Frequently Asked Questions

For any questions related to human resources related topics, please contact WWU Human Resources at (360) 650-3774 or

Employee Conversational Language Workshops are an initiative put forth by the President's Office to support Western faculty and staff through professional development and to encourage multicultural outreach and awareness. Western offers opportunities for employees to take classes in conversational Spanish at university expense. If the class time occurs during a participant’s regular work day, it will be considered paid work time.

The workshops are the result of a combined effort by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Outreach and Continuing Education. The selection process prioritizes those employees with a high need for basic conversational Spanish skills.

Is there any fee for attending these classes.

No. Participation is free.

Are these language classes taken for credit?

No. These are non-credit courses.

What if I wasn’t selected to participate in the classes this Winter?

Conversation classes will be offered spring quarter.  Enrollment in conversation classes is prioritized for employees with a high need for Spanish language in the workplace.  A survey of need/interest will be sent via email to all employees this quarter; employees interested in participating should respond at this time, including those who were not selected to participate winter quarter and those who did not register their interest last fall.

Is it true that time spent in class is paid time?

All class time that occurs during an employee’s regular work schedule is paid work time.

If part or all of the class time occurs outside of my regular work day, am I paid for this time?

No. Since participation is voluntary, class attendance outside an employee’s regular work schedule is not paid work time.

If part or all of the class occurs outside my regular work day, will my supervisor shift my work schedule on class days to ensure that all class time is within my paid work day?

No. This program shouldn’t impact regular work schedules.

Must my supervisor approve of my participation in these classes?

Yes, participation in the program takes supervision approval, but every effort will be made to support involvement in this program. While a priority for the University, these Conversational Spanish classes are intended to fit within the boundaries of an employee’s work responsibilities, the supervisor’s assessment of an area’s operational needs, and maintaining high quality delivery of primary functions and services.

If multiple employees in my department (or work group) are selected to participate in this program and not all of us can be excused from our work duties to attend, who decides which of us can participate?

Your supervisor is charged with making this decision based on the operational needs of your department. The goal would be that all employees who wish to participate, would eventually have the opportunity to do so.

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