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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 are interacting with them in real time even though you are not in the same physical location. 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 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 spring?

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.

Am I guaranteed in-seat instruction?

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 spring. 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 from the CDC.

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 the detailed safety information provided by the College.

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?

When enrolling you will need to make a choice between in-seat or Virtual Education option. Whichever you choose you will need to stick with that option throughout the course. 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 directors.

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

Contact your location director 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.

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 locations may offer courses in different time zones. For example, if you are a student who lives in the Eastern Standard Zone you may be enroll for a course in Mountain Standard Time. In order to be counted as present, you will have to login to the course meetings during the assigned meeting times.

Where can I find the VE course schedule?

View the virtual education course schedule.

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 affect your benefits. Military-related students can also contact the Columbia College Ousley Family Veterans Service Center at (573) 875-7504 or

Are the dates changing for the semester?

No, the academic calendar remains the same. The Early Spring session will be Monday, January 11, 2021, through Saturday, March 6, 2021. The Late Spring Session will be Monday, March 8, 2021, through Saturday, May 1, 2021.

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. We are dedicated to providing a high-quality in-seat experience, but thanks to our advanced technological capabilities, we can transition quickly to an all virtual experience 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.


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