Michelle Bettencourt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Spanish

Contact Information

  • mbettenc@unca.edu
  • 251-6282
  • 224 Whitesides Hall

Office Hours

  • Tuesday 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
  • Friday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Monday 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Note: Friday's office hours are online.

Educated in her native California, Michelle Bettencourt first came to UNC Asheville in 1999 as a lecturer and again in 2004 as an Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the lower-level Spanish program. She has been active in the development and implementation of multiple courses in Spanish for the Professions. In particular, she has been successful in developing the Spanish for Business curriculum, including a short-term study abroad program to Costa Rica for studies in business and economics. In addition to overseeing the instruction and curriculum of Spanish 110-130, Michelle is engaged in assessment across the curriculum, including the university placement exam. Michelle is involved in creating opportunities for students to actively engage in community-based service learning in Western North Carolina to include implementing and developing the Juntos program.


  • Ph.D., Curriculum and Instruction
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  • M.A., Teaching Foreign Languages
    Monterey Institute of International Studies
  • B.A., Spanish
    San Diego State University

Courses Taught

  • SPAN 110-130 Elementary Spanish
  • SPAN 230: Intermediate Spanish
  • SPAN 300: Oral Skills; diversity and service-learning designated
  • SPAN 310: Composition and Intro to Literature
  • SPAN 373: Spanish for Teachers
  • SPAN 373/473: Intensive Studies in Costa Rica: Spanish for Business and Economics
  • SPAN 401: Internship
  • SPAN 425: Spanish for Business
  • SPAN 440: Advanced Grammar and Composition
  • SPAN 473: Spanish for Broadcasting
  • ​SPAN 473: Community-Based Service Learning
  • SPAN 473: Research in Teaching ESL
  • SPAN 473: Curriculum Development for Spanish Medical Practices
  • SPAN 498: Senior Seminar
  • LA 178: Freshman Colloquium
  • LA 378: Transfer Colloquium
  • EDUC 433: Teaching Foreign Language K-12
  • EDUC 455: Student Teaching and Seminar

Professional Interests

  • Foreign Language curriculum
  • Instruction and assessment
  • Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum
    Service Learning and Civic Engagement
  • Spanish for Specific Purposes

Recent Publications

  • Bettencourt, M. (2015) Supporting Student Learning Outcomes Through Service Learning. Foreign Language Annals, 48(3), 473-490.
  • Bettencourt, M. (2012) Languages across the Curriculum. Multicultural Education, 19(1).
  • Bettencourt, M. & Weldon, A. (2011)  "Team Teaching: Are Two Better Than One?" Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 4(1), 123-150.