Semester in LA

News & Announcements

Semester in LA Breakfast/Lunch

Posted on: January 22, 2014

(Chicago, IL) - Any first year students or transfer students who are curious about the Semester in LA program, don't forget to join Semester in LA for breakfast on January 27th: 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Hokin Hall, 623 S. Wabash; or lunch at 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm in room 401 of the 600 S. Michigan building!

Gwen Sigan, of the Los Angeles SiLA offices, will be there to answer questions, explain the goals and schedule of the program, and help to guide the process of applying for those who plan to cap off their time at CCC by making their way west.

"Students Learn from L.A. Semesters" - Variety

Posted on: September 23, 2016

The Columbia College Chicago - Semester in L.A. program received some much-deserved recognition from Variety this month. The article, written by Dan Doperalski, highlights the benefits students receive from being in the center of the entertainment industry.

Variety points out students "have always flocked to Los Angeles to make their careers," dreaming of the Hollywood lifestyle. "Those who enroll in Southern California-based film schools are at a distinct advantage, often benefiting from proximity to local internships and professional lecturers."

Schools across the United States realize this geographical advantage. "To narrow the gap, out-of-state schools have followed their grad's 'go-west' impulse. Columbia College Chicago was one of the first to establish a L.A.-based extension program, and the school now maintains a permanent presence on the Raleigh Studios lot, where program head Jon Katzman arranges for working pros to teach classes."

The Semester in L.A. program has been proud of our students and alumni over the past thirteen years of operation; and, is glad to see the hard work being noticed.

You can read the full article on Variety's website, by clicking here

Black List’s SiLA Alum Returns with Advice

Posted on: March 22, 2012

Eddie O'Keefe, Semester in LA

Just last week, Semester in LA was proud to invite back Columbia College Chicago and SiLA alum, Eddie O’Keefe, as a guest speaker for Spring’s Screenwriting and Producing courses. A graduate of 2009, O’Keefe gained notice in the industry with his short film The Ghosts. Subtitled as "A Teenage Fever Dream", The Ghosts is a supernatural, nostalgic foray into the suburban teenage existence. The film premiered at Brooklyn's International Film Festival and went on to screen, in our own backyard, at the 47th Annual Chicago's International Film Festival.

O'Keefe's first feature script When the Street Lights Go On, landed him second on 2012’s prestigious Black List (Hollywood’s esteemed list of the years best unproduced screenplays) as well as third on TB’s “Hit List.” When the Street Lights Go On was optioned by Imagine Entertainment this year.

O’Keefe is repped by WME and Tariq Merhab Management. You can view O’Keefe’s short film The Ghosts on Vimeo.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the opportunities Semester in LA provides, please visit our website at or join our Facebook page for updates.

Columbia Moves Hollywood Operations to Raleigh Studios

Posted on: March 16, 2012

(Chicago, IL) -- Semester in LA (SiLA), Columbia College Chicago’s signature program that provides full-time students with a five-week intensive learning experience working with professionals in the entertainment industry, moved to their new home on Raleigh Studios’ 11 acre Hollywood complex on May 12.

“We are thrilled to be entering into a lease with Raleigh, one of the oldest and most respected studio enterprises in the county,” says Doreen Bartoni, dean of Columbia’s School of Media Arts. “There is great resonance between the histories of Raleigh and Columbia, with a common commitment to new visions and voices in the creative entertainment industries. I look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with our new landlord.”

The 2,000 square feet of new space are located in the historic Bronson building in the heart of Hollywood on Melrose Avenue.

Semester in L.A. is an intensive program that allows full-time Columbia College Chicago students the opportunity to gain exposure to the entertainment industry. Columbia College has worked to build a solid reputation in Hollywood with a network of hundreds of working entertainment industry professionals who willingly offer their knowledge and advice in an effort to help students get ahead. Many graduates have gone on to work in production offices, television shows, talent agencies and film sets via internship opportunities offered to our students. Founded in 1999 by Bob Enrietto and Don Smith, a full-time faculty member in the college’s film and video department, the SILA program has made its home on the CBS Studio Lot since January 2000. The program is now headed by Jon Katzman and offers programs across a wide range of career fields in the entertainment industry.

“We have had a wonderful relationship with the CBS Studio Lot folks for nearly a decade,” says Katzman. “This move provides Columbia with the additional space we need to continue to grow the SILA program and it frees up space for some new needs that CBS Studio has identified. Plus, the students will really like being in the middle of the action in Hollywood instead of in the Valley.”

Raleigh Studios, which commenced operations in 1915 as Famous Players Fiction Studios, is the longest continuously operating studio in the country. Raleigh Studios has played a central role in creating and supporting the modern entertainment industry. Raleigh Enterprises purchased the studio in 1979 and immediately launched a comprehensive renovation of its historic buildings. As part of an extensive five-year master plan that added modern new soundstages, support facilities and offices to the lot, the refurbishment of the studio ensured the preservation of the best of its Hollywood traditions. As part of this process, Raleigh Enterprises virtually reinvented the art of soundstage construction as no new facilities had been built in nearly three decades. The Manhattan Beach Facility was opened in 1998 with nearly 600,000 square feet of stage, support and office space. For more information visit:

Andy Richter visits Semester in LA

(top row from left): Bill Yoder, Brad Mott, Julie Leaderbrand, Andy Richter, Katie Sheehy, Lindsay Audette
(second row from left): Rick Escobedo, Sarah Kindem, Chrissy Young, Whitney Ann Jenkins, Lydia Rodriguez, Marcie Trice, Nikki Wells, Fajra Abdul-Ahad, Jon Katzman
(bottom row from left): Tony DiPisa, Brett Colbeth, Allison Bosma