Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
Brand Messaging Platform

Brand Messaging Platform

The Columbia College Chicago "brand" means something. Messages that the college creates to describe itself or its fundamental enterprise should reflect key elements of the institution's identity. The following messages represent a brand platform, an articulation of key communication points that the college wishes to reinforce about itself. Text in brochures, speeches, or other collateral materials should be consonant with these messages.


Our Core Message:

Culture today is increasingly pluralistic and democratic. New cable and digital media--as well as a revitablized print and broadcast media--have created new forums for creating and consuming art and information, and as the pace of social and political change accelerates across the world, the media and the cultural content it transmits play an increasingly important role in how the citizens of that world know and understand each other. Columbia College Chicago not only delivers arts programming that helps to shape contemporary culture, it prepares artists, journalists, technicians, and craftspeople who author that culture.


Talking About Ourselves:

The following paragraphs and sentences, organized by theme, describe in greater breadth and detail how Columbia College Chicago is creating change locally and nationally by authoring the culture of our times. These paragraphs are meant to supplement the messages contained in Columbia's mission and statement of purpose and to provide college constituents a common language with which to communicate for and about the institution.

Columbia College Chicago provides access and opportunity for students who will author the culture of their times.

Columbia College Chicago welcomes a diverse community of learners dedicated to achievement in the arts, media, and communications fields. Standardized test scores and traditional GPAs are poor measures of the kind of talent and ambition Columbia hones. Our open admissions policy allows us to offer opportunities for success to students who might not fit into the academic boxes other institutions choose to use.

  • More than 30 percent of our students come from homes with incomes less than $36,000.
  • More than 30 percent of our students are members of racial and ethnic groups that are traditionally underrepresented in higher education, making us one of the most diverse colleges in the Midwest.

Columbia College Chicago produces leading contributors to the entertainment and media industry. Columbia educates skilled artists, writers, performers, technicians, marketers, and managers who have the experience they need to hit the ground running. Columbia's diverse, talented group of students go on to rewarding careers in advertising, the visual and performing arts, business, education, entertainment, journalism, marketing, and new media.

Columbia College Chicago creates change through its innovative approach to education and creative practice.

Columbia College's curriculum is focused on the leading edge of arts and culture.

  • Columbia offers more than 75 programs that encompass key areas of the arts, communications, and media.
  • Columbia's curriculum deftly bridges the gap between theory and practice.
  • Columbia's students graduate with sharp critical and aesthetic skills and commercially viable technical skills.

Columbia College's education is relevant and practical.

  • Columbia's classes are designed and taught by seasoned instructors who are active professionals in their fields.
  • Columbia's faculty members bring the latest tools, skills and ideas directly into the classroom so students learn their disciplines as they are practiced in the real world.

Columbia College is experiential.

  • Columbia students focus on creating a body of work rather than meeting a series of course requirements.
  • Columbia's classes focus on hands-on, project-based learning, encouraging students to immediately apply what they learn.
  • Columbia partners with leading arts, communications and media organizations to provide internships for students across disciplines.

Columbia College Chicago authors the culture of our times.

Columbia College Chicago fosters innovation and encourages creative change in contemporary culture through students whose skills and talents are honed by a talented and diverse faculty, committed to meaningful instruction and engaged practice in their disciplines, and by a dedicated and supportive staff who both inspire and mentor.

We express creativity in the production of: vibrant new works of dance, fashion, fiction, film, journalism, photography, and poetry innovative, practical ways of preparing students for successful careers in art, communication and media

We foster change in: our students' sense of possibility and opportunity the way our city, our nation, and our world understands itself Chicago and the South Loop into a more vital and dynamic cultural and economic space

Columbia College Chicago plays a powerful role in the culture and economy of Chicago.

Columbia College Chicago helps sustain Chicago as a center of art and culture

  • Columbia College hosts hundreds of public lectures, exhibitions and performances every year.
  • Columbia-sponsored institutions such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, and the Dance Center of Columbia College have provided a forum for new creative voices and kept the college and the city at the vanguard of these exciting art forms.
  • Columbia's Chicago Center for Arts Policy, the Center for Black Music Research, and the Office of Community Arts Partnership have led the way for greater public participation in the arts and media.

Columbia College Chicago is one of the South Loop's most heavily trafficked destinations.

  • Every day, more than 10,000 students, faculty, staff, and visitors come to campus. On the way, they eat at local restaurants, shop at local stores, and take advantage of local entertainment opportunities.
  • More than 300,000 people come to campus each year to attend exhibitions, lectures and performances, generating even more revenue for local businesses.
  • Columbia college Chicago is responsible for more than $170 million in economic activity within the city of Chicago each year.

Columbia College Chicago's complex of learning, living, and performing facilities is a major cultural and economic force in the South Loop.

  • Columbia College owns 14 South Loop buildings that comprise more than 1.2 million square feet of retail, classroom, office, and residential space.
  • Columbia Colleges real estate assets are valued at more than $120 million.
  • The University Center of Chicago, conceived and built in partnership between Columbia with DePaul and Roosevelt Universities, has created a vibrant academic and cultural community in the South Loop.