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Frequently asked questions

See the Office of the Registrar's equivalency guides page for lists of direct equivalencies for all types of transfer credit.

See below for answers to our most commonly asked questions, or contact us for more help.  

How Do I...

Make sure all my documents were received?

Review your 'My Documents' list: Documents that Columbia College expects to receive from you, has received, or has waived will be listed in this area of your CougarTrack account. For example, you might look at this page to see if your application has been received. It can take up to 24 to 48 hours for a submitted document to be logged and appear in CougarTrack as “Received.” To display your documents, go to:

CougarTrack > Students > Student Information> Student Resources > My Documents

The following types of documents are listed:

  • Missing and incomplete documents: These are documents that Columbia College expects to receive from you, but has not yet received, or documents that we have received, but which lack required information. If a document is missing or incomplete, the Status column will either be blank, or it will display text such as "Missing" or "Incomplete."
  • Waived documents: These are documents that Columbia College normally requires, but has decided that you do not need to provide.
  • Received documents: These are your documents that Columbia College has received.

Appeal a transfer credit equivalency?

Meet with your academic advisor to see about contacting the Office of the Registrar to request a second review of the equivalency.

If your request cannot be approved at that time, you may then submit the Course Equivalency/Substitution/Waiver Appeal form to request a review of the equivalency by the academic department for the course. This form can also be used to request to waive an individual requirement based on previous experience, or to request to substitute a course for a specific requirement. 

Print and complete the form with your advisor. Your advisor will submit the form on your behalf, and keep you updated on its status. See the Office of the Registrar forms page for more information.

Change my major?

You may submit a request to modify your degree program by submitting a Declaration of Major form, found in the Forms area of your CougarTrack account. Go to: 

CougarTrack > Students> Forms> Declaration of Major

This form allows you to add, change, and/or remove degrees, majors, and minors. Meet with your advisor prior to submission of the Declaration of Major form and read all of the instructions on the form carefully.

Apply for Graduation?

To graduate: When you are within at most one year of degree completion, you may submit a Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form. This form can be found on your CougarTrack account, listed under the Forms menu: 

CougarTrack > Students> Forms> Declaration of Candidacy for Degree

Submission of this form prompts a review of your progress towards degree completion, called a Graduation Audit. This review is completed by a member of the Office of the Registrar graduation team, and its results are submitted to your academic advisor. 

Plan to meet with your advisor after you submit your Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form to decide on your final steps toward graduation.

To walk in a commencement ceremony: NOTE: Graduation and commencement are not the same thing!

Submission of a Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form does not automatically enroll you to participate in a commencement ceremony. When you fill out this form, you will be asked whether or not you would like the opportunity to sign up for a commencement ceremony. Answering "yes" to this question does not enroll you to participate in a commencement ceremony.

To sign up to participate in a commencement ceremony, you must complete the Application for Commencement Ceremony form. This form populates if you answer "yes" to the aforementioned question while filling out the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form. If you answer "no," you may return to your CougarTrack account at any time after submitting the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form to access and submit your Application for Commencement Ceremony form. Go to: 

CougarTrack > Students > Forms> Application for Commencement Ceremony

Questions?

Please see the Office of the Registrar's Graduating Students page, or contact the Office of the Registrar at evaluations@ccis.edu for more information.

Verify my completed Columbia College Degree?

Most completed degrees can be verified by the National Student Clearinghouse, using their degree verification request process. Others must be verified by the Office of the Registrar. See the Degree Verification page for more information.

Degree Audit

Where can I find my degree audit?

Run your degree audit

Your degree audit is located on CougarTrack under the "CC Links" menu on the right side of the page. Choose your degree from the Active Programs section, or select a different degree from the "What if I changed my program of study?" drop-down (this shows you a proposed degree audit, it does not change your degree at this point). Click submit to view your active or proposed degree audit.

See the Interactive Degree Audit for detailed instructions on how to read and interpret your audit. You can change your degree program by submitting a Declaration of Major form, which can be found on the under the Academics drop-down on the CougarTrack student page.

Reasons you might not have a degree audit
  • You are a new or returning student: You will not have access to the link for degree audit until the first day of classes if you are a new or returning student. If you have maintained continuous enrollment (barring summers off), the link will remain available.
  • You are eligible for a catalog year older than 2004: Degree audit is available beginning with the 2004 catalog through the current catalog year. Prior to 2004, degree completion progress was tracked on a hand-written document called a checklist. Students on checklists may choose to move up to a more recent catalog year, thereby gaining access to degree audit. As of August, 2012, only SOC eligible students (military) may be enrolled in catalog years older than 2005.

What is a catalog year?

Degree requirements change from time to time. This does not happen every year, but degree programs are frequently reviewed for relevancy to the field of study and evolving practices within higher education. “Catalog year” refers to the specific degree requirements for your degree at the time of your initial enrollment. Students may stay on their initial catalog year for up to eight years. If your degree is not complete (or is not going to be complete) within eight years of initial enrollment, you must move up to a more recent catalog year. This rule does not apply to SOC eligible students.

Any student may request to be moved to a more recent catalog year, but none may select a catalog year that is older than their initial enrollment. Please see your academic advisor for more information.

Why doesn't my audit show my...

Minor requirements?

Minor requirements are not calculated in the overall degree completion totals. The total remaining hours on the degree audit is the number the financial aid department uses to calculate the amount of financial aid needed for each student. Since minor requirements are outside of overall degree requirements, they cannot be calculated in the total remaining hours for the degree.

 Overall GPA calculation?

Columbia College does not chart transfer credit grade point average. As a result, the overall GPA section only displays your Columbia College GPA.

Second Major?

If you have a double major, only one will display at the top of your degree audit. Both majors (and any additional majors you may have) and their associated requirements are listed on your degree audit; they appear in order after your degree basic requirements section.

Pre-requisites section?

Pre-requisites are not included in the overall totals or listed on the degree audit unless they also fulfill a specific degree requirement. Please refer to the course catalog, course schedule, syllabi, or your advisor for assistance with pre-requisites.

Do I have to take another class to fulfill 0.3 hours remaining for a requirement?

Probably not.

In most cases, this remainder is the result of transfer work from a school that operates on a quarter-length term (rather than semester-length, as Columbia College does). The translation of quarter hours to semester hours can cause this transfer credit to appear as a decimal. Often this small remainder can be made up by excess hours that the student has earned which could also apply to the degree audit area in question.

Contact your academic advisor to see if you need to submit a waiver form, or to pursue the steps towards adjusting the way your credit applies to the degree audit. Some courses apply to certain degree requirements, when other courses could be applied which work better for your overall requirements.

Does the upper level requirement count the upper level courses required for my major?

No.

You may need more upper level courses in your major, as it is possible for upper level elective hours to apply to your overall upper level requirement, but not to your major area core.

Individual courses applying to more than one area on the degree audit is referred to as double dipping.

What do Optional and Classical mean?

Classical vs. optional general education requirements

Students who completed 36 or more semester hours of transfer credit with a grade of "C" or better prior to their initial enrollment at Columbia College are eligible for the optional general education requirements. Optional general education requirements allow more courses to fulfill the first part of the general education section of the degree audit than the classical general education requirements do.

Why are both classical and optional general education requirements showing up on my audit?

Both classical and optional general education requirements appear on an audit until you are eligible for your first enrollment with Columbia College. The amount of transfer credit you have prior to your initial enrollment with Columbia College will determine your eligibility for either the optional (36 or more transfer credit hours) or classical (up to 35 hours in transfer credit). Once your general education requirements have been determined, based on your transfer credit totals, only one set of requirements appear on the degree audit.

Can I switch from optional general education requirements to classical requirements?

Yes.

In some cases, the classical general education requirements allow for more of the student’s transfer credit to apply to the degree requirements. Students who are eligible for the optional general education requirements as a result of carrying 36 or more hours of transfer credit may request to pursue the classical general education requirements. Please see your advisor to discuss the benefits of each set of requirements, and for assistance with requesting the change.

Do I have to take every course in the natural science/math section of general education?

No.

The natural science/math section requires completion of five semester hours. Degree audit lists the three possible ways this requirement may be met:

  • two unrelated science lectures (totaling five hours)
  • a lecture and lab for the same science course (totaling five hours), or
  • one math and one science class (totaling five hours).

Degree audit charts your progress towards completion of all three of these, identifying the requirement as complete as soon as one of the sub-requirements is met. Once the overall requirement is complete, the requirement options that you chose not to pursue no longer appear on your audit.

Why don't the classes I'm taking now show up on my audit?

Degree audit only applies completed credit towards degree requirements. The courses in which you are currently enrolled will apply to your degree audit once grades for the semester have posted. The courses appear at the end of your degree audit under the “Other Courses” section while you are still enrolled in them. 

Diplomas

How long will it take to receive my diploma?

Typical processing time is 4-6 weeks following the posting of your degree.

We are unable to mail you a replacement diploma until 30 days after your initial diploma was mailed. If you have not received your diploma by then, please contact our office at (800) 231-2391, ext. 7526 or via e-mail at diplomas@ccis.edu.

I just paid my account balance - when will I receive my diploma?

Once you have finalized payment for your account balance, contact our office at diplomas@ccis.edu or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7526. We will begin processing your diploma as soon as we receive notification from you that your balance has been paid in full.

My name is wrong - can I get a new diploma?

If the diploma you received has a spelling error: Please contact our office at diplomas@ccis.edu or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7526. You must return the original diploma before we can issue a corrected copy.

Our mailing address is:
Columbia College
Office of the Registrar
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216

If you live near a local campus, you may return your original diploma there. Once the campus has the diploma, they will notify our office and a corrected diploma will be issued.

If the diploma you received does not reflect a recent name change: The name used on your diploma is the name you provided on the Declaration of Candidacy for Degree (DEC) form. Any request to change your name after submitting the DEC form will not be reflected on the diploma unless you also contact our office to edit the form.

Contact us at diplomas@ccis.edu or (800) 231-2391, ext. 7526 to ensure the change is made on your Declaration of Candidacy for Degree form. If you would like to order a diploma with your new name on it, please submit a Diploma reorder form (Note: there is a $10.00 diploma reorder fee).

Military

Is Columbia College Military Friendly?

Yes.

Columbia College is private, not-for-profit, and regionally accredited by NCA-HLC. We are a SOC DNS member institution and guarantee transferrability among other SOC DNS schools. We also accept credit for military training and experience based on ACE credit recommendations.

Named 2012 Military Friendly School by GI Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine.

Are there tuition discounts for military?

Tuition varies depending on the campus location, from $160 to $240/credit hour (most courses are 3 credit hours). We have 35 campuses nationwide, including the online campus. Please see the Columbia College tuition page for the specific cost information for your campus location. All locations are under the $250 TA cap (except Day campus in Columbia, MO).

We do offer military spouse discounts:  

Also, we accept GI Bill and offer veteran scholarships

Can I get an unofficial evaluation before I apply to Columbia College?

Columbia College performs one precursory credit review for each prospective student who is active duty, reserve military member, or veteran looking for the right institution to meet their needs. Military dependents are not eligible for this service.  
Email requests to: msc@ccis.edu.

Please note: this is an unofficial evaluation. You must submit all official documentation, your application and application fee in order to receive an official transfer credit evaluation.

Transfer Equivalency Credit

How will my associate/bachelor's degree transfer to Columbia College?

General education waiver policy: Bachelor's of Arts and Bachelor's of Science degrees from an approved accrediting body completed at any time, before or during enrollment with Columbia College will be accepted in transfer as fulfilling the Columbia College bachelor's degree general education requirements.

Students who have completed bachelor's degrees from Columbia College will also receive the General Education Waiver.

Approved Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees from an approved accrediting body completed prior to enrollment with Columbia College will be accepted in transfer as fulfilling the Columbia College bachelor's degree general education requirements.

Columbia College associate degrees are not eligible for general education waivers.

The approved accrediting bodies for this transfer policy include, but are not limited to, the following: MSA, NCA-HLC, NEASC-CIHE, ACICS, SACS-CC, WASC-JR and WASC-SR.

General education alternate associate transfer policy: Any other associate degree completed at an institution that holds accreditation approved by Columbia College follows the alternate associate transfer policy. The alternate policy acknowledges associate degrees from regionally accredited institutions that meet these criteria: 

  • The degree was completed prior to enrollment with Columbia College
  • The equivalents of ENGL-111 and ENGL-112 were completed with a grade of "C" or better  
  • 33 hours of general education course work (as defined by Columbia College)
  • Humanities general education course(s)
  • Social and behavioral sciences general education course(s)
  • Mathematics/science general education course(s)

If students have not earned an associate or bachelor's degree prior to enrollment with Columbia College, general education requirements must be completed even if the previous school's general education requirements were met. Requirements are evaluated on a course-by-course basis.

How does a lower level course that is equivalent to an upper level Columbia College course transfer?

Columbia College accepts credit transferred at the level granted by the transferring institution. Courses transferred from two-year institutions are not accepted for upper level credit even if a direct equivalency to an upper level course is made. Upper level coursework from a transferring institution does not lose its upper level value even if a direct equivalency is made to a Columbia College lower level course.

What transfer credit will be accepted?

Credit earned at regionally accredited institutions of post-secondary education: Usually full credit is awarded for course work completed with a grade of "C" or better from a regionally accredited institution. Columbia College fully accepts credit earned at institutions accredited by the following accrediting bodies:

  • MSA: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Higher Education
  • NWCCU: Northwest Commission on College and Universities
  • NEAS: New England Association of Colleges and Schools
  • SACS: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • WASC: Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • ACICS: Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS is national accreditation, not regional, and it is the only national accreditation approved by Columbia College to allow full award of credit for completed course work.)

Credit earned at nationally accredited institutions of post-secondary education: Course work completed with a grade of "C" or better may be awarded transfer equivalency credit on a course-by-course basis (i.e. only direct equivalencies will receive transfer credit; the rest will not receive any credit). Columbia College conditionally accepts credit earned at institutions accredited by the following accrediting bodies:

  • ACCSC: Accrediting Council for Career Schools and Colleges
  • ABHE: Association for Biblical Higher Education

Columbia College does not accept credit earned at institutions accredited by the following accrediting bodies:

  • AARTS: Association of Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools
  • ABHES: Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
  • ATS: Association of Theological Schools
  • COE: Council on Occupational Education
  • DETC: Distance Education and Training Council
  • NAST: National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • AALE: American Academy for Liberal Education
  • NCA-CASI: North Central Association-Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement

Request Transcripts

Can I get an unofficial Columbia College transcript?

Yes!

Unofficial transcripts can be accessed at any time from the Academics drop-down menu of your CougarTrack student homepage. Go to: 

CougarTrack > Academics > Grades and Transcripts > Transcript - Unofficial

Does Columbia College send electronic transcripts?

You can request electronic copies of your transcript through the Parchment ordering page. The processing fee is the same as for physical copies ($10.00).

Please see the Office of the Registrar Transcripts page for more information.

How much does it cost to request a transcript?

Requests for copies of official Columbia College transcripts must include a processing fee of $10.00 per copy.

Please note: students with both undergraduate and graduate-level credit will only be charged one processing fee! Please see the Transcripts page for more information.

Submit Transcripts

Do I have to submit all of my transcripts from other colleges?

Yes, official transcripts from ALL previously attended institutions of higher education must be submitted directly from the sending institution to: 

Columbia College
Office of the Registrar - Evaluations
1001 Rogers St.
Columbia, MO 65216

All CLEP, DSST, AP, etc. exams and military documents must be submitted as well. 

 

Do I have to submit official transcripts?

Yes! Columbia College does not accept unofficial transcripts for admission or evaluation purposes. All official transcripts must be submitted directly from the sending institution to the Office of the Registrar - Evaluations.

If you personally handle the official transcript at any point after your previous school produced it for Columbia College, the transcript is no longer official. Only transcripts sent directly (either by mail or as an electronic transcript) will be accepted as official.

Does Columbia College accept electronic transcripts?

Yes, Columbia College accepts electronic transcripts from the following sources:

If your previous institution has an alternate method of sending electronic transcripts, please send the electronic transcript to EvalTrans@ccis.edu, and we will review it for acceptability.

Does my international transcript have to be official?

Yes! All transcripts submitted for evaluation must be official, including international transcripts.

Transcripts must be translated to English by a translation agency. See the evaluations department International Transfer page for detailed information.

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