Schools and departments at Columbia College

Our academic programs at Columbia College are housed under content-specific departments within three schools.


School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Study the way people communicate, interact, learn and understand the world.

School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

Study human, environmental and information systems.

Robert W. Plaster School of Business

Gain a strong foundation in business practices and theories.

Meet your deans

Thumb portrait of Dr. Ford-Brown.

Dr. Lisa Ford-Brown

Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Dr. Ford-Brown earned her B.S. and M.A. at Indiana State University majoring in Speech Communication with minors in English, the Visual Arts, and Women Studies. She holds a PhD in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University—Carbondale. Dr. Ford-Brown has taught the introduction to public speaking course for over 25 years. Beyond her teaching responsibilities, she has assisted in the creations of a master degree at a previous institution as well as a minor and major in communication at Columbia College.

Thumb portrait of Dr. Vordtriede-Patton.

Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton

Dean of the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics

A widely published board certified entomologist, Dr. Vordtriede-Patton earned her Ph.D. from St. Louis University. She served as the medical entomologist for the U.S. Army Reserve as a Captain, and was nominated as Most Outstanding Advisor while serving as a lecturer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Dr. Vordtriede-Patton advanced from professor to interim Dean at St. Ambrose University before coming to Columbia College.

Thumb portrait of Dr. Sachdev.

Dr. Raj Sachdev

Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business

Dr. Sachdev holds several degrees and certifications including a degree from Oxford University. A specialist in the areas of business, law and technology, he is published in different disciplines. A former visiting researcher at UC Berkeley, he has taught over 50 courses at various academic institutions including some as instructor at Stanford University. As Assistant Professor of Marketing at Columbia College, he has focused on courses such as Digital Marketing, Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, International Business, Marketing Strategy and Business Law. Dr. Sachdev has served as guest speaker internationally at various prominent institutions and industry conferences including having given a Tedx talk. He has been awarded for his teaching excellence and is a licensed lawyer.