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Central Maryland is where the world comes to do business and where our nation performs many of its governmental functions. For that reason, we are ideally positioned to provide educational programming for students and professionals preparing to make a difference across the nation and the world. Job candidates with excellent written and spoken communication skills and a broad awareness of other cultures are in high demand among local, national and international employers.

That’s where the department of World Languages comes in. AACC is a leader among Maryland community colleges for the number of languages offered, as well as its knowledgeable and experienced faculty. The World Languages department offers high-quality, face-to-face credit language instruction in 15 modern and classical languages. It incorporates cultural competencies into the development of communication skills, giving students the tools to negotiate a variety of contexts in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner.

Areas and Offerings

Liberal Arts - Arts and Sciences Transfer (A.A.)

Students who want to earn a bachelor’s or advanced degree in a world language should consider the Associate of Liberal Arts degree. It gives you the chance to develop language skills while pursuing a thorough liberal arts education and prepares you to transfer into a language major at the university level.


American Sign Language (A.A.)

The American Sign Language transfer degree will provide students a thorough and rigorous preparation to complete bachelor's- and master's-level training for careers as case managers, residential counselors, teaching assistants, job coaches and administrative assistants.


Teacher Education (A.A.)

Students with an excellent level of preparation in high school Spanish may want to consider the Associate of Arts in Teacher Education (A.A.) degree in Spanish in the TEACH Institute.


Spanish (certificate)

After completing this certificate program, students will have developed the skills necessary to communicate in Spanish while also demonstrating an understanding of Hispanic cultural trends as they relate to everyday communication. This 16-credit certificate program includes a mandatory Oral Proficiency Interview Preparation course. High school students can transfer up to 6 credits into the Spanish certificate program. See the college catalog for information about how AP scores transfer.

Contact Dawn Meissner at for questions about the certificate program and how to enroll.


What level should you take? 

Determining the placement or level of the language you wish to take is accomplished through advising. However, the World Languages department chair is available to answer questions about individual courses.

It is not necessary to start with the first college level course if you have previous experience with the language. A rule of thumb for self-advising is that one year of high school language is equivalent of one term of a college level language. You may use your high school transcript or report card as documentation when you register for a language. The World Languages department chair also may sign your registration form if you wish to waive a prerequisite for a course.

Faculty and Staff

Academic Chair

Dawn Meissner, associate professor of Spanish  
CADE 204

Full-time Faculty

Scott Cooper, professor of French and Spanish
CADE 101

Larry Gray, professor of American Sign Language
CADE 227

Jodie Hogan, professor of Spanish
CADE 309

Office Staff

Sue Rous, support coordinator
CADE 216

Michele McCray, visual and performing arts coordinator
CADE 216

Jennifer Ward, interpreter
CADE 227

Resources for Students

Latinx Club

The Latinx Club plans and provides entertainment through interesting meetings concerning the Latino community on and off campus. The club offers fun opportunities to build up members’ leadership skills by managing events such as Latin dance workshops, Latinx parties to explore the culture more into details and more Latino-related events. The club also creates a place where Latinx students can get together, while also offering them resources to make their college experience even better. One of the goals of the club is to help the wider community embrace the Latino culture in many ways, such as fun events, lectures or even dancing sessions. There are also Spanish speaking interaction meetings for those English speaking students who would like to put in practice their Spanish speaking skills. The club seeks to make an impact and have a presence at educational sessions, events or lectures that are meant for the Latinx community around campus or even in Maryland.

Library Foreign Language Resources

The Truxal Library on the Arnold campus has a variety of untranslated literature in the permanent collection. You will find poetry, short stories, plays and novels in the languages you are studying. The information desk staff will help you locate these items. There are many language dictionaries in the Reference Area. Cassette tapes and CDs are available for use in the library and in some cases available for three-day checkout. Take advantage of these language learning tools.


Our students regularly compete for and win scholarships to study languages abroad. A number of our students have won scholarships recently to study Japanese at the Temple University Japan campus in Tokyo, and others have competed for and won U.S. Department of State Critical Languages Scholarships to study Arabic and other critical languages throughout Asia and Eastern Europe.

Learn more about scholarships.

Transfer Resources

The World Languages department has no formal language studies transfer agreements with other institutions of higher education, which is another reason why we recommend the A.A. in Liberal Arts, which does transfer to all Maryland colleges. Many of our students continue their language studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Towson University.

ASL students frequently continue on to bachelor’s degree programs at Gallaudet University, the Bachelor of Science in Deaf Studies program at Towson University and the Master of Science in Deaf Education program at McDaniel College.

Learn more about AACC's Transfer Services.


We’re happy to help.

School of Liberal Arts
World Languages

Dawn Meissner


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Clint J. Buhler, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean