Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Columbia College is the name of several institutions of higher education. This article is about Columbia College of Chicago, Illinois. See Columbia College of Columbia University for the specific undergraduate division of Columbia University in New York City.
Columbia College of Chicago, Illinois
Columbia College in Chicago is the nation's largest arts and communications college, evolved from a speech college for women founded in 1890. During its early history, the institution served as a teachers college and later focused on the growing field of radio broadcasting.
In the 1950s the college broadened its educational base to include television and other areas of mass communications. Prosperity was short lived, however, and by 1962 Columbia was a dying institution with fewer than 200 students, a part-time faculty of 25, and no endowments, subsidies or visibility.
Mike Alexandroff became president in 1963, intent on fashioning a new approach to liberal arts education. For the next thirty years he worked to build the Columbia College we know today - a quintessentially urban institution that has helped to change the face of higher education.
Mr. Alexandroff knew that many students had become disenchanted with the highly structured academic experience offered by most traditional universities and Columbia offered an affordable and imaginative liberal education, as well as an exceptional faculty made up almost exclusively of working professionals. He established an open-admissions policy so that any qualified high school graduate could have the opportunity to work toward achieving their educational and professional goals.
In 1974 Columbia won full accreditation as a four-year, undergraduate liberal arts school by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges . By 1976 enrollment had passed the 2,000 mark and the college purchased its first real estate, the 175,000 square foot (16,000 m&spu2;) building at 600 S. Michigan. At the time of Mr. Alexandroff's retirement in 1992, Columbia College served 6,791 students and owned or rented more than 643,000 square feet (60,000 m²) of instructional, performance and administrative space.
John B. Duff , former commissioner of the Chicago Public Library and former chancellor of the Massachusetts Board of Regents of Higher Education , succeeded Mr. Alexandroff as the college's president. During his tenure the school continued to expand educational offerings and community outreach, as well as adding to the physical campus.
Following an eight-year tenure, Dr. Duff retired in August 2000. He was succeeded by Warrick L. Carter , an educator, composer and performing artist. Dr. Carter joined Columbia from Walt Disney Entertainment, where he was director of entertainment arts.
Previously he spent 12 years at Berklee College of Music in Boston, the world’s largest independent school of music, where he served as dean of faculty and then provost/vice president of academic affairs.
Mike Alexandroff died in April 2001. During the nearly nine years following his retirement, he was able to witness the college’s continued growth and sustained position as the country’s largest arts and communications college.
In May 2001, Columbia reorganized its academic departments and programs under four schools: Fine & Performing Arts, Graduate and Continuing Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Media Arts.
As of fall 2001, enrollment topped 9,000. Full- and part-time faculty numbered over 1150, and staff over 490. Currently, Columbia College Chicago owns more than 1.2 million square feet (111,000 m²) in the burgeoning South Loop.
Today, department chairs and their faculty are continually challenged to improve curriculum offerings, classroom delivery and assessment methods. Administration has expanded and improved student services, renewing the school's commitment to open enrollment.
Administrative staff and overhead are kept "lean and mean" in order to keep tuition costs down, so that Columbia can continue to serve its core constituency. Outreach efforts to freshmen, many of whom are new to the urban environment, have been initiated and will continue to be enhanced.
Major undergraduate degree plans include Art and Design, Arts Management, Dance, Digital Media Technology, Early Childhood Education, Fiction Writing, Film and Video, Interactive Multimedia, ASL-English Interpretation, Journalism, Marketing Communication, Music, Musical Theater Performance, Photography, Poetry, Radio, Sound, Television, and Theater.
Minors include Acting, American Sign Language, Art History, Arts Management, Creative Nonfiction, Dance, Directing, E-Commerce, Environmental Studies, Fiction Writing, Latino/Hispanic Studies, Literature, Marketing, Non-liner Editing, Photography, Playwriting, Poetry, Professional Writing, Publication Production, Web Technology, and Writing for Television.
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