Columbia College (Alberta)
Established in the late 1980s, Columbia College was originally known as "Columbia Institute of Canada". Founded by Tom and Nola Snell the school opened with a handful programs primarily aimed at helping local disabled individuals sustain employment and upgrade their existing education. Over the years the College has expanded its programs to include a variety of professional programs in addition to its roots in Academic Upgrading and English as a Second language.
Columbia offers both one-year certificate programs and two-year diploma programs. Some two-year academic diploams can be completed in as few as 12 calendar months.
Since its inception, Columbia College has established itself as an innovative institution that focuses on the delivery of accelerated high quality adult education programs that are valued by industry (employers). Students can complete up to one academic year of post-secondary education during every six months they attend Columbia College. The College has smaller classes where its students get considerable support from caring, committed, and highly educated and experienced faculty and staff.
Columbia Learning Society
In 1998 the College created The Columbia Learning Society to raise money in order to provide scholarships to learners in financial need who wish to attend the College. The society received authority from the Canadian government in the winter of 2002 to issue tax deductible receipts for donations. Columbia College continues to make a substantial donation each year to the society, enabling it to hire staff and offer educational scholarships for free courses to adult learners in need. The society also offers educational scholarships for free weekend tutoring sessions to young children. Since 2002 the society has provided scholarships (valued at $240,000) to over 1,100 learners.
In 1997, the College began working on its most ambitious plan; to deliver free education to learners around the world. This involves a multi-staged plan that will take many years to complete. Initial courses will be designed for learners in primary and secondary education. The College’s ultimate goal will be achieved when employers the world over recognize it for the outstanding quality of its graduates.
Columbia College of Calgary, Canada: website