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The First Year Experience

Welcome prospective and new Cougars! Columbia College is excited to have you join our community. Whether you’re a prospective student, new freshman or a student transferring from another institution, we want you to be successful. This page is dedicated to helping you navigate your transition to Columbia College and your first year on campus. There is a lot of information contained on this page. Be sure to take some time to view each section and familiarize yourself with all of the opportunities available to you as a Columbia College Cougar. We are CC!

Apply for Admission

Student with advisor picking classesAs a prospective student, your first step in joining our community is to complete the application process. Whether you’re a new student, transfer student or international student, our Day Campus Admissions page will help you navigate the specifics of applying.

Apply

Connections Summer Registration

Students hugging and happy CC Connections is designed with first-year college students’ needs in mind. Connections will provide you with important and useful information while you have a chance to meet other new students, learn about our traditions and involvement opportunities and register for classes.

Register

Orientation & Welcome Activities

Students playing rock scissor paperExplorientation is an exciting time for new students. It is an opportunity to meet new people, prepare for classes and get connected to resources. At Columbia College we pride ourselves in building a happy, healthy and connected community. That process starts before classes begin. If you are a transfer or International student, be sure to attend the orientation events catered to your specific population and then join us for the other orientation festivities on campus. New and Transfer Students, make it a point to check out all of the Explorientation activities including Cougar Day Trips. The activities are planned with your success in mind.

Introduction to Columbia College 

Students lying on floor in a circle with hands extendedIntroduction to Columbia College is a course designed to help first year students navigate college life. The 16 week seminar will investigate academic preparation and support, building relationships, access to resources, investment in your overall college experience and personal and professional growth. The course is strongly encouraged for first time freshman and helps new students understand collegiate expectations.   

Check the program

Online Orientation

Students working online in a computer labColumbia College’s New & Transfer Student Online Orientation is your one-stop shop in making sure you are prepared for the start of classes. It is a comprehensive look at getting started, preparing for classes and getting and staying connected. The online Orientation contains valuable information for new students and can be used as a resource throughout your entire first-year experience. 

Watch videos

Involvement on Campus 

Students covered in mudWe want you to be involved on campus. Whether living on or off campus, there are hundreds of ways to engage with our campus community. As a new student, you will have opportunities through Orientation and Hey Day to be introduced to the many ways you can get involved on campus and in the Community. Whether your interests involve service, participating in organizations, induction into an honor society, student employment or holding a leadership position on campus, Columbia College has something for everyone. Stay in the know by checking CougarLink, for up to date campus activity information.

Living on campus 

Students playing a game living on campusWe want Columbia College to be your home away from home. Our Residential Facilities provide students a great place to live, hang out and have fun. As a new student we know you will have lots of questions about living on campus. Visit our Residential Life web page and be sure to check out the frequently asked questions to learn more.

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Dining Services

Students in Cougar Cafe visitingColumbia College offers students two options for dining on campus. Dulany Hall is cafeteria style dining, while Cougar Café is a café style menu with sandwiches, drinks and coffee. Both dining facilities provide delicious food and are ready to serve you. Check out the meal plan options for students living on and off campus. It’s a great way to save money and get a fantastic meal.   

Dining services

Spirit & Traditions

Students in Gym with ScooterAs a new student at Columbia College you will have a lot to learn about campus. Our Spirit & Traditions web page will introduce you to information about our campus culture, cougar pride and long-standing campus traditions. Get a glimpse of some of the Orientation traditions before you arrive to campus.

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Parent Resources

Parents hugging studentParenting a college student can be an adventure. At Columbia College we want to provide parents with useful resources that can help you support your child. We understand this adventure is a joint effort between you and the institution. It is our hope that in working together we will help your child succeed and persist to graduation.

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Student Handbook

Student holding handbookThe Student Handbook is a one stop shop of important and useful information. It houses all of your rights and responsibilities as a student as well as introducing you to the abundant resources available to you as a Columbia College Student. As a student, you are responsible for reading and understanding the contents of the handbook.   

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