Columbia College (British Columbia)

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Columbia College
Motto Your Platform for Success
Type Private community college
Established 1936
Principal Dr. Trevor Toone
Students 1800
Location Canada Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
49°16′18″N 123°5′43″W / 49.27167°N 123.09528°W / 49.27167; -123.09528Coordinates: 49°16′18″N 123°5′43″W / 49.27167°N 123.09528°W / 49.27167; -123.09528
Campus Urban
Colours      blue
Athletics CCAA
Affiliations ACCC
Mascot CC Riders (Dragon Boat Team)
Columbia College logo.jpg

Columbia College is a privately owned two-year community college located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The college is owned and administered by the Columbia College Society, a non-profit academic society comprised by all Columbia College employees.


Columbia College's Mission is to prepare international and Canadian students for admission to a university by providing quality academic programs in a supportive environment.

Columbia College also offers University Foundation programs, including a British Columbia Ministry of Education certified Senior Secondary Program, and an accredited English as a Second Language Program.[1]


Founded in 1936, Columbia College first offered high school completion programs to hundreds of students. In 1965 the College added university transfer courses to its offerings, and in the 1970s introduced an English as a Second Language Program to meet the needs of the increasing number of international students.

In 1985 Columbia College moved from downtown Vancouver to Burnaby, to a location near Metrotown Centre. Over the next twelve years the College's programs expanded significantly; in particular, the College broadened its offerings in the areas of business and engineering. During this period Columbia College established its reputation as Canada's premier university-preparatory school for international students.

In 1997 Columbia College returned to a downtown Vancouver location, to share a new facility with the British Columbia Institute of Technology. In this building (the BCIT Downtown Campus) the College was able to provide improved science laboratories and classrooms and expanded library facilities, as well as a refurbished Tutorial Centre.

In 2011, Columbia College celebrated the 75th anniversary of its founding. This year also saw Columbia College start to recruit significant numbers of students from around the globe. While Columbia continued to recruit students in its traditional areas in East Asia, the College now saw an influx of students from South Asia, the Middle East and West Africa, creating a truly international student body.

In April 2013 Columbia College moved from its downtown location to a brand new 5-storey building just east of Vancouver's downtown core on Terminal Avenue. The new building provides improved facilities to students and staff, including science laboratories (Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics), library and student lounges. Tenants on the ground floor (Subway, and Taco del Mar) provide food services to students. Underground parking is available, and there is easy access to Skytrain at the nearby Main Street Station.

The College operates as a Non-profit Society, and currently has an enrollment of about 1,000 students drawn from around the world. Over the years many thousands of Canadian and international students have completed their qualifications at Columbia College and proceeded to university. The College will continue to provide excellent preparation for university entrance in the years to come.[2]


Columbia College offers:

University Transfer Program[edit]

The University Transfer Programs offered by Columbia College allow students to take their first and second year university-level studies in the more personal atmosphere of a smaller college before transferring to second or third year at a university.

Transfer credit is pre-arranged for university courses completed at Columbia College with local universities such as the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria. It is customary for other universities in BC and the United States to recognize the transfer credits listed by the British Columbia Commission on Admissions and Transfer, BCCAT (see

Associate Degrees Program[edit]

Columbia College is authorized to offer two-year associate degrees. These degrees, awarded upon completion of at least 60 credits (and the fulfillment of specific requirements) are useful both as a stand-alone qualification and also as a basis of admission to third year at university.

Universities in British Columbia recognize the value of associate degrees and accept them as a basis for admission to third year of baccalaureate programs. BC's public research universities all guarantee the full 60 credits to students admitted on the strength of an associate degree (though specific course requirements must still be completed if not included in the associate degree), even if not all courses counting towards the associate degree transfer to the university in question individually. Some universities give priority in admission to associate degree holders.

Grade 11 – 12 University Foundation Program[edit]

University Foundation Programs are available to high school level students who wish to enroll in university but lack the prerequisites to do so. There are five distinct foundation options, and, while only completion of the Senior Secondary Program will allow a student to be eligible for direct entry to university, completion of any of the options listed below will allow a student to enter the University Transfer Program at Columbia College, provided the minimum grade requirements are achieved.

There are five programs available[edit]

  • Accelerated
  • Senior Secondary
  • Adult Secondary
  • High School Completion
  • University Preparatory
  • Academic ESL Program

Academic ESL Program[edit]

The Academic Preparatory English Program provides English instruction for two types of students:

  • Students who have been accepted into an Academic Program but whose English skills are deemed insufficient
  • Students wanting an academic environment in which to learn English

There are five levels in which students may be placed based on their performance on assessment or placement tests. Students may begin their program at the beginning of any semester or any mid-semester entry point.


Columbia College plans new events every week from Volleyball, Yoga, Swimming, Badminton and more.

Athletics clubs[edit]

  • CC Basketball[3]
  • CC Dragonboat
  • CC Tennis
  • CC Soccer
  • CC Badminton
  • CC Mixed Martial Arts
  • CC Dance
  • CC Yoga
  • CC Ice Skating
  • CC Swimming
  • CC Table Tennis
  • CC Hiking
  • CC Cricket
  • CC Volleyball

Interest clubs[edit]

  • SACC (Student Association of Columbia College): Represents student voice[4]
  • CC Guitar: Plays guitar while singing along
  • CC French: Learns the French culture
  • CC Spanish/Latino: Embraces the Spanish and Latino culture
  • CC Brain Games: Plays fun yet challenging games to stimulate the brain
  • CC Entrepreneur: Enriches students interested in starting a business
  • CC Quitters: Helps quit smoking
  • CC LEO: Contributes in the community, whilst developing leadership skills
  • CC Chess: Plays chess
  • CC Math Club: Solves interesting algebra problems

Student service[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]