonna special?
I truly believe that one of the most valuable aspects of my Madonna experience was the connections I was able to make with others. Both of my areas of study had small programs, and I was quickly able to develop relationships with my professors and classmates. Having smaller classes also gave me a lot of flexibility to explore what I was interested in. I was able to do service learning, conduct research and give presentations at conferences, and to do so with the support and involvement of my professors. Even two years after graduating, I still keep in contact with my Madonna family.

What have you been doing since graduation, career wise?
I have yet to settle on a career path, so to speak, but the broadness of my education has helped me fit into the various roles I have had. I worked for a short time as a paraprofessional at a middle school with many English language learners, providing support to Spanish speaking students in their English and Reading classes. I also worked at a law firm as a bilingual legal advocate, working closely with clients as they navigated through their cases. Currently I work as a report developer for a background screening company.

How has your Madonna degree played a role in your current position?
The skills that I learned at Madonna have been applicable in many respects. I learned about business and professional writing, organizational and group communication, and business Spanish, all of which have benefited me at various positions I have held.

What has been your most rewarding personal or professional experience since graduating?
Being able to successfully work with Spanish speaking clients in a legal capacity was immensely gratifying for me. It was a job that came with a big learning curve, as I had to familiarize myself with the terminology and expectations from clients - and do so in two languages! After working in that role, I felt confident in the training I had received at Madonna, and exceedingly grateful for all the conversational practice I had to do. Personally, it has also been satisfying to know that I do have the freedom to explore different career opportunities and to move basically anywhere in the nation, as Spanish is an increasingly important language to know.


Criminal Justice

To work in law enforcement with Spanish-speaking populations

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Social Work

For social workers who will serve Spanish-speaking populations

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Sign Language Interpreting Studies

Ideal for students who desire to be a trilingual interpreter

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Faculty Bios

Elizabeth Goulette, Ph.D.Associate Professor & Program Director

Ph.D., State University of New York at Buffalo

M.A., Illinois State University

B.A., Michigan State University


734-432-5770, Office - 2428

Elizabeth Goulette, Ph.D.

Dr. Elizabeth Goulette is an Associate Professor at Madonna University. A graduate of Michigan State University, Dr. Goulette completed her B.A. in Spanish and Secondary Education. Prior to starting graduate school, Dr. Goulette taught middle and high school Spanish. She obtained her M.A. in Spanish from Illinois State University, and then received her Ph.D. from SUNY Buffalo in Foreign and Second Language Education in 2014.

Dr. Goulette came to Madonna from Georgia State University, where she spent four years teaching beginning and intermediate Spanish classes, as well as many Foreign Language Education courses, including supervising student teachers.

Her research interests include: heritage language education, language pedagogy, and training teacher candidates. She has presented at many national and international conferences as well as published in peer-reviewed books and journals.

Dr. Goulette is bilingual in English and Spanish. She maintains a Michigan teaching certificate in English and Spanish, grades 6-12.

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