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Spanish for Health Care and Human Services Professionals


Ramapo College Office of Admissions

McBride House 505 Ramapo Valley Road Mahwah, NJ 07430

p: (201) 684-7300
f: (201) 684-7964

About Spanish for Health Care and Human Services Professionals

The Spanish for Health Care and Human Services Certificate aims at developing students’ linguistic proficiency and cultural competency in Spanish so that they can operate professionally in a medical and human services setting with native speakers of the language.  The courses in the certificate are designed to familiarize students with the intricacies of the language (especially false cognates) to make them effective translators and interpreters. The projects for all their certificate courses will be focused on a comprehensive understanding of health care and human services, including topics as diverse as the analysis of preventive campaigns, historical representations of different diseases or debates on race and ethnicity.  The objectives of this multi-pronged approach are to endow students with the capacity to overcome linguistic barriers and gain an understanding of cultural competency that would allow for building patient-practitioner relationship.

Program Enrollment/Application:

Current RCNJ students in Good Academic Standing are automatically eligible for the Spanish for Health Care and Human Services Certificate, and should use the Major/Minor Declaration Form available through the Registrar’s Office to enroll in this program.

Non-Ramapo students are welcome to apply to this program as a Non-Degree Seeking Student through Ramapo’s Office of Admissions.

To sign up for the Certificate Program:

Contact Associate Professor of Spanish, Natalia Santamaria Laorden, at 201.684.7426 or

  • Become familiar with vocabulary applicable to medical or human services settings.
  • Develop communication skills necessary to compile a medical history or do a human services assessment.
  • Demonstrate oral proficiency to handle patient’s or client’s complaints or concerns
  • Develop effective preventive or social awareness campaigns
  • Analyze and question representations of diseases in international media (zika, AIDS…), paying special attention at the social and political dimensions of these representations.
  • “Demonstrate cultural competence required for negotiating a diverse global society, including intercultural understanding, dynamics of power and privilege, identifying and moving beyond the ethnocentric views we receive from our culture”
  • Prepare students to take the Bilingual Communicative Ability Test (BICAT) administered by the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission.

Sample Classes

See Full Program Requirements