UCA in Mexico: Summer​ ​Language​ ​and​ ​Culture​ ​Immersion​ ​Through​ ​ ​Ecological​ ​Sustainability


Please plan to attend one of our two mandatory Health and Safety meetings.
Attendance of a Health and Safety meeting is required in order to participate in your study abroad program. 
Here are the dates for our Health and Safety meetings:
Thursday, March 8, 2018    4-5PM                       Burdick Room 205
Thursday, March 15, 2018  1:40-2:30 (x period)  Old Main Room 114

UCA was awarded a grant to help fund students in a study abroad exchange. Working with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente (ITESO), the Jesuit University of Guadalajara, UCA students will study abroad to study science and the Spanish language.  UCA students will be able to apply for funding through the MetLife Foundation Study Abroad Innovation Grant through the 100,000 Strong in the Americas program.

The overall focus of this study abroad program will be on Spanish language and cultural immersion under the umbrella theme of ecological sustainability. Language and cultural immersion will be experienced through the globally binding issues of ecological sustainability, particularly fresh water.

UCA students will study at ITESO and will be taught by UCA and ITESO faculty. All students will participate in service-learning components during the program. UCA students will participate in a volunteer project that engages them in the assessment of water quality issues of local streams and rivers. The first excursion sees students follow a river from its headwaters through the city of Guadalajara to a point downstream where it is very polluted. The second excursion has students visit a local stream mitigation project lead by local non-profit organizations that are aiding in the recovery of water quality and biological diversity. Local groups in Guadalajara working in the area of water quality will accompany UCA students on these excursions.Students will also enroll in Spanish language instruction though no prior study in Spanish is required.

UCA Students will earn a total of six transfer credits (no prerequisites required):

  • Biology 4390 Water Resources: Science and Ethics

This course is a team-taught interdisciplinary course about science and ethics of freshwater use, management, and ecological restoration. Students will participate in formal lectures, discussion of assigned peer-reviewed literature, field-based experimental design, analysis, and presentations.

  • Spanish 1111 or 1211 Conversational Spanish

These courses integrate all four basic language skills–speaking, listening, reading and writing— and focus primarily on academic and professional language. Some lectures often take place outside of the classroom in the form of field trips to local points of cultural interest where students use their Spanish to interact with Mexican citizens in the city of Guadalajara. No previous study in the Spanish language is required.

Dr. Sally Entrekin

Dr. Sally Entrekin is an Associate Professor in Biology at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, AR. She earned a BS in Biology at Georgia Southwestern State University, an MS in Entomology at the University of Georgia and a PhD in Biology at the University Of Notre Dame.

Dr. Entrekin’s research has spanned across ecoregions and freshwater ecosystem types to identify changes in connectivity via human alterations. Specifically, her research has focused on the connection between land transformation and biological communities and their associated processes, such as primary and animal production and decomposition, in small streams and wetlands. Her collaborative research program has been used to integrate student concept development and application for a more synthetic undergraduate educational experience in the sciences. Study abroad is another exciting new collaboration to integrate the science of water resources with undergraduate research and cultural experiences. She is grateful to study in Mexico, where she has traveled extensively over the last decade.

Dr. Sally Entrekin • LSC 019 • Department of Biology

Travel Dates: June 3- June 30, 2018

Deadline to Apply: Monday, February 12, 2018

Grant Application for UCA in Mexico

Deadline to apply and submit all materials for application is 4:30 pm on February 9th, 2018. Funding awards will be announced before the deadline for students to register on Feb. 12th.