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Columbia College Chicago Online is…

Columbia College Chicago Online is for artists and entrepreneurs, writers and performers, creators and doers. Our students are successful professionals who prove you can make a living being creative. Offered entirely online, our classes provide skills that translate to all industries and career paths, from business to the arts. We give you the flexibility to complete your coursework on your schedule, without sacrificing the interactive classroom experience.

New Courses

App Design with Swift Programming

Build your own mobile apps and launch your coding career by learning Swift, a powerful and intuitive programming language. During…
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Creative Coding and Design with Arduino

Design expressive and functional products through creative coding. In today’s world, creative coding is used as a medium while designing.…
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History of Chicago

Understand the amazing evolution of one of America's largest and most historically significant cities. From the first contact between indigenous…
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Introduction to User Experience Design

Understand how to develop a successful, customized design experience by understanding user-centered interactions. During this course, you will be introduced…
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Nonprofit Arts Management

Explore the diverse landscape of the nonprofit industry to prepare for a variety of careers within this growing space. Although…
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About Us

Develop the skills to launch or grow your career as a creative entrepreneur.

Meet the Faculty

Meet the Faculty

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Peter Cook Photo

Peter Cook

Peter Cook is Associate Professor in the Department of ASL-English Interpretation and an internationally known Deaf performing artist. Using American Sign Language, pantomime, storytelling, acting and movement, Cook has performed at numerous festivals across the country – the Jonesboro National Storytelling Festival, The Deaf Way II and at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Cook has an MA in Storytelling from East Tennessee State University (2011) and a BFA in Graphic Design from Rochester Institute of Technology (1986).

Course: American Sign Language 101

Taking ASL 1 will be an exciting, new territory for you! (Hands waving instead of clapping.) You are about to learn one of the fastest growing foreign languages. Yes, I said foreign language, you will soon realize that American Sign Language (ASL) is a language on its own. This course is designed to guide you in the clearest yet, challenging ways, and your instructor will help you to achieve this level of ASL.

Why ASL from Peter
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Tom Dowd

Since earning his first published title in high school, Tom Dowd has contributed to an award-winning role-playing game, written two novels and short stories and served as senior designer on multiple computer games. His credits include Shadowrun, Vampire: the Masquerade, BattleTech, EarthDawn and MechAssault, and his book, Storytelling Across Worlds: Transmedia for Creatives and Producers, gives creatives the tools to develop their narrative across platforms.

At Columbia, Dowd develops curriculum and teaches game design, production, cross-media storytelling and game journalism.

Course: Introduction to Game Development

Introduction to Game Development is a survey course that serves as an overview to the video game industry. In it, you'll learn what artists, designers, programmers, and sound designers do and how they do it. You'll also learn something about how the industry works on the business and distribution side, and the differences between commercial and indie game development. It's the ideal introduction for someone thinking about getting into video development who's unsure about how these kinds of games get made and who makes them.

Course insight from Tom
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Shannelle Fowler

Leveraging her experience as an award-winning retail executive, Shannelle Armstrong-Fowler teaches Fashion PR, Social Media and Digital Strategy. Her professional accomplishments include managing public relations for McDonald’s, Sears and Kmart. She also founded Haute & Co. Bridal™ Boutique and REVOLUTION Bridal™.

Armstrong-Fowler earned her master’s degree in Political Management from The George Washington University and has a bachelor’s degree in Administration of Justice from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Course: Introduction to Social Media and Digital Strategies

I’ve been in communications for almost 20 years, I started in government relations and went on to corporate communications. When I started my own business, I used social media and digital communications exclusively to drive brand awareness and build my customer base.

Impact of Social Media According to Shannelle
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Taylor Hokanson

Taylor Hokanson is an artist, academic and open hardware advocate. In addition to a record of international fine art exhibitions (Estonia, Brazil, Austria, India, Hong Kong), experimental distribution and authorship platforms (Thingiverse, Github, Instructables, podcasting) form a crucial parallel outlet for his ideas.

Hokanson’s research investigates the promising/problematic nature of uncritical technology consumption in the post-digital landscape. Principal among these concerns are human-computer interaction, computer-aided fabrication, and new models for collaborative authorship and content distribution. These ideas are explored through the design, construction and distribution of functional art objects that subvert our notion of what technology is supposed to do, revealing our own shortcomings in the process.

Course: Creative Coding and Design with Arduino

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Cara Dehnert Huffman

Cara Dehnert Huffman is an attorney, nonprofit executive, and passionate supporter of the arts and entertainment industries. In addition to teaching, Dehnert Huffman is an active writer and contributor to major art publications and other media outlets, including Chicago Artist Resource, Chicago Art Magazine and more, as well as a strategic planning and philanthropic consultant.

She has previous legal and arts administration experience as the former Executive Director of I Am Logan Square as well as with the Illinois Arts Council, Lawyers for the Creative Arts, Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and other creative organizations in Chicago and nationwide.

Course: Nonprofit Arts Management

Lauren Liss Photo

Lauren Liss

Lauren Liss is a professor in the Interactive Arts and Media Department. She teaches interface design, interaction theory, user experience and usability, and collaborative development. She also runs an interaction design company, *goodspark, which focuses on content management systems and usability analysis for small businesses, with a specialization in women-owned businesses and creative firms.

Liss received her Masters in Education, Learning Design and Leadership, New Learning, from the University of Illinois, where she studied knowledge acquisition and educational theory through the lens of usability and technology.

Course: Introduction to User Experience Design

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Erin McCarthy

Erin McCarthy, holds a Ph.D. in United States History from Loyola University Chicago with fields of study in United States social and cultural history since 1877. Dr. McCarthy’s courses include “Oral History: the Art of the Interview,” “The Great Depression and the New Deal,” and “Baseball in History & Literature: a Contested Narrative.”  

Her students have contributed more than 400 transcribed interviews collections at the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project (VHP), the Hellenic Museum and Cultural Center in Chicago, the Chicagoland Anti-Apartheid Movement Project at Columbia College Chicago, and the Chicago Area Women’s History Council. Currently, she is revising a manuscript on the life and career of legendary University of Chicago football coach, Amos Alonzo Stagg.

Course: History of Chicago

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Justin Sinkovich

Throughout his career, Justin Sinkovich has started a record store and music venue, managed a record label and founded multiple music startups, including Epitonic.com, one of the first and most influential MP3 websites. His first record store, Landspeed Records, won “Best New Business” of the year (Metro Pulse).

In 2011, the music discovery startup—Epitonic, had grown to include a music and comedy festival, a live recording session series, a record label and a management company. While teaching full time, Sinkovich remains an active entrepreneur, consultant, producer and musician.

Course: Self-Management and Entrepreneurship

Self-management and freelancing has a very realistic approach to life. I feel no extra theories are being taught that later on, I will not use. Making the tasks more personal such as the current project I'm working on, and implementing them to the class, makes me feel like I can do this with future ones.

Student Experience of Camila R.
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Matthew Steinke

Matthew Steinke is an artist, musician, designer and developer. Over the past two decades, he has produced interactive content for Atmosphere Proximity, RGA, Viacom, Ogilvy, The Girl Scouts of America, The Fun Fun Fun Fest, Charles Schwab and Cramer Krasselt among others. His professional practice reflects his broad experience in a variety of roles including programmer, animator, designer, engineer and project manager.

Steinke has also produced several experimental media artworks involving robotic musical instruments for installations and performances for which he has toured across Europe, Canada and the US. His personal work and research explores the intersection of artificial intelligence, psychology and narrative as a way to generate new forms of machine behavior for musical expression.

Course: App Design with Swift Programming

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Sam Weller

Sam Weller is a fiction and nonfiction writer. In addition to being recognized for various awards, Weller wrote national bestseller The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. He also co-edited the short fiction anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, and in 2014, the graphic novel adaptation of Shadow Show was published.

Weller is a frequent lecturer on the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury. He has given more than 350 talks worldwide.

Courses: Introduction to Creative Writing, Ray Bradbury and Creative Storytelling

Each lesson reveals the endless amounts of possibilities our writings could accomplish. Through this, I believe it’ll further our expectations and ambitions as we delve deeper into the world of writing. It opens worlds, such as the lesson revolving around forms of narrative that could really be useful in times of struggle. The more there is, the more we can develop.

Student Experience of Cristian R.

What's New at Columbia College Chicago Online

Introducing #Curated with Kayla Jutzi

#Curated, a new series highlighting what our students, faculty and staff are reading, listening to and watching...
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By Day/By Night with Nick Olah

By: Columbia College Chicago Online News Welcome back to By Day/By Night. This edition features Introduction to Social Media and…
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Columbia College Chicago Online Launches Five New Courses for Online Learners

Check out Columbia College Chicago Online’s new courses in UX design, the history of Chicago...
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