In 1995, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provided the College of the Holy Cross with a unique opportunity to develop a self-paced language curriculum that would ultimately challenge both faculty and students to re-examine how people learn languages. More specifically, the college was asked to consider how technology might be exploited to the benefit of all concerned, facilitating the development of language competency while reducing the financial burden typically associated with the small classes required for language teaching.
Today, the Directed Independent Spanish Curriculum (DISC) at Holy Cross offers Spanish students an opportunity to personalize their language learning experience. Students work individually on course materials which include textbooks, video, CD-ROM, and the Internet. Students also meet one or two hours each week with native speakers to practice oral communication and communicate weekly with faculty via e-mail.
The ideal DISC student is someone who works well independently and is not afraid of using technology. Courses are designed to help those students who come to college with prior experience in Spanish by offering them an opportunity to identify their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses; facilitating their integration into more advanced language courses. DISC also welcomes other highly motivated individuals who are interested in learning the Spanish language.