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Columbia MD, 21044
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Laurel, MD 20707
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STARTALK - Student Engagement Program

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The STARTALK Student Engagement Program at Howard Community College is a year-round language program for high school students, funded by the National Security Agency (NSA) to increase the learning of two critical-need languages, Arabic and Mandarin-Chinese. Students may choose to enroll in STARTALK to earn college credit or to participate without credit. With support from the NSA, STARTALK participants will receive funding for up to eight credits in  language coursework. students interested in taking additional language coursework (beyond the eight credits) will be financially responsible for those charges.

Students will have the opportunity to receive eight college credits (four credits per semester) while potentially satisfying one or more high school foreign language requirements. Credit students will be required to attend weekly course sessions and complete all required assignments and assessments. 

Students who choose to participate without earning credit will have the opportunity to interact with the instructor, peers, and course content through the college’s learning management system, Canvas. Students will be invited (not required) to attend weekly remote class sessions. However, during the semester, they will be required to dedicate at least five hours to participating in language and cultural events. Events will be offered both in person and hybrid  (50% in person/ 50% face to face).

STARTALK students are encouraged to complete at least two semesters of language study and attend the on-campus summer intensive language program.

Learn how to apply to the STARTALK Program

The admissions process is selective, and attendance in all classes is essential for success.

Students may apply to take one of the following college-level language courses:

  • CHNS-101: Elementary Mandarin Chinese I,
  • CHNS-102: Elementary Mandarin Chinese II,
  • ARAB-101: Elementary Arabic I, or
  • ARAB-102:  Elementary Arabic II.

Learn more about language levels and course descriptions



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