March 23, 2020
Resuming Remote Classes April 6 and Commencement Update
To Columbia College Chicago students and their families:
I hope that this message finds you well as we all continue to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. I am writing to follow up on my March 12 announcement that the college would temporarily suspend spring semester instruction on campus and implement a three-week transition of its course offerings to remote instructional formats. I am pleased to report that we are on track to successfully execute this transition and that spring semester instruction will resume remotely on Monday, April 6, and continue in this manner until the end of the semester.
Starting today, and throughout this week, the faculty in each of your courses will provide updates on Canvas about how the course will be delivered when instruction resumes on April 6. We have identified strategies that will allow you to complete formal course requirements via remote instruction by the end of the spring semester.
In the vast majority of courses, faculty are adapting course plans for Web-based platforms that will allow students and faculty to engage in regular course activities from remote locations; in other courses, content delivery or student project design will be re-engineered more extensively. This is an ongoing process. Our academic leaders have prepared messages explaining what to expect next, which I encourage you to watch.
This is an unprecedented moment for all of us at Columbia, and I do not pretend that the days and weeks ahead will be without their challenges and frustrations. At the same time, I have been impressed and heartened by our faculty's spirit of innovation and by their determination to ensure that this semester will be successful. This is especially true for the graduating seniors among you; as I stated in my March 18 video message, we will go the extra mile to enable you to complete your degree requirements on time.
Regardless of how a course is delivered, faculty are working to ensure that it will help you to master key learning outcomes, providing the necessary foundation for you to move forward in your studies or your practice. In other words, your course will be complete. Where hands-on project work is not possible remotely, after you complete your formal course requirements remotely in the spring, we will provide opportunities for students to come together for additional hands-on skills development once the community can reassemble.
Let me address another matter that I know many of you are thinking about: Commencement. With profound regret, we are cancelling May's Commencement ceremonies. Please believe me when I tell you that this decision was an extremely difficult one; I am aware that all of you – and especially the parents among you – have been waiting for this moment for a very long time. Having to cancel the most joyous celebration of our academic year is further proof of just how much this pandemic is taking away from us.
On the other hand, while holding an on-campus Manifest will also not be possible, we anticipate the development of a virtual Manifest, thanks in large measure to the work done to date by the student creative team. In fact, faculty have already revamped courses to orient student assignments and projects around the design of such an experience. This year's Manifest theme, “Rise,” is more appropriate now than ever, and I encourage you to connect with your fellow students, faculty members, and departments to explore what is possible.
For many of us, proceeding without direct human contact can feel antithetical to the creative process. That said, for every limit that these current circumstances may place on the teaching and learning experience, they may also open opportunities for you, working with your faculty, to build new forms of creative community through remote collaboration. In this unsettled historical moment, I can think of no more compelling way for you to step forward as creatives, demonstrate your resilience and, in the words of our college's mission statement, author the culture of your times.
Here's to a successful resumption of classes on April 6 and to discovering new ways of keeping Columbia's creative spirit strong.
President and CEO
- Important COVID-19 Housing Update (3.20.2020)
March 20, 2020
Important COVID-19 Housing Update
Dear Faculty, Staff, Students, and Parents,
As the pandemic of Coronavirus (COVID-19) accelerates across the globe, the State of Illinois is now one of many other state and local jurisdictions to impose a “stay-at-home” order. This order impacts all Illinois residents and begins Saturday, March 21 at 5 p.m. and remains in effect through April 7.
The vast majority of students, faculty and staff have already left campus; we hope you heed the governmental order and continue to monitor your health and of those friends, families and neighbors most vulnerable in our communities.
In light of these exceptional circumstances, and in recognition of the hardships the closure of student housing can cause, Columbia College Chicago will be providing an account credit to students who have a housing contract with Residence Life for the Spring 2020 term.
- Columbia will also be issuing a credit for any unused meal plan costs. The meal plan credit will reflect the unused portion of your meal plan.
- Residents will receive additional communications from Residence Life regarding returning keys, retrieving belongings, and other logistical matters.
- It will take a minimum of 3 weeks for Columbia to post this credit to your student account.
- Once the credit has been posted, if it creates an overall credit balance on the student’s account the amount of that credit balance will be refunded.
- We recommend that students set up direct deposit in CCCPay (in the MyColumbia portal) to ensure timely receipt of their refund.
- If you have an active payment plan that includes room and board charges and would like to put your payment plan on hold while the account credit is being finalized, please email us:
- Columbia Central at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Include your name, student ID number, and request that your payment plan be put on hold while your account credit is being finalized.
We are aware many students left campus without taking all of their belongings. Students and parents should not return to campus to collect their items and move out while the “Stay-at-Home” order is in effect. We understand this will be a source of anxiety for many of you who are eager to return for your property, please know your things will be not be touched or moved.
We are working out a plan for you to return and retrieve your things. As we do this, we want to be mindful of the continuing risks of COVID-19 and restrictions on gatherings of large groups of people. Therefore, a schedule will be devised to allow you to return to campus and remove your things. We will share it with you soon.
The college is actively monitoring and responding to students at COVID19info@colum.edu. Or you can call with questions at (312) 369-INFO (4636) and speak with someone.
We appreciate your patience and cooperation as we continue to face the evolving challenges of the pandemic during this time of national emergency.
- A Video Message from President Kim (3.18.2020)
- COVID-19 Campus Update from the President (3.18.2020)
March 18, 2020
COVID-19 Campus Update from the President
Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Parents,
I am writing to share the news that, like many communities around the world and across our country, Columbia has been touched by the coronavirus. Late yesterday, a member of our campus community reported that they had been diagnosed with COVID-19. This person is currently self-isolating and has not been on campus since Friday, March 13. The 33 E. Ida B. Wells building is the only campus facility visited by this individual over the past two weeks.
First and foremost, my thoughts go out to the individual. I am heartened by the fact that as of last night, they reported experiencing only mild symptoms and I wish them a full and seamless recovery.
My thoughts now necessarily turn to the well-being of our Columbia community. Because the majority of our students have already left campus, and many of our faculty and staff are practicing social distancing by working remotely, we have significantly lessened the risk of exposure on campus.
In light of this latest development, however, I am announcing the following actions:
Access to campus before the March 22 closure:
- Effective immediately, the 33 E. Ida B. Wells building is closed for 48 hours for a deep cleaning. It will be accessible beginning Friday, March 20, at 9 a.m. for employees needing to access their equipment and belongings.
- All campus buildings, will close by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and will remain closed until further notice.
- All campus housing, will close by 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, and will remain closed until further notice.
- Faculty and staff involved in the transition planning to remote instruction on April 6, will be able to access campus buildings through March 22 to access equipment we have secured for them or to retrieve materials and equipment they may need in order to work moving forward.
I must emphasize that while buildings will be open for this purpose, anyone associated with planning who feels uncomfortable with being on campus should remain off site.
- All students remaining in campus housing should make travel plans to their permanent homes or make other housing arrangements.
Students for whom leaving campus housing by end of day Sunday is not feasible should contact Kelli Collins in the residence life office at email@example.com. At this time, students should plan on taking only items with which they can travel by end of day Sunday.
We will be in touch with campus housing residents currently on and off campus, as well as their families, about moving or storing larger items at a later date.
All other personnel not essential to on-campus operations and who do not need to pick up essential equipment and materials should be working from home—if they are not doing so already—in consultation with their supervisor.
Resuming Instruction and completing the spring semester
As you know, we had already announced a suspension of in-person instruction on campus and a three-week transition to the delivery of all courses by alternative means, beginning Monday, April 6. Our faculty have been working hard to execute this transition and we remain on track. Our goal is for all students to be able to successfully complete their spring semester coursework and for our graduating seniors to complete their degree requirements.
- Starting Monday, April 6, spring semester classes will resume and will be delivered remotely. There will be no in-person instructional activity on campus for the remainder of the semester.
- We anticipate that the vast majority of classes and associated course activities can be delivered in this manner.
- In the minority of instances in which instruction and course assignments cannot easily be delivered remotely, we will be announcing specific ways to address particular situations in coming weeks.
Everyone at Columbia should closely monitor their health and seek the advice of a health care professional if they experience symptoms or feel sick.
These are uncertain times affecting all of us locally, and across the globe. The college is committed to supporting you by providing information and support.
We've established an email account COVID19info@colum.edu which we are actively monitoring and responding to. You can call us with questions at 312-369-INFO to speak with someone. You can also check the colum.edu homepage for updates and resources.
We will continue to provide updates to the campus community about the resumption of instruction on April 6.
Take care and stay strong.
President and CEO
- Coronavirus Update (3.13.2020)
- Coronavirus Update (3.12.2020)
- Coronavirus Update (3.10.2020)
- Coronavirus Update (3.2.2020)