What are the classes like?

Classes are collegial, fun, non-credit, with emphasis on conversation. There are no tests, exams or grades. Read what our students have to say!

Can I get credit for the class?

ALTEC language classes are non-credit and students do not receive a certificate of completion. Our language classes are for enrichment only.

For-credit courses are available through CU Language Departments. Community members can enroll in these courses through Continuing Education.

Continuing Education Programs:

  • ACCESS enables non-degree students to take Boulder main campus undergraduate or graduate courses for personal or professional development.
  • The High School Concurrent Program is intended for high school students interested in the challenge of completing college courses at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  • The Community Auditors program allows you the opportunity to attend university classes for no academic credit.
Why do community members pay higher tuition?

The ALTEC language class program was initially set up as a type of benefit for current CU faculty, staff, and graduate students. As part of the university's internationalization efforts, this program receives financial support from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs, which enables us to subsidize the tuition for current CU personnel. Please email altec@colorado.edu if you or your organization is interested in providing a tuition subsidy for employees and/or members.

I can't make it to class at the scheduled time -- can you adjust the hours?

No, unfortunately not. Our times are limited by the availability of rooms on campus. We can only request campus classrooms after regular credit courses are scheduled and this limits us because of the current space shortage on campus. We try to schedule the classes at a time convenient for both faculty and staff which is either at the beginning or end of the day, or over the lunch hour.

Can I get a refund?

In case of a cancelled class, students will be notified by email on the Thursday before the start of classes and tuition will be refunded.

If the class you signed up for is too simple or difficult, you may switch to another class offered during the same semester or another language, if space is available. You may also contact the instructor for further guidance.

In all other cases tuition is non-refundable, as the number of students enrolled dictates whether or not the class can run.

Which level should I take?

The Beginning I level offered in fall is designed for true beginners with zero exposure to the language. The Beginning II level offered in spring is a continuation of the fall class, and assumes 20 hours or equivalent of prior language instruction or familiarity. Each higher level is a continuation of the previous semester's 20 hours of classroom instruction. Our classes do not have prerequisites and do not require a placement exam.

To help guide you to choose the appropriate level for your skills and background, please see our syllabi from past semesters. Do note that the topics may vary in the future in order to align best with students' interests.

French Beginning I Italian Beginning I Spanish Beginning I
French Beginning II Italian Beginning II

Spanish Beginning II- Mondays

Spanish Beginning II- Tuesdays

French Intermediate I Italian Intermediate I Spanish Intermediate I
French Intermediate II Italian Intermediate II Spanish Intermediate II
    Spanish Advanced I
    Spanish Advanced II

For more detailed information about what is covered in each level, please consult the 2017 NCSSFL-ACTFL Can-Do Statements, written by the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages (NCSSFL) and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). These can-do statements guide language learners to identify and set learning goals and chart their progress towards language and intercultural proficiency.

If the class you signed up for is too simple or difficult, you may switch to another class offered during the same semester or another language, if space is available. You may also contact the instructor for further guidance.

Are textbooks required?

No. The instructors may recommend a textbook or provide other materials. It is not required that you purchase a textbook. Contact your instructor if you have specific questions.

Where are the classes taught and where can I park?

All classes are taught in the Hellems building on the CU Boulder campus. The Euclid parking garage is closest to our building and has paid parking. Otherwise, you can potentially find free street parking on the streets south of Hellems or to the west on the Hill.

What happens if class is canceled due to weather or instructor illness?

ALTEC classes follow the same weather policies as main campus. ALTEC classes will not be canceled unless main campus closes early or for the entire day. If class should be canceled due to instructor emergency or illness, the instructor will email the students directly. If any class should be canceled due to weather or instructor emergency, the instructor will teach an additional class on a date/time that accommodates the majority of the students' schedules.

How to Find Information about Campus Closures

  • On social media—Like CU Boulder on Facebook and follow @cuboulder and @cuboulderalerts on Twitter
  • On the web—Visit www.colorado.edu for detailed campus closure and emergency information and updates.
  • On the phone—Call the campus info line at 303-492-INFO (4636) for recorded information and updates relating to campus alerts.