The Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) Program provides opportunities for students to study languages not available through the regular Colgate curriculum.

LCTL courses are offered through two methods: shared course initiatives with instructors located on other campuses and self-instructional language courses overseen by the Director of the Keck Center for Language Study and the Language Council. LCTL courses are never offered for languages being taught on campus at Colgate nor do they count toward the completion of Colgate’s language requirement. The Language Council regularly reviews the effectiveness of LCTL courses to determine whether they are suitable for the Colgate curriculum

Shared Course Initiatives

Upon approval from the Language Council, the Curriculum Committee, the Registrar, and any other relevant program of study, shared courses will be listed among the course offerings. Students will receive credit for courses taught through the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium according to the guidelines of that agreement. Courses taught at any other institution will be treated as transfer credit.

Independent Study in a Less Commonly Taught Language

Students with a compelling academic rationale to study a language not offered through any other means may apply for a self-instructional language course. The application procedure includes writing a detailed explanation of how the language study fits within the student’s broader academic studies and an interview by members of the Language Council. Students may earn a maximum of 0.5 credits per semester for self-instructional language study. All self-instructional language courses must be taken with the S/U grade option. The final grade in the course will be determined by the director of the Keck Center, and will be based upon completion of self-instructional materials, regular meetings with a native-speaking language partner, and an assessment by an outside reviewer. All courses will have the ‘LCTL’ course designation. 

The Language Council ensures that students are prepared and able to complete the independent study. Students must meet the following qualifications in order to apply:

  1. No first-year students will be permitted to enroll in the LCTL Program.
  2. Students must have already met the Colgate language requirement. (The LCTL Program does not count toward the language requirement)
  3. Students must have a demonstrated record of academic success, indicating that they will be able to complete the course independently.

Students who meet the above requirements will be allowed to apply to the LCTL Program by writing a thoughtful letter detailing with specifics how learning another language fits within their plans for academic study. They will then be interviewed by the director of the Keck Center and another member of the language faculty. The Language Council will make a final determination as to whether a student qualifies to study within the LCTL Program based upon a recommendation from the interviewers.

To begin the application process, contact the director of the Keck Center.