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Drake University Language Acquisition Program (DULAP)

The Drake University Language Acquisition Program (DULAP) is a unique learner-centered approach to language education/learning.

DULAP offers  several languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

DULAP mentors students as they gain functional proficiency in a language other than English, develop cultural understanding and become responsible global citizens. Students prepare to study or live abroad, enhance professional development and pursue personal interests while working alongside native speakers and language acquisition specialists.


Language study in DULAP is a 4-credit commitment. Directed Independent Language Study (DILS), where students practice communicating in the language of study, is a 3-credit course. The additional credit is a 1-hour, co-requisite language learning strategies course. This is required of all language students for the first two semesters they study language in DULAP.


Focusing on the development of functional communicative competency, students learn to use the language rather than merely learning about the language. To foster a communicative classroom environment in which all students are active participants, course sections are limited to a maximum of four students.

Students meet for three hours a week with a native speaker of the language of study. The native speaker functions as a model and a resource person. Students also work with their Language Coordinator, a professional linguist who mentors their progress.

Students are primarily evaluated through midterm and final exams and an ePortfolio. All midterm and final exams include an oral interview with the outside examiner, with content based on the materials assigned in the syllabus. Questions may include materials not directly assigned but ones appropriate to the student’s experience and skill level. Outside examiners are professionals in the target language, often professors from other universities. They are also consulted in the development of courses. Examiners know where students’ skill levels should be and are needed to give an objective assessment of student progress. The ePortfolio is a collection of work produced by a student throughout his/her time in DULAP. It is a means of documenting student progress overtime. Contained in the ePortfolio are a student’s audio, video and writing samples and reflective journal.

Language Learning Strategies

In their first two semester of language study, all students take Language Learning Strategies. This one-credit course meets once a week with students from all languages. It is led by the language coordinators and is designed to guide students through beginning language study at Drake. Through the Language Learning Strategies courses, students are introduced to strategies for more effective language learning, receive instruction on the technology required for the program and discuss concepts of culture and cultural identity.

Taking DULAP Courses

Students interested in taking classes in DULAP must submit the online application (available on the DULAP website: /international/dulap/). Students that have previous experience studying the language must complete the placement process to ensure that they begin study in DULAP at the level for which they are prepared. Students are registered for DULAP course by the program; students do not register online for DULAP courses.

Drake University does not have a general language requirement; several academic programs require language study (International Business, International Relations, Vocal Performance, Education endorsements in Spanish, French, German, and ESL, and the Global Ambassador Certificate).

In addition to academic offerings, DULAP organizes additional opportunities for students and members of the Des Moines community to engage with language.

The Drake International Film Festival is cosponsored by DULAP and the Center for Global Citizenship, with support from the U.S. Department of Education. Many films are shown every semester, with introductions by Drake faculty and staff.

Occasionally, DULAP sponsors other activities, such as karaoke night and an origami workshop.

The Honors Program

The Honors Program is an all-University concentration in interdisciplinary studies that serves as an alternative path to fulfilling the requirements of the Drake Curriculum, and strives to:

  • cultivate individual achievement and creativity by providing students with a venue to pursue projects at higher levels of expectation or those that do not neatly fit within prescribed disciplines.
  • provide a rigorous interdisciplinary perspective, breaking students out of their channeled interests and instilling an appreciation of the intellectual achievements of all aspects of Drake.
  • build a strong community of individuals committed to rigorous intellectual and creative thought, as well as an active social community that organizes a wide array of activities for fellow students such as cause-based fundraisers, dinners with select faculty and weekend retreats.

To complete the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum, students take 19 credits in the Honors Program, including a required seminar titled Paths to Knowledge, which explores the different ways in which people come to understand the world. Honors Program students also take classes in three of the Areas of Inquiry: Artistic Experience, a laboratory science and quantitative literacy. This track allows students to explore simultaneously the creative, interdisciplinary nontraditional topics that are the hallmark of the Honors Program and fulfill the Drake Curriculum’s goal of providing students with diverse intellectual experiences, introducing them to various areas around which intellectual inquiry is organized.

Students may develop further leadership skills through the Honors Student Council, which actively solicits Honors course topics and faculty, helps shape program policies and plans social events and service projects.

All motivated students are encouraged to participate in the Honors Program and must complete a creative essay, which serves to declare their interest in the program. Students who meet or exceed the following criteria will automatically be sent an application form:

•  Rank in the top 5 percent of their high school class or have a minimum 3.75 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale; and

•  Have an ACT composite score of 29 or an SAT-I combined score of 1270.

Admission to the Program is not restricted to those meeting the above criteria.

First-year students considering the Honors Program are expected to enroll in Honors 1, Honors Practicum, a one-credit class during the fall semester. This course introduces the Honors Program, its community and its structure and gives first-year students initial experience with some of the learning practices often experienced in Honors courses. In addition, the program sometimes organizes first-year learning community experiences in coordination with the First-Year Seminar (FYS) program. A recent example was an intensive two-course study on American Democracy. Such experiences are highly recommended for Honors students whenever they are appropriate.

Students in the Honors Program earn University Honors by completing both the Honors Program Track of the Drake Curriculum and a three-credit Honors Senior Thesis project, while maintaining a 3.5 cumulative GPA upon graduation.

Advising is typically done with the students’ designated first-year and academic advisers, but Honors students are encouraged to bring to the Honors Program director their questions about course selection and career goals.

Global Ambassador Certificate Program

Program Overview

Offered through the Drake University Center for Global Citizenship (CGC), the Global Ambassador Program is a certificate program designed to complement a student’s central program of academic study. Students who complete the program will receive a certificate and a notation on their university transcript. Undergraduate students from any school or college are eligible to apply. The purposes of the Global Ambassador Program are to:

  1. provide students with a combination of concentrated study, personal experience and reflection that will inform their understanding of global issues and perspectives,
  2. provide students with the intercultural skills that will allow them to make the most of future international opportunities in business, the professions or public service.


To qualify for a Global Ambassador certificate, a student must complete the following requirements:

Application Process

Students must apply for the Global Ambassadors Program. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0. The number of students accepted will vary depending on availability of staff and instructional resources. Applications may be downloaded from the Center for Global Citizenship website. Completed application forms should be submitted to the CGC director.


Air Force Aerospace Studies

Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps

Air Force ROTC courses are taught on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa, 30 miles north of Des Moines. Students must arrange their own transport to Ames if required. Classes are held one day each week, during the first two years of the program and two days per week for the last two years of the program. Upon request, Air Force ROTC classes may be taught using standard distance-learning technology. In addition a two-hour leadership laboratory is required once a week. Students take the courses as Drake courses, and no additional tuition fees are assessed for full-time students.

The Air Force ROTC curriculum is divided into two basic phases: The General Military Course (GMC) and the Professional Officer Course (POC). The GMC is introductory and consists of four consecutive one-hour courses normally taken during the freshman and sophomore years. GMC completion is not a prerequisite to entry into the POC, although the department recommends it.

Prior to entry into the POC, all students must complete field training at an Air Force base. Students who have completed the GMC phase participate in a four-week program that provides a concentrated experience in the Air Force environment. The training program includes junior officer training, aircraft and aircrew orientation, survival training, base functions and physical training.

Selection for the professional officer course is on a competitive basis, and cadets enrolling in this course must meet certain academic, mental, physical and moral standards. Qualified cadets may compete for classification as flight candidates and receive flight instruction during their final years in the POC phase. Upon enrollment in the POC, all cadets are required to complete a contractual agreement with the Air Force, which obligates them to four years of active duty in the United States Air Force if in a nonflying category; 10 years of active duty in the United States Air Force if a pilot; or 6 years as a navigator. Uniforms and texts are supplied to the cadets, and those in the POC receive a subsistence allowance from $450 to $500 per month. Entry into the program is not dependent on departmental major or year in Drake University.

AFROTC offers a Graduate Law Program, which guarantees duty as a legal officer following successful completion of all law school, AFROTC and bar requirements. Interested students should contact the AFROTC department for more information. Air Force ROTC may be taken in conjunction with nursing programs leading to a bachelor's degree.

This section temporarily unavailable while agreements concerning scholarship information are being clarified.

Additional information regarding Air Force Officer Education may be obtained from the Air Force Aerospace Studies Department at Iowa State University. Call 515-294-1716 or view the Web site at .

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