Idaho State University in Pocatello is offering a degree in Spanish for Health Professions starting this fall.
Helen Tarp is director of the new program and an associate professor of Spanish at ISU. She says she was unable to find a similar program anywhere in the country.
The program is intended to help students in health professions become more competitive in the workforce while language students could train to work as a translator in an emergency room or doctor's office.
The program includes curriculum requirements from both the health care and language departments, making it easier for students to double-major in their chosen fields.
Tarp says a 63 percent increase in Idaho's Hispanic population over the past decade highlights the need for the new program, which will highlight language and culture.