Your college, your way: in-seat, online or virtual

At Columbia College, you can choose at the start of the session whether to attend in person or virtually while receiving the same excellent education either way.

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You choose how you attend most classes, in-seat or virtually. The class times won't change, but your physical location can.

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To ensure social distancing, our in-seat capacities are lower due to social distancing requirements. Masks are required on campus, including during class. Classrooms are cleaned daily per CDC guidelines.

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We’ve invested in enhanced technology throughout our campus so you won’t miss a beat when attending school virtually.


Here's how it works

As a Columbia College Global student, you can choose at the start of the session whether to attend in person or virtually. Through the CCG Virtual Education Initiative, you receive the same excellent education either way.

We believe in empowering you to choose what will help you successfully continue your education—especially if you’re facing challenging circumstances during these uncertain times.

If you choose to attend online, you can sign up for a Virtual Education course offered at any Columbia College location, giving you additional flexibility to find courses that fit your schedule.

If the in-person option works best for you, please check with your advisor about course availability and other details, because some sites may be closed due to local, state, or military health regulations.

Here are three key terms that will help you consider the options in our CCG Virtual Education Initiative:

  • Virtual classrooms are synchronous, which means they're happening in real time with the instructor and students using a meeting technology like Zoom.
  • Online classes cover the same materials, but are asynchronous and you can attend at any time that fits your schedule.
  • On-site virtual courses connect multiple classrooms where students are physically present at Columbia College locations.

Because we want you and all our students to be successful in this innovative educational model, Columbia College is starting a virtual coaching initiative. Your advisor can give you more details.

Read our COVID-19 updates

Columbia College Global Student Q&A

The CCG Virtual Education Initiative is Columbia College’s innovative educational model that allows you to choose how you attend class. The CCG Virtual Education Initiative provides in-seat and virtual classrooms where an instructor teaches the two sections simultaneously.

You can enroll in either the in-seat class or the virtual education course depending on what fits best in your life. With the uncertainty brought on by the pandemic, Columbia College believes that empowering you to choose will help you successfully continue your education under challenging circumstances. We have made significant investments in technology and pedagogy to ensure that you receive the same excellent education no matter what section of the course you choose.

A virtual classroom is a remote learning experience where you participate in synchronous instruction through Zoom (or other meeting technology). Synchronous instruction means that you are in the virtual learning environment at the same time as your instructor and other students, and you are interacting with them in real time even though you are not in the same physical location.

By contrast, online classes are asynchronous – while you are covering the same materials, you do not have to attend a class at any specific times.

On-site Virtual Courses (OVCs) connect multiple class sections through Zoom, and all students are physically in classrooms at Columbia College locations. Virtual Education uses similar technology as OVCs, but students join the courses remotely from where they choose (home, work, etc.).

It varies by location. At many of our locations, you will be able to attend classes in-seat. Our in-seat capacities are lower due to social distancing requirements, so we suggest you register early if you want to attend in-seat. Some Columbia College locations will be not able to offer in-seat courses due to local, state, and military installation regulations. These locations will still offer virtual courses. Please check with your advisor on the availability of in-seat courses at your location.

Not always. We are providing in-seat experiences where possible, but social distancing requirements have changed classroom capacities. There may be some classes where space is no longer available. Also, not all locations will be able to hold in-seat courses this fall. Registering early will help ensure that you have the best selection of courses for your schedule. Please speak to an advisor with questions on specific courses.

It varies depending on the class and the room assigned. We are committed to your health and safety and have reconfigured all our classrooms to be consistent with social distancing guidelines.

Yes, we are requiring students and instructors attending class in-seat to wear masks. Masks are also required on college locations at other times. Please see detailed safety information provided by the College.

Classrooms will be cleaned daily per CDC guidelines.

We ask that you enroll in the option (in-seat or Virtual Education) that you want when you sign up for courses and attend in the way that you selected. On a limited basis and with instructor permission you may be able to attend some class times virtually. It may be possible for you to switch between in-seat and virtual sections, but you will need to contact your location.

If you need to quarantine, please contact and a CC Global Contact Tracer will reach out to you. Contact your instructor about attending virtually. The virtual education course section may be an option during quarantine situations.

Unfortunately, no. Due to social distancing guidelines, we cannot accommodate anyone who didn’t enroll in the in-seat section. It may be possible for you to switch between in-seat and virtual sections, but you will need to contact your location.

In most cases, yes. Some classes (for example, science labs) may not offer a virtual education section.

Yes, you can sign-up for virtual education course sections offered at any Columbia College location as long as it fits your schedule. Please be aware that courses at other locations may be offered at different time zones from you. In order to be counted as present, you will have to log in to the course meetings during the assigned meeting times.

Yes, if you enroll in a virtual education section of a course, attending virtually will count as attendance. You will be expected to be present for the entire class with your video camera turned on. Please refer to your course syllabus for additional guidelines on attendance.

A computer, webcam, and microphone/headset will be required. The computer should meet technical requirements for Zoom .

If you are using veteran’s benefits, contact your location before enrolling in a virtual education course to see if it will impact your benefits.

No, the academic calendar remains the same. The Late Fall Session will be January 8, 2024, through March 2, 2024.

If we have to transition to fully virtual courses due to the pandemic, we will inform you as soon as possible. Please know that Columbia College is prepared to go fully virtual and has made investments in technology and training to make sure you can continue your education with limited interruption. While we are dedicated to providing an in-seat experience, if that changes, we assure that you that we can provide a route for you to continue your education.

Get registered! Register online immediately or contact your advisor to get assistance. A Zoom appointment or phone call can be set up to discuss your options.

Yes, training will take place on Zoom in August. It will include training on any technology you need to know to participate virtually in a classroom. More details will be provided as we get closer to the semester.

Fall 2022 Columbia College Global academic calendar

  • Student technology training will be available virtually in August.
  • The late 8-week fall session starts on January 8, 2024 and ends on March 2, 2024.
  • Over winter break, our campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the next semester starts.

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Columbia College has been teaching online courses for over 20 years. This deep history of high-quality online learning has allowed us to offer this new, more flexible brand of education quickly and reliably.

This plan is subject to official guidance, legal regulations, and other requirements related to the pandemic situation. If necessary, Columbia College has made plans to go fully virtual at any time, including before the semester starts, if necessary.