Director of the Spanish Language Program, Border Studies Program

Earlham College

Position Description:

The Earlham College Border Studies Program is a liberal arts program based in Tucson, AZ that uses the transnational U.S.-Mexico border region as a critical context for unpacking contemporary global realities.  Students in the Border Studies Program undertake semester-long immersion education that involves academic classes, travel to communities across southern Arizona and on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, homestays, and internships with local organizations involved with immigration, human rights, education, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

The Spanish Language Program provides a critical component of BSP’s academic curriculum, as well as a bridge between BSP and the broader Tucson community.  Located some 60 miles north of the U.S. border with Mexico, Tucson is essentially a bilingual and multinational city, and BSP’s Spanish Language Program emphasizes the teaching of Spanish as a language of the borderlands and of the United States.  This involves not just a pedagogical approach that applies a decolonial analytic to challenge hegemonies of language and their intersections with broader questions of power, privilege and oppression; but also the cultivation of an ethic of language justice as a cornerstone of education, movement and community.  In addition to college-level classroom instruction, the BSP Spanish Language Program Director will therefore be responsible for organizing community language classes; facilitating the training of community language instructors; and promoting access to translation and interpretation by supporting student participation in Tucson’s Language Justice Collective.  In addition, the Spanish Language Program Director will join a team of three other full-time administrative faculty, who are collectively responsible for organizing and implementing all of the Border Studies Program’s logistics and curriculum.


Directing the Spanish Program (40%, approximately 16 hours per week)

Curriculum Development: Develop curricula each semester that meet the needs of incoming students.

  • Assess students’ Spanish level prior to their arrival in the program using their application materials and telephone interviews
  • Interview students once they arrive to Tucson to place them in the appropriate Spanish level
  • Develop Spanish language curricula according to student levels, which range from beginner to native speaker

Instruction:  Assume primary responsibility for instruction of credit-bearing Spanish language course as well as the oversight of the community Spanish classes.

  • Teach one content-based Spanish language course for all students
  • Teach one Spanish language course targeted to either beginner, intermediate or advanced-level students
  • Coordinate, alongside the Border Studies Instructor, meetings with advanced-level students who will take part in Tucson’s Language Justice Collective (LJC)
  • Create assignments and interpretation practice sessions for students who will participate in the LJC
  • Assess student writing on a weekly basis

Coordination and Supervision of Teaching Assistants:

  • Create lesson plans with teaching assistant(s)
  • Meet with and coach teaching assistants(s)


  • Meet with students one-on-one two times throughout the semester, once in the middle and once at the end to assess their oral Spanish language progress

Co-Directing the Border Studies Program (40%, approximately 16 hours per week)

Attend weekly meetings with other BSP faculty and work as a team to keep the program running smoothly

  • Work with other BSP faculty to develop curriculum each semester
  • Plan orientation and wrap-up week with other BSP faculty
  • Work with other BSP faculty to coordinate travel excursions
  • Work as a team to conduct wellness checks with students throughout the semester

Travel Excursion Leader: Work with other BSP faculty and community members to plan and carry out travel excursions in the borderlands and Southern Mexico.

Administration (15%, approximately 6 hours per week)

Administrative duties may contain several of the following:

  • Help to oversee and manage BSP facilities and equipment
  • Complete monthly accounting
  • Support with student services, including interviewing new applicants
  • Support with advertising and student recruitment
  • Maintain relationships with college contacts at affiliated universities
  • Help plan meetings with outside constituents and stakeholders

Other Duties (5%, approximately 2 hours per week)

Professional development: Participate regularly in regional, national, or international professional development opportunities and networks.

Ad hoc assignments: Complete other duties as requested by Earlham College


  • Master’s degree and at least introductory (1 year) experience in college-level Spanish language education
  • Strong commitment to social and language justice
  • Demonstrated skill in and passion for working with undergraduate students
  • Demonstrated interpersonal relationship-building skills and experience working with a wide range of constituents, including community members, faculty, students, and alumni
  • Experience communicating with and supporting people from diverse backgrounds and an expressed commitment to uphold and further Earlham’s Diversity Aspirations Vision Statement
  • Experience in curriculum development and instruction
  • Ability to maintain high level of confidentiality
  • Experience and comfort with digital tools and technology, including social media
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced setting
  • Excellent verbal, written, and presentation skills
  • Possession of a valid driver’s license and willingness to drive a 12 passenger van

Additional Preferred Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with U.S. immigration policy, political economy, and the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Knowledge about Tucson and established relationships in Southern Arizona, and/or in other communities in the U.S. / Mexico border region
  • Training and/or research interests associated with language justice, Mexican-American/Chicano/a/x studies, critical ethnic studies, translanguaging and/or Spanish language education
  • A commitment to both inclusive excellence and decolonial approaches to off-campus study and education.


Please submit the following application materials in a single electronic file:

  • Cover letter;
  • Resume;
  • Statement on Diversity: The Statement on Diversity should describe how your values and leadership frame or center Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in your work;
  • Contact information for three references.

All materials should be submitted to the Earlham College Human Resources Office at: [email protected]