Skip to main content


Your College, Your Way

The educational experience at Columbia College emphasizes relationships with faculty, small classes and our supportive academic and social community.


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


To ensure social distancing, we will cap course sizes and use larger classrooms. Masks are required on campus, including during class. Classrooms are cleaned daily per CDC guidelines.


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 they are recorded 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

Fall 2020 Columbia College Global academic calendar

  • Student technology training will be available virtually in August.
  • The early 8-week fall session starts on Aug. 31 and ends on Oct. 24.
  • The late 8-week fall session starts on Oct. 26 and ends on Dec. 19.
  • Over winter break, our campus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before the next semester starts in January.

Columbia College Global Student Q&A

What is the CCG Virtual Education Initiative?

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 (VE) 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.

What is a virtual classroom and is it the same as an online class?

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.

What is the difference between VE and On-site Virtual Courses?

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

Will I be able to attend classes in-seat at my home location this fall?

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.

Will I be able to attend classes in-seat at my home location this fall?

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.

How many students will be in a classroom?

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.

Will I have to wear a mask?

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 here.

How Often will classrooms be cleaned?

Classrooms will be cleaned daily per CDC guidelines.

If I enroll in the in-seat section, can I attend virtually?

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

What if I enroll in an in-seat course section and have to quarantine?

Contact your location if you have to quarantine during the session. Attending the VE course section may be an option during quarantine situations.

If I enroll in the virtual section, could I attend in-seat sometimes?

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.

Could I attend all my classes virtually if I wanted to?

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

Will I be able to sign-up for VE courses offered at other Columbia College locations?

Yes, you can sign-up for VE 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.

Where can I find the VE course schedule?

The VE course schedule is available online.

If I attend virtually, does that count for attendance?

Yes, if you enroll in a VE 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.

What equipment will I need to attend VE course sections?

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

Does enrolling in a VE course impact my veteran's benefits?

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

Are the dates changing for the semester?

No, the academic calendar remains the same. The Early Fall session will be Monday, Aug. 31, 2020, through Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. The Late Fall Session will be Monday, Oct. 26, 2020, through Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020.

Will classes go fully virtual at any point?

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.

I have not registered for the fall yet, what do I do?

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.

Will technology training be available for students?

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.

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.

Admission made simple

Applying should be the easiest part of college. Just follow these steps.

  1. Apply

    Complete the free online application. Applying shouldn't take more than 30 minutes.

  2. Authenticate

    Authenticate your identity online or in person at a venue near you.

  3. Send transcript

    Send high school and any college transcripts to the Office of the Registrar


Request info