Certificate in Spanish for First Responders

Certificate in Spanish for First Responders Overview

First responders know that clear communication is critical in emergency situations, but what happens when they don’t speak the same language as the person they’re trying to assist? When an individual in distress is unable to communicate with a first responder, precious time can be lost. The U.S. Hispanic population has grown to more than 60 million, and more than 3.1 million Spanish-speaking households reported limited English proficiency in 2019. To address the critical need for Spanish-speaking emergency personnel, The University of Texas Permian Basin has created an online Certificate in Spanish for First Responders.

Our 9-credit certificate program delivers a solid foundation in oral and written medical Spanish proficiencies and the cultural competence required to deal effectively with a growing Spanish-speaking population. The program includes an introductory study of medical terminology in Spanish and the creative use of Spanish language in simulated conversations that mirror real-life professional situations. All courses are delivered in a 100% online format, enabling you to complete your studies anywhere and around your busy schedule.

Career Options

The University of Texas Permian Basin's online Certificate in Spanish for First Responders program provides a solid foundation for you to excel in a variety of roles, including:

Spanish for First Responders Courses

Fulfill our certificate’s 9-credit-hour requirement with the courses below.

SPAN 3321 - Hispanic Civilization
16 weeks
Currents and characteristics of Spanish culture and history as expressed through the centuries in literature, art, philosophy, and history. Prerequisite(s): SPAN 3301 or instructor’s approval.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Spring 2025 Whole Spring 2026
SPAN 3332 - Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
8 weeks
This course is designed to allow students to comprehend and convey information relevant to first responders in Fire, EMS, Police, and other first-response organizations. Emphasis is placed on vocabulary, listening skills, and communication strategies when dealing with Spanish speaking populations.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Fall B 2024 Whole Fall 2025
SPAN 3301 - Advanced Grammar and Syntax
16 weeks
Analysis of more technical and advanced points of Spanish grammar and syntax with comparisons made to English. Prerequisite(s): Students with native proficiency in Spanish or a background in high school Spanish language study may take the CLEP in Spanish and, if scores justify it, receive three or six hours of sophomore-level Spanish language credit (SPAN 2311, SPAN 2312). However, all students must pass a placement exam to be eligible to enroll in SPAN 3301.
Prerequisites: N/A
Semesters Offered: Whole Fall 2024 Whole Fall 2025 Whole Fall 2026 Whole Fall 2027

Admission Requirements

Students may earn a Certificate in Spanish for First Responders as a stand-alone credential or alongside a UT Permian Basin degree.

Regular Admission Requirements

Students are required to have completed the intermediate level of Spanish through one of the following:

  • Four years of high school Spanish or Spanish AP
  • Intermediate college-level courses listed in transcripts
  • An intermediate Spanish proficiency certificate from any accredited language school

Students with no validated proficiency or heritage speakers may demonstrate competence through the Spanish CLEP placement test, which can be taken on campus or online. Students admitted to the program may address any foreign language deficiency by taking college-level Spanish language courses to meet the intermediate level.

As a Transfer Student Seeking the Certificate Only (Non-Degree)

Please provide the following:

  • Official transcripts from the last school you attended or are currently attending to show that you are in good standing
  • Completed transient application through goapplytexas.org

Use our transfer calculator to find out how your classes will transfer to UT Permian Basin and which classes will count toward your certificate.

As an Incoming Freshman Admission Seeking the Certificate Only (Non-Degree)

If you have completed less than 24 hours of transferable college-level work from a regionally accredited college or university after graduating from high school or receiving your GED, please provide the following:

  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (including dual-credit work while in high school)
  • Official high school transcript showing GPA, class rank, and expected graduation date or GED scores
  • OPTIONAL AT THIS TIME: SAT and/or ACT scores from within the last five years (see below for minimum score requirements)
  • Completed application through goapplytexas.org

In addition, you may need to provide other transcripts to show proof that you meet any course prerequisite requirements.

If you wish to add this certificate as part of an existing degree program, you may do so once you’re formally admitted into the degree program. Speak with your academic advisor and let them know your interest in adding the courses necessary to complete the certificate.

Official Transcripts

Official copies of transcripts must come directly from the school in a sealed envelope and can be mailed to:

UT Permian Basin
Office of Admissions
4901 E. University Blvd.
Odessa, TX 79762

Official transcripts in electronic format can be sent to admissions@utpb.edu.

Minimum Score Requirements

High School Graduation Class Rank



Top 25%

No minimum score

No minimum score

2nd Quarter



3rd Quarter



4th Quarter




Application Fee

The application fee is $40.

If you have any questions regarding the admission requirements, please email studentinquiries@online.utpb.edu.

Test-Optional Policy

Students will be reviewed on a holistic basis focusing on the strength of the high school record, overall grade point average, grades within the core subjects, dual credit work, and additional information (resume and/or extracurricular activities, leadership opportunities, and work experience provided with the GoApplyTexas application). We also recognize the value of standardized tests as a piece of the review process and will consider scores alongside the other required application credentials, if provided.



Assistant Professor and Director
Spanish Undergraduate Program

Dr. Ábrego is an associate professor of Spanish and undergraduate coordinator of the Spanish program at The University of Texas Permian Basin. Dr. Ábrego received her PhD in Hispanic literature from Vanderbilt University. Prior to coming to UT Permian Basin, she was a visiting assistant professor at Hampden-Sydney College. Dr. Ábrego’s research focuses on border literature and theory; migration and cultural exchange as expressed in literary, historical, filmic, and theoretical texts. She has collaborated in different academic publications in Mexico and the United States.

Assistant Professor and Chair
Department of Literature and Language
English Program

Dr. Fick is an associate professor of English and chair of the department of literature and languages. He holds a BA from the University of Kansas (philosophy), an MA from New York University (poetics/English), and a PhD from the University of Kansas (English). He is the author of three poetry collections, a book of short stories, and the novel The Nowhere Man (Jaded Ibis, 2015) and is editor/translator of The River Is Wide/El río es ancho: Twenty Mexican Poets (New Mexico, 2005), as well as XEIXA: Fourteen Catalan Poets (Tupelo, 2018). Awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, ConaCulta in Mexico, and Institut Ramon Llull in Catalonia, Dr. Fick specializes in teaching comparative poetics at UT Permian Basin.

Assistant Professor
Department of Literature and Language

Mr. Moreno is an essayist, narrator, travel author, and contributor to cultural supplements, journals, and newspapers in Mexico City, Colombia, Spain, the United States, Denmark, and France. He is an assistant professor and researcher at The University of Texas Permian Basin. He has written Querida Margot (short stories, 2018); Desires of community: the Interstitial Character in the Novel and the Cinema of the Nineties in Mexico (essays, 2016), and a compilation of chronicles: Road to Ciudad Juárez: chronicles and border stories (2014). Two more compilations will be published in 2021. In addition, he prepares Chronicles of Campus Visit.

LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Whole Fall8/12/248/19/248/23/24 8/26/2412/13/24
Fall A8/12/248/19/248/23/248/26/2410/18/24
Fall B10/7/2410/14/2410/18/2410/21/2412/13/24
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Whole Spring12/30/241/6/251/10/251/13/255/9/25
Spring A12/30/241/6/251/10/251/13/253/7/25
Spring B3/3/253/10/253/14/253/17/255/9/25
LengthApplication DeadlineDocument DeadlinePayment DeadlineCourses BeginCourses End
Whole Fall8/11/258/18/258/22/258/25/2512/12/25
Fall A8/11/258/18/258/22/258/25/2510/17/25
Fall B10/6/2510/13/2510/17/2510/20/2512/12/25

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