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Small Undergraduate German Programs

A number of AATG/ACTFL members established in 1998 a Special Interest Group (SIG) to promote discussion of the issues and opportunities surrounding small German programs at colleges and universities. The SIG founders understood small to mean roughly institutions with overall enrollments of fewer than 5000 students, a maximum of three German instructors, and fewer than 30 majors and minors in their programs, although individuals at institutions exceeding any of these criteria to some degree may find it advantageous to join. Such programs contain sufficient unique aspects (e.g., teaching a wide variety of courses, being greatly or even solely responsible for running the entire program, having considerable flexibility in structuring curriculum and greater opportunity for collaboration with colleagues outside German, developing new professional profiles that would match better the requirements of such positions) to warrant the establishment of a forum dedicated to a discussion of these characteristics. There are several other advantages to having a SIG, the most important of which is the guarantee of two to three sessions at the annual ACTFL conference, the themes and content of which are decided solely by SIG members and officers. A further SIG benefit is the opportunity to hold one of these sessions as a breakfast/business meeting, as long as there is convention catering space available. Since 1998 the Small Undergraduate German Programs SIG has offered three sessions at each ACTFL annual conference, covering such topics as graduate student preparation for undergraduate teaching positions, campus advocacy for German, student retention, curricular innovations and initiatives. Traditionally, SIG officers issue at the end of the calendar year a call for paper proposals for the ACTFL conference to be held the following November.

Current Officers:

Chair: Ervin Malakaj, Sam Houston State University
Vice-Chair: Petra Watzke, Skidmore College
Secretary: Adrienne Damiani Merritt, Universtiy of California, Berkeley

Read minutes from previous SIG business meetings. Access the German SIG Online Community eGroup.

If you are already a member of ACTFL and wish to join this SIG, contact us. ACTFL membership includes one free SIG; individuals may join additional SIGs for $5 per year per SIG.

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