Policies

Table of Contents

Page 1: Enrollment, Tuition, Fees, and Payment

Page Sections:

  • How to Enroll
  • Incarcerated Students
  • Wait List Policy
  • Course Cancellations
  • Tuition and Payment
  • Registration Fees
  • Discounts and Tuition Assistance

Page 2: Drops and Refunds

Page Sections:

  • Refund policy
  • Requesting a Refund Online
  • Requesting a Refund via E-Mail
  • Medical Leave

Page 3: Academic Policies

Page Sections:

  • Academic Integrity
  • Accreditation
  • Credit and Grades
  • Academic Grievances
  • Student Complaints Policy and Procedures
  • Change of Address Policy
  • Copyright Policy
  • General Grievances, Issues or Concerns

Page 4: Code of Conduct

Page Sections:

  • Harassment and Sexual Harassment
  • Honesty in Professional Practice
  • Communication
  • Emergency Contact Information
  • Social Media Policy

Page 5: Student Services and Support

Page Sections:

  • Disability Support Services
  • Library Access
  • Request a Transcript
  • Learning Studio
  • Equal Opportunity
  • Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Annual Notice to Students (FERPA)

Enrollment, Tuition, Fees and Payment

How to Enroll

We encourage you to enroll early, when registration opens, to improve your chances of obtaining a spot in one of our courses. Unfortunately, enrollment is not guaranteed in any course. The following are steps to take for registration:

Step 1: Before enrolling, check the Academic Calendar for term dates and enrollment deadlines.

Step 2: From the courses page, select a course and click ‘Enroll’.

Step 3: Click ‘Add to Cart’, complete the online enrollment process, and submit your payment. For available payment options, please see the Tuition and Payment section below. Full payment is due by the first day of class.

Step 4: An e-mail will be sent to you by 5pm, on the Friday before a term begins, which will provide the information you need to get started in the course.

Note: Students are responsible for reviewing the course description, syllabus, and requirements for the course before enrolling. By enrolling, the student accepts responsibility for reviewing the items mentioned as well as reading, understanding, and abiding by all Columbia College Chicago Online policies, procedures, as well as any set of dates listed within the set of policies. If you have any questions, contact your advisor at advising@online.colum.edu or calling 312-369-5646(JOIN).

Incarcerated Students

You may not participate in Columbia College Chicago Online courses if you are (1) an adult currently incarcerated as a result of conviction of a crime(s); (2) have previously been incarcerated as an adult as a result of conviction of a crime(s), unless the incarceration was the result of a first conviction for any of the following misdemeanors: public intoxication, simple assault, speeding, minor traffic violations, affray or disturbing the peace; or (3) have been convicted of any crime within the past five years. For further information, please contact advising@online.colum.edu. Additional types of misdemeanors will be approved at the department’s discretion.

Wait List Policy

If a course is full, a prospective student may add himself or herself to an available waitlist that is not at its capacity limit. To do so, choose the course where the waitlist is displayed as an option and complete the checkout process. There is no fee for a place on the waitlist. Your place on the waitlist is prioritized in the order requests are received. When/If a spot in the course becomes available, you will be automatically notified via e-mail and given 24 hours to complete the registration process. Please note that instructors do not have the ability to make course registration decisions, please do not contact instructors directly regarding the wait list policy.

Course Cancellations

Columbia College Chicago Online reserves the right to cancel a course for any reason. If this occurs, you will be sent an email notification. You will be given the option to transfer your enrollment to a different course for the current semester, a future semester, or receive a refund. Additional tuition may be due if a different course is chosen.

Tuition and Payment

Tuition
The amount of tuition due is listed with each course description and varies depending upon the course length, format, and enrollment size. There are courses that may require additional course materials, such as required texts which can be purchased online or at a local bookstore.

Tuition may be paid by credit card, check, cashier’s check, money order, or wire payment. If your check is returned for any reason, we will charge a $25 service fee.

Credit Card Payment Types:
Columbia College Chicago Online accepts the following credit cards:

  • American Express
  • Discover
  • MasterCard
  • Visa

International Payments:
If you would like to make an international payment, please contact your advisor at advising@online.colum.edu or 312-369-5646 (JOIN) for detailed procedures to make a payment through Flywire at columonline.flywire.com.

If you do not wish to use the online payment process, please contact your advisor at advising@online.colum.edu or call 1-312-369-5646 (JOIN), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. U.S. Central Standard Time.

Columbia College Chicago Online does not offer financial aid. Full payment of tuition and fees are due before the course term begins, as mentioned above.

Registration Fees

In addition to the cost of tuition, each course requires a general non-refundable registration and technology fee.

Discounts and Tuition Assistance

If a student receives a discount offered for promotional purposes, the discount will only apply to tuition, not to registration or technology fees.

Alumni Discount: Alumni are eligible for a tuition discount. For details and discount code, please contact advising@online.colum.edu or 312-369-5646 (JOIN).

Educational Discount: The educational discount is 10% off the cost of tuition. This discount is valid for teachers who are currently employed full-time and teaching at an accredited academic institution. Students must provide proof of eligibility. The discount only applies for the following criteria:

  • K-12 classroom teachers at public and private schools.
  • Faculty/teaching staff at community colleges
  • Faculty/teaching staff at public and private four-year universities or colleges.

Discount eligibility does not extend to:

  • Administrative/non-teaching staff members
  • Tutors
  • Daycare employees or providers
  • Substitute Teachers
  • Part-time adult school instructors
  • Executive education providers
  • Library staff

Teachers must provide proof of eligibility by submitting the Teacher Verification Form.

Please provide proof of employment or certification (college/university identification, college/university website showing your name, and/or current teaching schedule).

Note: Columbia College Chicago Online verifies all requests for the educational discount. Should we determine that you are or are not eligible for the discount, you will be contacted. Eligibility verification remains valid for one academic year.

Drops and Refunds

Refund Policy

To receive a full tuition refund, you must withdraw from a course(s) prior to the start of the term listed within the academic calendar. The registration and technology fee is non-refundable.

  • Prior to the start date of a course: 100% refund of the current course, minus the registration and technology fee.
  • By Friday of the first week of the course: 40% refund of the current course, minus the registration and technology fee.
  • By Friday of the second week of the course: 20% refund of the current course, minus the registration and technology fee.

Requesting a Refund, Drop, Transfer, or Withdrawal.

To request a refund, drop, transfer, or withdrawal, please contact your advisor at advising@online.colum.edu or call 1-312-369-5646 (JOIN), Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. U.S. Central Standard Time. If requesting a refund via e-mail, be sure to include the section, term, and course number.

All drop requests must occur during the first two weeks of a course. If you have recently submitted a drop request, please allow at least 24-48 hours before contacting the department to check on the status of your refund. Please allow up to two weeks to process all refunds made to your credit card. Refunds by check may take up to four weeks.

Medical Leave

Students who need to delay their online course(s) for medical reasons may be eligible to transfer the enrollment of the course(s) to a future term. Approval for both transfer or withdrawal will only be considered if the request is accompanied by a written verification from a medical doctor on letterhead and must state that the student cannot complete the term due to illness or injury. The transfer will not be allowed if the student fails to submit medical documentation to the advising team prior to end of week 3 of the course term.

The request for a medical withdrawal or transfer must be sent in writing to the following address:

Columbia College Chicago Online
Attn: Student Advising
600 S. Michigan Ave, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60605

No refunds will be given after the drop deadlines.

Academic Policies

Academic Integrity

Students at Columbia enjoy significant freedom of artistic expression and are encouraged to stretch their scholarly and artistic boundaries. However, Columbia prohibits all forms of academic dishonesty. When such dishonesty is discovered, the consequences to the student can be severe. Students are responsible for reading and understanding the Academic Integrity Policy as it is outlined here.

Accreditation

Columbia College Chicago is accredited at the graduate and undergraduate levels by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Columbia is accredited as a teacher training institution by the Illinois State Board of Education.

For more information about Columbia’s accreditation, please contact:

The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604
800.621.7440

Columbia College Chicago is an independent and unaffiliated institution of higher education.

Credit and Grades

Credit
Online continuing education courses are currently offered only for credit. Columbia College Chicago Online courses are all 3-credit course offerings. Students will earn 1 course credit for every 15 hours of instruction over the 8 week course term. There is also the expectation that 15 hours of instruction require 90 hours of additional work over 8 weeks.

Columbia College Chicago Online is a part of Columbia College Chicago, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students who wish to transfer Columbia College Chicago Online credits to another institution should check with that institution they wish to transfer courses into. Credits are accepted at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Courses taken with Columbia College Chicago Online do not constitute or affect acceptance into Columbia’s main campus programming. To learn more about apply for a degree program within Columbia College Chicago, visit the Admissions Department’s website for more information.

Grades

Columbia College Chicago Online uses the following grading scheme for its courses, programs, and certificates:

Letter Grade Percent Grade 4.0 Scale
A 93-100 4
A- 90-92 3.7
B+ 87-89 3.3
B 83-86 3
B- 80-82 2.7
C+ 77-79 2.3
C 73-76 2
C- 70-72 1.7
D 60-69 1
F Below 60 0
I Incomplete

If extenuating circumstances arise, a student may request to take an “Incomplete” only if the instructor agrees to accept and grade the assignments that are outstanding at a later date. The student and the instructor must agree upon a firm deadline, but this should be no later than three weeks after the last class session. If the work is not completed by the deadline, the instructor will submit a failing grade (F).

Academic Grievances

A student has the right to appeal academic decisions that affect his or her record at Columbia College Chicago Online as they relate to grade changes, attendance penalties, and incomplete grades. For such requests, please reach out to advising at advising@online.colum.edu.

Student Complaints Policy and Procedures

Columbia College Chicago takes student complaints seriously and endeavors to resolve concerns in a timely and effective manner. Various offices on campus address student complaints regarding the integrity and quality of the College’s academic programs, the effectiveness of student services, application of college policies and procedures, student interactions with faculty and staff members, and other functions affecting the student experience. This Student Complaints Policy and Procedures (the “Policy”) establishes procedures for reporting complaints to the College.

Students should report concerns promptly. Timely reporting helps ensure a well-informed resolution and the best opportunity to improve the student’s experience at Columbia.

Harassment and Discrimination Complaints

Columbia College Chicago is committed to maintaining an environment that respects the dignity of all individuals. Accordingly, Columbia does not tolerate harassment or discrimination by its faculty, staff, or students based on age, gender, race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression. Students with complaints of harassment or discrimination should follow the procedures in the college’s Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policy.

Procedures for Grade Grievances

Students should first contact Columbia College Chicago Online at advising@online.colum.edu or 312-369-5646. The faculty member and chairperson of the department in which the disputed grade was awarded resolve grade grievances. Every attempt should be made to resolve the grade grievance through consultations between the student and the instructor or among the student, instructor, and the department chairperson (or subject-area coordinator when that person is charged with resolving grade grievances). In the event that these consultations fail to resolve the grievance, an appeal procedure to the dean of the school is available to students. For the procedure to go forward, written documentation is required. All documents must be dated.

The grading and evaluation policies outlined in the course syllabus will form the basis for resolution of all grade grievances.

  1. A grade grievance occurs when a student protests a grade awarded on the final grade roster. The grievance must be filed within three weeks of the student’s receipt of the grade.
  2. Every grade grievance must be submitted in writing by the student to the instructor who awarded the grade. The student must copy the department chairperson when the original grievance is submitted to the instructor.
  3. The instructor will respond in writing to the student and send a copy to the department chairperson.
  4. If the response from the instructor is not satisfactory to the student, a written petition of appeal to the department chairperson (or, in some departments, to the subject-area coordinator, designated by the chair) must be submitted.
  5. The chairperson or coordinator will respond to the student’s petition of appeal.
  6. If the decision of the chairperson or coordinator is unsatisfactory to the student, he/she/they may appeal to the dean of the appropriate school, whose decision over every substantive, procedural, or related issue shall be final and cannot be appealed.

Other Complaints

In general for all other types of complaints, Columbia College Chicago has a department or office resolution process designed to provide productive solutions and responses to student concerns. Please see the policy here.

Change of Address Policy

All students must have a current mailing address on file with Columbia College Chicago Online. To change your address, please visit the student portal, log in, and click on ‘My Profile’.

Important documentation is regularly sent out via mail, with documents including:

  • 1098-T federal tax forms
  • Letters regarding enrollment status
  • Refunds
  • Letters of completion
  • Certificates
  • Other important information

Copyright Policy

Columbia College Chicago Online is committed to providing a comprehensive educational opportunity within the context of an enlightened education. Columbia recognizes its obligation to protect the rights of artists, writers, and other makers of creative expression when providing access to copyrighted materials in the course of teaching and all other business conducted at the school. Therefore, we require our members to comply with all applicable laws concerning copyright. Those who willfully violate copyright law assume sole responsibility for their infringement.

You acknowledge and agree that the Website and any necessary software used in connection with the Website (“Software”), as well as all course materials and content provided by Columbia College Chicago Online facilitators, and/or third parties for the online courses (the “Course Content”) contain proprietary and confidential information that is protected by applicable intellectual property and other laws. You agree not to modify, rent, lease, loan, sell, distribute or create derivative works based on the Website, the Course Content, or the Software, in whole or in part.

Columbia College Chicago grants you a personal, non-transferable and non-exclusive right and license to use the object code version of the Software on a single computer; provided that you do not (and do not allow any third party to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, reverse assemble or otherwise attempt to discover any source code, sell, assign, sublicense, grant a security interest in or otherwise transfer any right in the Software. You agree not to modify the Software in any manner or form, or to use modified versions of the Software, including (without limitation) for the purpose of obtaining unauthorized access to the Web site, or any portion of the Web site. You agree not to access the Web site by any means other than through the interface that is provided by Columbia College Chicago for use in accessing the Web site.

For the full copyright policy please click here.

General Grievances, Issues, or Concerns

Situations sometimes arise in which particular circumstances surrounding a policy decision require special consideration, or students have a complaint about the behavior or performance of a faculty or staff member.

As a general rule, students should address their concerns about a policy decision, faculty member, or behavior/performance of a staff member directly with their academic advisor.

If the complaint remains unresolved, the student may continue to appeal to a higher level of authority, within the appropriate area, up to the vice provost of the Columbia College Chicago Online.

Code of Conduct

Columbia College Chicago Online is proud of its creative and diverse community of faculty, students, and staff who create and participate in educational opportunities in the arts, media, and communications. Columbia provides a caring environment; one in which freedom of expression is valued and civility is observed. Students are encouraged to value our community and to accept responsibility for their individual behavior as well as for the common good.

Columbia College Chicago Online’s Code of Conduct is primarily a positive guide to the creation of a community that encourages the personal and intellectual development of each person, and secondly, a list of behaviors that would interfere with the important work of the community. Each student is expected to be thoroughly familiar with the academic and general requirements and polices as stated on the Columbia College Chicago Online website.

Download a PDF of the Code of Conduct at colum.edu/codeofconduct to read it in its entirety.

Harassment and Sexual Harassment

PURPOSE OF THE POLICY

Section I. Purpose & Applicability. Columbia College Chicago (the “College” or “Columbia”) is committed to maintaining an environment that respects the dignity of its students, faculty, and staff and is free from discrimination of any kind. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and its implementing regulations (“Title IX”) prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities. Sexual Harassment of students, which includes acts of Sexual Violence, is a form of sex discrimination. In compliance with Title IX, this Student Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures (the “Policy”) contains Grievance Procedures (defined and explained in Section XIV) that provide for prompt and equitable resolution of any allegation of Sexual Misconduct, a type of Sexual Harassment as defined below, that is (A) made against a student by another student, College employee, or third party and (B) related to or made in the context of the College’s academic, educational, extracurricular, athletic or other programs and activities. The College designed these procedures to end the Sexual Misconduct, eliminate any resulting hostile environment, remedy any other effects, and prevent the Sexual Misconduct from reoccurring. This Policy applies to all Columbia faculty, staff, students, as well as to third parties (the “Community”), regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Download a PDF version of this policy

Additional Documents:
Campus Security Authorities Policy
Mandated Reporters Under the Illinois Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act
Student Title IX Notification of Rights and Options

Communication

E-mail is the official method of communication regarding important deadlines, events, administrative business required for student enrollment, announcements, changes to existing courses or programs. Course related information will be sent via the learning management system, once the class has begun. Students enrolled with Columbia College Chicago Online must check both their e-mail accounts and communication within the learning management system to ensure that they have received important course and college information. In order to receive e-mail notifications from the learning management system, he or she must configure their notification preferences and designate a preferred e-mail address.

Students who are enrolled in a course or program with Columbia College Chicago Online must be opted in to receive all email communications due to most interaction between the college and student body being conducted in this manner.

Netiquette

Please observe the following rules and behaviors (i.e., netiquette) while communicating online:

  • Remain professional, respectful, and courteous when interacting with classmates and instructors at all times.
  • Discussion posts may contain language that can be misinterpreted so be sure to give others the benefit of the doubt, and keep it in mind when you write your own post or responses.
  • If you have a strong opinion on a topic, it is acceptable to express it as long as it is not phrased as an attack or accusation. Please be respectful and gracious with differing opinions.
  • When upset, wait before writing your response. Messages posted (or emailed) in anger are often regretted.
  • Be sure to proofread your work before posting. It will help make the post easier to read and be understood by your classmates.
  • Your instructor reserves the right to delete any post that is deemed inappropriate for the discussion forum, or any other type of communication within the LMS without prior notification to the student. This includes any post containing language that is profane or violates the harassment and sexual harassment policy.

Social Media Policy

Although Columbia College Chicago Online does not officially monitor our student’s online activity, violations of the Student Code of Conduct or official department policy that are brought to the department’s attention will be addressed as needed.

Student Services and Support

Disability Support Services

Disability Accommodations

First, please contact Columbia College Chicago Online directly for specific details. Also, if you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please complete the forms here and send to your student advisor before or during the first week of the course so that we may assist you.

Library Access

https://library.colum.edu

Students enrolled in Columbia College Chicago Online will have off- campus access to the main college library’s website. Instructions regarding log-information will be sent to students at the start of the course term, as well as in the course syllabus. If you have any questions, please reach out to your advisor at advising@online.colum.edu.

Request a Transcript

To obtain an official copy of your transcript, please complete the form here. In addition, please be sure to complete the “mail transcript to” section of the form so we know where you wish to have the transcript sent.

Please allow two weeks from receipt of a written request to process a transcript. Transcripts cannot be processed if you have an outstanding financial obligation to Columbia College Chicago Online.

Equal Opportunity

Columbia College Chicago Online complies with all local, state, and federal laws and regulations concerning civil rights. Admission and practices of the College are free of any discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, sex, religion, handicap, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and national or ethnic origin.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Annual Notice to Students (FERPA)

Columbia College Chicago Online complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA or the Act).

Students may inspect and review their education records by submitting a written request to their advisor at advising@online.colum.edu.

It is Columbia College Chicago Online’s policy that no personally identifiable information from education records will be released without prior written consent of the student, except for that information designated in this policy as directory information and such personally identifiable information that may be disclosed under the circumstances allowed under the Act and regulations passed pursuant to the Act. The institution discloses education records without a student’s prior consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Columbia in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position; a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of Columbia who performs an institutional service or function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records. The following personnel, without limitation, are granted access to education records without prior written consent of the student as a matter of routine and for legitimate educational purposes: the Registrar, the General Counsel’s Office, the student services directors, and Student Financial Services, Information Technology, College advisors, the President of the College, the Provost, the Vice President for Student Success, the deans, and the chairpersons of the academic departments, and any of their agents. Student educational records are made available to the above designated persons in furtherance of the legitimate educational purposes of record maintenance, evaluation and advising, financial aid evaluation, review for disciplinary and academic action, and billing.

As required by the Act and associated regulations, Columbia College Chicago Online maintains a record of written requests for personally identifiable information whether or not such requests are granted. Each student has the right to inspect and review the record of written requests for disclosures of personally identifiable information that is maintained in his or her permanent record.

Columbia College Chicago Online designates the following information as directory information: the student’s name; information on whether or not a student is registered in the college during the term in which the information is requested; and awards received.

A student has the right to request amendment of his or her education records to ensure that the education record information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights. The procedure to seek amendment of a student’s education records is as follows:

A written request must be submitted to the department stating the reason a student seeks to amend his or her education record and attaching any supporting documentation to the request.

Each student has the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Columbia to comply with the requirements of the Act and the regulations passed pursuant thereto. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington D.C. 20202.