Columbia College was originally founded as “Christian Female College” in 1851. The school grew over the years and in 1970, it was renamed Columbia College and transformed into a private, co-ed liberal arts college. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Columbia is affiliated with the Disciples of Christ church organization. More than 3,500 students attend Day and Evening Programs on the main campus. In addition, more than 30,000 students take advantage of Columbia’s extensive offerings at 34 satellite campuses scattered throughout the U.S.; these include locations in Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, New York, Texas, and Guantanamo Bay.
Columbia College offers a comprehensive listing of undergraduate degrees from which to choose. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in fine arts, business administration, computer science, mathematics, criminal justice, human services, and education are just a few of the available degree programs. The college’s education department is particularly comprehensive. Teaching certificate programs that qualify graduates to teach in Missouri are available for students with or without an undergraduate degree. The undergraduate program qualifies Missouri educators to teach grades K-12, and also prepares graduates for higher education in the form of the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
The DAYSTAR program requires a longer commitment, beginning the summer after high school graduation and continuing through the completion of all degree requirements for the MAT. Students who complete the DAYSTAR program earn an undergraduate degree in a specialty field such as mathematics or history and also complete state education requirements. These graduates are qualified to teach K-12 students within specialty areas. Teaching certification programs are also available to holders of a specialty bachelor’s degree who do not wish to pursue a full-length master’s program.
While this university primarily focuses on undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees are available in military studies, criminal justice, business administration, and teaching; these are available in the traditional classroom or blended formats. Evening programs are offered for adults who work full-time or have other commitments. Columbia’s Evening Campus allows students to choose from 25 degree programs. Online classes are often combined with Evening Program study, and 20 online degrees may be earned at the Evening Campus.
Columbia offers several online degree options. Serving 25,000 online students per year, Columbia’s online school offers 23 associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree programs that can be completed entirely online. Over 800 courses are offered via this venue to students pursuing online-only or partially online education. Columbia’s Day Campus is ranked among America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News and World Reports magazine. The small size affords a low student-to-faculty ratio, and three dormitories house residential students. An honors program, study abroad opportunities and more than 40 student organizations comprise a thriving and active student life community.
One of the more extensive degree-granting institutions today, Columbia College strives to provide educational opportunities and resources to men and women throughout the United States. To that end, the school has been successful — and thanks to its popularity among both critics and students, Columbia could extend its academic influence even further in the coming years.