About KU SLLC
The SLLC was formed after a yearlong study (2013-14) by several committees of faculty, staff and students from a wide range of departments in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, as well as participation from colleagues in other schools across KU.
The SLLC, which was created following approval from the Kansas Board of Regents in September 2014, forms a new entity within the College and preserves within it existing departmental structures:
- African & African American Studies
- East Asian Languages & Cultures
- French, Francophone & Italian Studies
- German Studies
- Slavic Languages & Literatures
- Spanish & Portuguese
Our affiliated entities, departments and programs
The SLLC’s goal is to advance and educate students, the campus and the public on the increasing importance of foreign language and cultural knowledge as a central part of a 21st-century education.
Why did we form the SLLC?
The University of Kansas has a tradition of foreign language education dating to the 19th century. During and after the Cold War, capacity for teaching critical and less commonly taught languages grew to meet national needs, largely in the public sector.
Today, we teach over 40 languages, as well as courses on culture, literature, history and politics connected with many of those languages. This number puts Kansas in a rare category with a wide range of offerings unparalleled in the Great Plains and well beyond. KU is a national leader in the study of foreign languages, offering more languages than any other university in Kansas or in the Big 12 Conference.
The SLLC aims to give everyone a full overview of our resources so that they can be deployed effectively for the benefit of students, the broader campus, and the region. Language and cultural knowledge are transformative for students’ lives and for meaningful engagement in the world, both in terms of rich experience and economic benefit. We are developing innovative research and curriculum, as well as helping students make deliberate, well-informed choices from among an unusually rich array of opportunities.
The SLLC is poised to meet Kansas’ share of the enormous and still-growing national needs for foreign language and cultural competence. Individual benefits range from higher cognitive performance to direct economic benefit through marketable job skills. Society and the economy benefit by creating a workforce that can function effectively throughout the vast global network.
The sustained demand for students with foreign language and cultural competence is evidenced not just by the success of our alumni, but by the fact that the market is telling us that a foreign language major is among the most competitive in the liberal arts, according to this recent Wall Street Journal info graphic.(From: Lauren Weber, "The Liberal Arts Majors that pay the Most," Wall Street Journal. Management. At Work, 15 May 2014)