We're here to help! Email us at alteclanguageclasses@colorado.edu if you can't find the answer to your question below.

What are the classes like and which level should I take?

Classes are fun and non-credit, with an emphasis on conversation. We create a safe space so students feel comfortable with learning through making mistakes. There are no tests, required homework or grades. Read what our students have to say!

Each week you will engage in two sessions of live learning with the instructor and other students (classes are generally capped at 15 students). This class time is structured with interactive conversation activities and games.

Additional learning material is hosted in Canvas (an online learning platform) for you to complete at your convenience. These out-of-class activities include discussion forums and practice quizzes, and utilize technology tools that are free and easy to use (no experience needed). Your instructor will guide you on how to access and interact with these engaging platforms. Enrolled students have access to all course content for a full month after the class ends.

Not sure which level is appropriate? View our placement guide for assistance.

Can undergraduate students take these classes?

Yes! These engaging evening classes are perfect for undergraduate students who have already completed their language requirement to graduate but cannot accommodate more credits in their class schedule. These classes are non-credit with no tests or grades, and our students are highly motivated to learn new languages and cultures for use in their profession, social life and travels.

Please note that our language classes are for enrichment only and students do not receive a certificate of completion. Students seeking credit to fulfill their degree or graduation requirements can enroll in for-credit language courses through CU departments.

You might be surprised how quickly you fall in love with language learning, at which point you should consider taking for-credit courses to pursue a language major, minor or certificate! More information about for-credit language courses and degree programs can be found on the corresponding CU department website.

Those not affiliated with CU Boulder can enroll in for-credit courses through the following 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.
  • The Senior Auditors program is open to Colorado residents ages 55 and over.
Can youth under age 18 take these classes?

We welcome motivated teenagers age 16 or older to enroll in ALTEC language classes. Please note that these classes are designed for adult learners and may include adult topics, for example how to order wine at a restaurant. A parent or guardian must complete the ALTEC Language Classes Release Statement prior to the youth registering for classes.

ALTEC policies have been reviewed by the CU Boulder Youth Programs Coordinator. Our faculty have completed the Promoting Safe Interactions with Youth training and have received guidelines to follow when minors are enrolled in their class.

What is the attendance policy?

As our regular semester classes meet a total of 20 hours, your learning is fully dependent on attending each class session. We appreciate your commitment not only to your own learning, but also to your classmates who depend on your presence to practice the language during pair and group work activities. We are pleased to reward this commitment with priority registration for future classes.

Where are the classes taught and where can I park?

Remote classes are taught on Zoom and in-person classes are taught in the Hellems building on the CU Boulder campus. A wheelchair accessible entrance is located at the northwest corner of the Hellems building.

Here are a few options for parking, but you can also take the bus to Broadway and Euclid (stops 12432 & 12433). For up-to-date parking maps and pricing, visit the Parking & Transportation website.

  • The Euclid parking garage is an hourly pay-to park option and typically has space available.
  • Lot 204 is in front of the Euclid garage and lot 208 is closest to our building. Both are available after 5pm. Note that lot 208 is also used by museum visitors, and may be full.
  • Lot 306 is about a 10–15 minute walk from our building and is the next closest hourly pay-to-park option.
  • Alternatively, you can potentially find free street parking on the streets south of Hellems or to the west on the Hill.
Do I need a textbook and what is Canvas?

ALTEC language classes use Canvas to host the class syllabus, documents, online links, interactive games and assignments, discussion boards, practice quizzes and communication with the instructor. We believe using this robust online learning management system allows a high degree of flexibility. This is integral to our program, as our classes are customized to meet our students' unique learning needs.

ALTEC students are enrolled in the Canvas course prior to the start of class. Those not affiliated with the CU Boulder campus are asked a few additional questions during the registration process in order to issue them a CU IdentiKey and thus allow them to also be enrolled in the Canvas course.

Instructors may recommend learning guides or provide other resources; at the same time, students are not required to purchase materials. Students enrolled in ALTEC language classes also have access to a large collection of language learning materials from The HIVE @ALTEC (Hellems 159). Contact your instructor if you have specific questions.

What happens if I have to miss a class or want to review the class session?

All class sessions will be recorded and made available in Canvas only to students enrolled in that course. ALTEC recognizes that life happens, and don't want you to miss out on class time. We also find this is helpful for any learner wishing to review class explanations or discussions. You will have access to Canvas and these recordings for a full month after the course ends.

We encourage you to reach out to your instructor if you have questions or need extra support throughout the duration of your course.

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

ALTEC in-person and remote classes follow the same weather and emergency 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, the instructor will teach an additional class on a date/time that accommodates the majority of the students' schedules.

How to find information in an emergency

  • On your mobile device—Watch for text or e-mail alerts in the case of a campus closure or if there is a threat to personal safety.
  • On your computer—Watch for alert pop-ups on your computer for information regarding campus safety - download the Alertus software.
  • On the web—Visit alerts.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.
  • By e-mail—Check your official university e-mail after an emergency for support and resource information.
  • On social media—Like CU Boulder on Facebook and follow @cuboulder and @cuboulderalerts on Twitter.
How much do classes and gift certificates cost and how can I pay?

ALTEC is committed to keeping our classes affordable and accessible to all. Tuition for our regular semester classes is $250 and our classes are open to adults worldwide! CU affiliates (current faculty, staff and students) receive a 20% discount.

The ALTEC language classes program was initially set up as a type of benefit for CU personnel. As part of the university's internationalization efforts, this program receives a small amount of financial support from the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, which enables us to subsidize the tuition for CU affiliates during our regular semester classes. We welcome alumni, retirees, spouses, dependents and all others to register at our standard rate.

Gift certificates are available for purchase in $250 and $200 values and must be redeemed within one year of purchase. If the cost of the class is lower than the gift certificate value, the recipient may contact ALTEC to receive a discount code for the price difference, which must be used within one year.

Payment with credit card is required at the time of registration. This payment will appear on your credit card statement as "UNIV OF COLORADO EVENTS." Please email alteclanguageclasses@colorado.edu if you need to use an alternative payment method or if you or your organization is interested in providing a tuition subsidy for employees and/or members.

What is the refund policy on tuition and gift certificates?

You may contact us by the Thursday before classes begin to either use your paid tuition in the following term or request a refund minus a $50 processing fee. In all other cases tuition is non-refundable.

Gift certificates are non-refundable and must be redeemed within one year of purchase.

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. View our placement guide for assistance with selecting the appropriate level. You may also contact the instructor for further guidance.

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

Do you offer English language classes?

The International English Center provides English language classes, including a program for front-line service employees at the University of Colorado Boulder. 

How can I request academic accommodations for my ALTEC language class?

The University of Colorado is committed to providing universal access to all of our classes and events. For disability accommodations (e.g., sign language interpreters, alternative formats) please register with Disability Services by first submitting an Application for Accommodations as soon as possible. Advance notice is necessary to arrange for some accessibility needs.