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Important information for COVID-19

Columbia College to resume on-campus classes starting Aug. 31; Transition to virtual classes following Thanksgiving break

COLUMBIA, Missouri – May 29, 2020 —Columbia College plans to welcome students back on campus for the Fall Semester for in-seat classes, President Scott Dalrymple announced today. Social distancing, wearing of masks, deep cleaning and several other measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be implemented.

In-seat instruction will begin on August 31 with a virtual option for some classes, and will continue until Thanksgiving break, which starts on November 20. Classes will then transition to an all-virtual platform beginning November 30 through the remainder of the semester, including finals. The Fall Semester will conclude on December 17 and plans are still in place to host two commencement ceremonies on December 19 in Columbia, subject to guidance from health officials. During Thanksgiving break, all students will completely move out of the residence halls so there can be a thorough cleaning and disinfecting of campus before the Spring Semester begins.

"We are committed to offering our students the excellent in-seat, residential experience we always have," said Dalrymple. "We are hopeful that all will go smoothly, but as we’ve seen, things can change quickly. Our faculty members are ready to shift to fully virtual instruction should that be required for the health and safety of our campus community."

Details for in-seat classes at the college’s locations around the country will be determined on a location-by-location basis, but in-seat instruction is scheduled to begin on August 31 as well. Additional information will be posted at during the upcoming months.

The college’s Admissions team is currently offering virtual tours of the main campus and will begin hosting in-person tours starting June 1. Prospective students can register at

Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 165 years. As a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. The college, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has more than 30 locations and offers day, evening and online classes. Columbia College educates more than 19,000 students each year and has more than 91,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit

Below are some of the steps the college is taking to reduce exposure to the virus and to keep the college community safe.

Columbia College frequently asked questions

Is Columbia College closed?

Columbia College has transitioned all in-seat classes at all of the Columbia College locations across the country to virtual (online and IVC) course. Classes at the Columbia College residential campus in Columbia, Missouri, will not be in session during the week of March 16-20 and then those students will be on Spring Break during the following week. Students will transition to virtual classes beginning on Monday, March 30. Students enrolled in any in-seat classes at Columbia College Global (CCG) locations will begin virtual classes on Monday, March 16.

Additionally, Columbia College faculty and staff will begin working remotely for the foreseeable future. Faculty and Instructors will continue to teach your course virtually, and staff will be available through the Columbia College email accounts. While there will still be a small group of staff on our actual campus locations, our goal is to still provide excellent customer service despite our transition.

Other resources and contact information

Issue Department Phone Number Email Address
Financial Questions Enrollment Services Center 1 (800) 231-2391 ex. 7252
Technology Help/Accessing Online Courses Technology Services Help Desk (573) 875-HELP (4357) or (800) 231-2391, ext. 4357
Residential Life or Dining Residential Life (573) 875-7450
Academic Advising and Student Success Coaching Your Academic Advisor or Student Success Office Look up your advisors contact info in the Cougartrack Directory
Transcripts, Registration, etc. Office of the Registrar (573) 875-7526
Help with Academic Accommodations for students with disabilities Student Accessibility Resources (573) 875-7626
General Questions about Student Life Student Affairs (573) 875-7400
Questions about returning rental textbooks Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) 800-231-2391, ext. 7341
Questions specific to Columbia College Global sties You can contact your CCG location directly 800-231-2391, ext. 7661
Need help finding a job, resume writing, internships Grossnickle Career Services Center (573) 875-7425

If you do not see what you are looking for here, please visit our website at and log-in to Cougartrack and look in our Directory at the top right side of your screen.

Is Columbia College test-optional for admission?

Columbia College is committed to holistic review of applicants that allows us to provide access to affordable, quality education at all of our venues and thus, and thus, has established admission standards that allow for test-optional admission review.

For freshmen applicants to our traditional day campus, they are not required to submit test scores and will be reviewed on GPA, college prep curriculum completion and/or class rank.

Classes and coursework

Why is Columbia College going to virtual classes?

The health, safety, and success of our students is the most important reason for our decision. This is not a decision we took lightly and our goal is to limit the transmission of the virus for the sake of our campus community and the communities we reside in. The college has received no reports of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) from any of its faculty, staff and students around the country.

How long will classes be virtual?

Effective March 16, all classes at all Columbia College locations will be virtual for the remainder of the 16-week Spring and 8-week Spring 2 semesters. College officials will continue to evaluate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and make a decision about future academic semesters and terms at a later date.

I am nervous about taking an interactive virtual course. Where do I go for help?

Columbia College is providing training for students, faculty and staff to help students transition to interactive virtual courses (IVCs). Some courses will be through the D2L learning platform students are already familiar with, while other class sessions will communicate using Zoom. Your faculty member will be reaching out to you with instructions about how your class will look going forward.

Students can also reach out to our Technology Services Office to get additional support or instruction.

Phone: (573) 875-HELP (4357) or (800) 231-2391, ext. 4357

What is the difference between an online course and an interactive virtual course (IVC)?

An online course is asynchronous, meaning students do not have to login at a particular time to attend the course. A virtual course is synchronous and very closely reflects the traditional classroom experience. Faculty and students are logged into Zoom Video Conferencing and attend the course virtually from separate remote locations at the same time.

Will all courses use Zoom?

Depending on your course faculty will use different methods of instruction – online courses, interactive virtual classes, or hybrids. Faculty are making these decisions based on what they believe will create the most effective learning environment for you.

Where do I access Zoom?

Through a link in your course in D2L. Further documentation will be available on Zoom closer to when courses resume.

Will I be expected to attend all Zoom sessions? Will the Zoom sessions be the same time the in-seat course took place?

Yes, if your faculty member hosts Zoom sessions, you will be responsible for attending and they will occur at regular course time.

Will faculty still be holding office hours?

Yes, office hours will still happen and will be done virtually using Zoom. You can also contact faculty about scheduling a meeting via phone.

Will I be getting an updated syllabus?

Yes, faculty will provide with an amended syllabus as soon as possible reflecting any changes in course structure.

How will I take my exams and quizzes?

Faculty will communicate with you about how exams and quizzes will be given.

I am enrolled in an online course that requires a proctored exam and I planned to take that exam at a CCG location or the Testing Center. Will I still be able to take my exam there?

No, there will be no proctoring services available at any Columbia College location. You will need to use ProctorU or an approved private proctor. Please reach out to your instructor with any questions about this.

What if I cannot attend the Zoom sessions or complete online activities due to time zone differences, technological limitations, or other extenuating circumstances?

Please communicate with your faculty member if you have any issues and they will work with you on what the best options may be.

What if I miss a Zoom session? Will they be recorded to review later?

Yes, Zoom sessions will be automatically recorded for students to watch back later. They will be available immediately after a course session through the Zoom link in D2L.

Will attendance be taken?

Yes, faculty are still responsible for taking attendance and you are still responsible for attending any Zoom sessions.

I do not have access to internet. What do I do?

Students without internet access can still join the Zoom session via phone. Zoom has a Smartphone app or you can participate without video capability on a phone. Since all Zoom sessions are being recorded, you can also go back and review the course sessions later when you gain internet access. If you have any concerns with this, please contact your faculty member.

I’ve joined the Zoom session via phone and need to ask a question or unmute myself. How do I do that?

The following commands can be entered using your phone's dial pad while in a Zoom meeting:

*6 – Toggle between mute/unmute, *9 - Raise hand

Can I change my grades to Pass/Fail?

Yes, we are offering all graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Spring 2020 and Late Spring 2020 sessions the option to switch to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading in any of their current courses. Specific guidance and instructions regarding this process can be found on this page in a memo entitled Message from the Provost: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option - April 3, 2020

What does switching to Pass/Fail grading do?

Switching to P/F grading vs. the standard letter grades of A,B,C,D, and F(for undergraduates) and A,B,C,F(for graduates) may help students who have not done very well in a course and are concerned about the impact to their GPA. Switching to P/F allows you to still get credit for the course(if you Pass) without having it included in your GPA. Here is some things you should consider:

  • Some professional careers, like those in medicine and law, frown upon P/F grades because they do not reflect exactly how well a student did or didn’t do with regards to their standards. This is also the case with some graduate programs.
  • There may be some financial implications to opting into a P/F when using a form of tuition assistance, like some corporate TA, as the criteria for showing progress may not include non-punitive grades. Contact your assistance provider for clarification.
  • P/F grading, if you Fail, does not add credit to your hours completed, nor does it fulfill any degree requirements. This is important if you are determining whether to take a ‘D’ letter grade or a ‘U’. With the ‘D’, it will count towards hours completed, and may count towards any degree requirements that do not have a ‘C and better’

How will I connect with my Academic Advisor to get advised for the coming semesters?

You can reach out to your advisor using Appointment Scheduler (AVISO) in Cougartrack under CC Links. You can also email your Academic Advisor directly.

How do I return my rental textbook?

Please follow the step by step instructions below to get a pre-paid UPS return label to use to ship back your books.

How to retrieve your pre-paid UPS label:

  1. Go to
  2. Click TEXTBOOKS on the left side of the top toolbar
  3. Select TEXTBOOK RENTALS from the drop down menu
  4. Scroll down until you see RENTAL RETURN on the right hand side and click on RENTAL RETURN
  5. A new page will load and you will enter your Order ID (your order number) and your email that was used to place the order
  6. Click submit to access your free UPS return label
  7. Print the label
  8. Pack your book up in a box, seal it, and attach the label you printed to the outside
  9. Drop off at a UPS pick up location

You can print your return label as many times as you like, but you can only use it once. If you’re returning multiple books, please put them in one box and use one shipping label. The label will be accessible until the due date.

A few reminders about rented textbooks:

  • You can highlight and take notes in your book
  • Keep your books safe and dry

If you have any questions please feel free to send us an email at Thank you for shopping with us and have a great semester!

Will Columbia College still have summer classes?

Yes, Columbia College will still have summer courses, however at this time Summer Session I Columbia College Global (CCG) courses, starting April 27, will be Interactive Virtual Courses for the entire term. The college has not made a decision about Summer Session II Columbia College Global (CCG) courses. We will continue to communicate with the campus in regards to Summer II courses.

When will my final exam be scheduled?

Contact your professor for specific days and times for final exams.

Residential life and dining services

Will I have to move out of the residence hall?

Yes, Columbia College asked students to vacate the residence halls and Cougar Village apartments by Wednesday, March 18 at 12:00pm. 

Do I have to take all of my belongings?

Yes, students will be moving out of the residences halls for the remainder of the academic year.

If I cannot move home, can I stay on campus?

If you are an international student or a student who is unable to make the trip home by Wednesday, March 18 at noon, we will be providing students the opportunity to extend their stay with us until they are able to travel home. Reasons for extended stay may include any of the following reasons below:

  • If you are an international student concerned that you would not be allowed to return to Columbia College due to visa issues. Be sure to consult with the Office of International Student Services regarding any visa questions you may have.
  • If you are a student who will have difficulty returning to your home because it is in an area significantly impacted by COVID-19.
  • If you do not have a home, or if going home would be unsafe.
  • If you have an internship or in-person requirement for Graduation for spring 2020.

Columbia College Residential Life staff will work with students individually to help them find a way to get home in the safest and most expeditious way possible. Residential Life will be communicating with residential students directly regarding move-out procedures via Columbia College email.

Will the dining hall still be open?

Dulany Dining Hall and the Cougar Café will remain open for normal hours through Wednesday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m.. The Dining Hall will then switch to limited hours and offerings as the number of students on-campus decreases. The Dining Services staff will continually review numbers of students on campus to determine the best way to meet the needs of students still living on campus. Dining Hall hours will be posted in the Residence Halls and at Dulany Dining Hall.

How do I forward my mail?

Students can email the with forwarding information from their CougarMail account.

Housing and meal plans

Will I have to pay the remainder of housing and meal plan costs since I moved out early?

No, students who moved out of the residence halls as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) will have their housing and meal plan costs for the semester prorated to March 18, 2020 and will have a refund for housing and meal costs applied to their student account in the amount consistent with their residence hall and meal plan cost.

Will commuter students who had a meal plan also received a refund?

Yes, the same applies to commuter students who only have a meal plan. Your meal plan cost will be prorated to March 18, 2020 and a refund will be applied to your student account in that amount.

What about students who use scholarship or institutional aid to cover their housing cost?

The prorated refund will take into account scholarships or other institutional aid when calculating refunds for students. For example, if a student received a scholarship or institutional aid that covers all, or a portion of housing costs, that scholarship will also be reduced by the same percentage that the housing costs are being reduced.

What about students who have stayed on campus past March 18, 2020?

Students who left after March 18 because they were unable to get home by that date will simply have their room and board refunds prorated to the date in which they check out of the residence halls. Students staying past April 17 will not receive a prorated refund since it is the last full day classes before finals.

When will I see my account updated?

Our staff is working hard to get your account updated as quickly as possible. Your account will be updated by April 2. Final payments are now due Friday, April 3. Late fees have been waived for this final payment. Payment plans will be automatically updated to reflect any modified amount due.

How will I receive the prorated refund?

If the prorated refund produces a credit balance on your student account, the refund will be issued to the student.

Find more information about the refund process at Columbia College

Events and programs

Are there still programs and events happening on campus?

No, all Columbia College sponsored programs and events have been cancelled for the remainder of the semester.

Does this include Cougar Athletics?

Yes, unfortunately all athletic events have been cancelled for the remainder of the academic year with the exception of eSports, which can compete from anywhere.

What about Spring 2020 Commencement?

While the decision wasn't easy, in light of the recommendations from the CDC to restrict gatherings, it has become necessary to officially cancel all commencement ceremonies and associated activities through at least the end of May.

Graduating seniors will be invited to walk in the December 19, 2020, commencement ceremonies in Columbia, Missouri and CCG graduates may also choose to walk in their specific location commencements in 2021. More information will be provided as those dates near.

The following commencements will be affected:

  • April 25 – Columbia, Missouri
  • April 30 – Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • May 2 – Salt Lake City, Utah
  • May 7 – Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • May 9 – Denver, Colorado
  • May 29 – San Luis Obispo, California
  • May 30 – Whidbey Island, Washington
  • May 30 – Marysville, Washington

It is possible that additional CCG location commencements will need to be cancelled as well, and that will be re-evaluated in mid-April.

Residential Students paid $75 for graduation, will that money be refunded?

No, the graduation fee covers such things as the administrative work that goes into ensuring that you have met the requirements to graduate, cost of transcripts, diplomas, diploma covers, shipping of the official diplomas, etc. These functions will all still happen. There is no fee for commencement at Columbia College.

How do I get my cap & gown?

Students participating in the December 2020 Commencement Ceremony will receive their cap and gown during the Fall Semester prior to the ceremony. Student who are interested in having their regalia now can order their own cap and gown from the Herff-Jones website. We have negotiated with our vendor for them to provide you free shipping.

Will Ivy Chain Ceremony still take place at the Residential Campus in Columbia, MO?

Unfortunately, Ivy Chain for 2020 is cancelled. As one of the oldest traditions at Columbia College, we know how heartbreaking this is for our graduating seniors who have worked hard to get to this point and had looked forward to participating in this 120 year-old ceremony. We hope to find a special way to honor the seniors who would have participated in this event over the course of the next year, however, we haven’t finalized our plans yet. Any graduating senior who was planning on participating in the Ivy Chain ceremony is still invited to join us for Ivy Chain 2021. We will be in touch with students who had registered to participate in Ivy Chain as we continue to finalize plans.

Financial matters for students

Will my tuition be refunded or discounted for Spring Semester?

Our goal is to continue instruction throughout the course of the semester. As long as instruction continues, tuition will not be discounted or refunded.

I am a student worker; will I still get paid?

Work Study positions

In compliance with Federal Guidance, since Columbia College has closed campus has closed to students, and students are unable to work their federal work study positions, Columbia College will continue to pay the student employee under federal work study if the following criteria are met… 

  1. The student is still work study eligible.
  2. The student has started in the position, or has completed starting paperwork and has accepted a position under the work study program previous to the campus closure announcement.
  3. The reason the student is unable to work is due to campus closure or all classes moving to an online educational format, not because the student chooses to leave campus.
  4. The student must remain enrolled in classes to receive the work study funds.

The following criteria has been created in regards to the way the student is paid….

  1. The student will not need to log hours for the time period in which the campus is effectively closed.
  2. The hours will be paid out in a bi-weekly paycheck.
  3. The student will not earn over their allotted amount awarded at the beginning of the semester in the financial aid package.
  4. Hours will be determined by the amount of approved hours in the financial aid review. 
  5. If a student reduces the number of courses taken, or otherwise has a reduction in their financial aid award amount, the new award amount will be used to determine total allotment.

This policy is in place to assist our work study students to have continued income, as awarded by federal financial aid. The decision to continue payments of the work study funds is to ensure students receive expected income to meet their needs during campus closure, or a move to an online platform.

Work Program positions

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused an abrupt end to our semester at Columbia College and caused disruption across the world. There has been an additional disruption to International Work Program students who have experienced the additional stress of not being able to obtain local employment or take advantage of Federal Financial Aid in the United States. Columbia College Work Program jobs ended on-campus when the college closed the residential campus in Columbia, Missouri on March 13 and moved to virtual and online classes.  

To help ease the burden caused to our International Work Program students by the disruption of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), Columbia College will pay International Work Program Students who have been unable to return to their home country or who have been unable to find alternative housing options with family and friends in the U.S. Columbia College will continue paying International Work Program students who meet this criteria their regular hourly pay rate and will pay students for the weekly average number of hours they worked during the semester between the start of the Spring Semester and March 13, 2020. International Work Program students will not continue working this semester in order to earn this money since many are unable to continue their work.  

International students who have gone home or to be with family and friends in other locations in the United States outside of Columbia, Missouri will not be eligible to receive this benefit. Also, Domestic Work Program students will not be eligible for this benefit since they are still able to find other employment, are eligible to receive federal financial aid and have the ability to travel home to be with family.  

If I have questions about my finances, whom should I contact?

Students should still reach out to the Enrollment Service Center to have your questions answered by phone, chat function or email. Since the college is closed, students will not be able to visit the walk-in in Missouri Hall for the remainder of the semester.

Enrollment Services Center
Phone: 1 (800) 231-2391 ex. 7252

How do I job search during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 virus has caused drastic changes within organizations worldwide. This means that the job search and interview process will differ while everyone navigates through a rapidly changing time. The important thing to consider is the skills that you will learn and gain through a different job-searching procedure will help you prepare for a new and changed work environment. While this is a different time for all involved, there are some tips and guidelines that can help you make the most of your job searching process.

  • Don’t assume that employers are not hiring. While many have cut back, others are still hiring or collecting resumes for later. Below are a link of resources that can help find hiring organizations.
  • It is highly likely that most interviews will be over the phone or in web format.
  • Sharpen your technical skills – the pandemic may cause employers to value technical skills more than ever before. Check resources like the Khan Academy or EdX to find free lessons.
  • Harness the power of virtual meetings by using Skype, Zoom or other virtual platform.
  • Look into virtual fairs and virtual recruiting events. You can find many of these events on Handshake.
  • Be aware of the job market since not every occupation and industry will be affected in the same way due to the pandemic. Some organization may be temporarily closed, while others may be hiring more due to the pandemic.
  • Be patient during the process as this is a constantly changing environment for all.

Who is still hiring?

Despite the cutbacks in a lot of areas there are still organizations hiring, often immediately. A few resources that can help:

  • Handshake is an excellent tool to find local opportunities and virtual career fairs. All students have free access to Handshake – get started
  • LinkedIn has a running list of companies that are hiring
  • On there is a long list of what companies have frozen hiring and which ones are still hiring
  • Check out your local chamber of commerce. For instance in Columbia, the local Chamber keeps an updated list of companies that are still hiring
  • A number of companies already hired work from home staff. Here are some resources to find them:
    • These 20 companies around the world on a hiring spree for work-from-home
    • 100% remote! 13 cool companies to apply to today
    • Work from home 2020: the top 100 companies for remote jobs

How do I make the most of my virtual interview?

The changes COVID-19 has brought to the global economy marks a new era for interviewers and interviewees. For some, this may be the first time switching from in-person interviews to virtual screening processes. Here are some tips to best convey yourself through a virtual interview:

  • Test your technology – ensure your internet connection and video conferencing program are working well before the interview.
  • Dress appropriately – dress the same way you would if you had the interview in person. This will help you get into the moment and put you in the right mindset. It is also a good idea to make sure your surroundings are neat and nothing distracting is in the background.
  • Be prepared – research the position and the company prior to your interview so you are able to present yourself more credibly. Rehearsing your responses to key interview questions and preparing your own questions for the interviewer is very important.
  • Be personable – make eye contact and be engaged with the interviewer the same way you would in person.
  • Do not be distracted – remove all distractions during your interview. It may be a good idea to mute your phone and put it away during your interview.
  • Follow-up – after your interview make sure to send an email to your interviewer and thank them for their time. Show appreciation for making adjustments for the interview under rapidly changing circumstances.

How is Columbia College handling the Higher Education Emergency Resource Fund (HEERF) known as the Cares Act?

Columbia College is awaiting HEERF funds from the federal government and developing a plan for disbursement. You will be notified via cougarmail if you qualify for a grant.

Read more about the Cares Act Fund at Columbia College

Information about COVID-19 and other current events for International Students

Caring for your health and wellbeing

Columbia College Wellness, Health and Counseling Services continues to closely monitor the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and work with college, local and state officials to support the health and safety of our college community with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. CDC expects that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus.

Protecting each other - follow these easy face mask instructions.

If you think you’ve been exposed to COVID 19

If you think you have been exposed and develop a fever and symptoms such as cough or difficulty breathing, please call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Be sure to get care if you have trouble breathing, or have any other emergency warning signs, or if you think it is an emergency. Try to avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.

Promote the safest possible conditions on our locations and in our communities

We strongly encourage preventive practices to prevent illness. Refer to the following CDC page for tips on prevention of getting sick. We encourage you to be aware of, and obey all public health orders (e.g. stay at home) issued in your community.

Important suggestions for social distancing

  • Increase the physical space between you and others to about 6 feet.
  • Continue avoidance of gatherings where close contact with others may occur.
  • Consider regularly checking your health status by taking your temperature to detect possible fever or being alert to respiratory illness.
  • Adhere to stay at home and/or shelter in place public health orders

If you are diagnosed with COVID-19

Members of the Columbia College community are encouraged to notify college officials of diagnosed cases of COVID-19. Students may contact the Director of Campus Safety. Employees should contact their immediate supervisor and the Director of Campus Safety.


Anxiety and COVID-19

We know that the unprecedented changes to our academic process and the other numerous impacts of the COVID-19 can increase stress and anxiety. The following are resources with information on how to take care of yourself and remain calm.

  • One Day at A Time. The old adage remains true. Focus on what you have to deal with today rather than every "what if..." that comes to mind. You can handle today.
  • Limit how much time you spend online and watching news updates. While it is important to remain informed, too much time and attention focused on the coronavirus can increase stress.
  • Make your self-care a priority. Take time each day for quiet and for exercise, eat a healthy diet, limit caffeine and alcohol, and get consistent rest. Keep a structured time for going to bed and waking in the morning. Stay active socially, even if virtually.

The CDC's recommendations for stress and coping during COVID-19
Taking Care of Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty

If you are having difficulty, experiencing increased anxiety or depressed mood, or simply would like support, contact a local mental health provider.

Options for finding a mental health provider and/or crisis lines

  • Check with your insurance company for the provider search tool
  • Psychology Today offers an online Therapist Finder tool
  • Call your local community mental health center to ask about local resources
  • The following are crisis lines available 24 hours/day:
    • The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
    • Text hello to 741-741

For a comprehensive list of updates from the CDC you can visit the Coronavirus What’s New page on the CDC website.

Important messages

Message from the President: Columbia College's COVID-19 Update - April 3, 2020

Dear Students,

The COVID-19 crisis is testing us all. Every day seems to bring challenges that would have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago. These are days you’ll tell your grandchildren about someday.

As trying as they are, though, these times have also brought out the best in the Columbia College community. I’m proud of the way we have responded to these extraordinary times.

I’m proud of our faculty for their compassion and flexibility in difficult circumstances. The speed with which they adjusted to this crisis was impressive. Their concern has always been you: how to ensure that you learn, that you earn the credit you expected, and most importantly that you graduate on time. They’ve made it all look easy, but that’s due to their hard work behind the scenes.

I’m proud of our staff for their creativity and courage. While the vast majority are working from home now, a handful of dedicated colleagues continue to ensure that the campus is clean, that the few remaining students are happy and well-fed, and that everyone is safe. They all deserve our thanks and respect.

Finally, I’m proud of you for your collective resilience and positive attitude. You didn’t sign up for any of this. No one expected all classes to go virtual all of a sudden. No one expected the spring athletic season to be canceled. No one expected to spend the rest of the semester at home. No one expected that the April commencement ceremony—a dream that seniors and parents have been anticipating for years—would be postponed. Yet you have shown grace and understanding in these extraordinary times.

Today I want to provide an update on some key issues:

  • We’re still unaware of any COVID-19 cases among CC students, faculty, or staff who could have exposed others in the CC community. Closing our facilities early no doubt helped.
  • Around two-dozen students remain on our Columbia campus, primarily international students with nowhere else to go (often the borders of their home countries are closed). They have all been moved to New Hall.
  • The College has provided a pro-rated refund of room & board charges for any of you asked to leave campus last month. This amount has been applied to your account automatically.
  • You will be offered the option of taking your Spring courses Pass/Fail. Normally we limit this for various good reasons, but it seems only fair now given the many disruptions to your education. Details are coming later today. (Due to accreditation constraints, Nursing and pre-Nursing students can’t choose this option. Sorry.)
  • Summer Session I Columbia College Global (CCG) courses, starting April 27, will be online for the entire term. We’ll decide later about Session II.

Right now we’re in the eye of the storm, and it’s hard to see out. Many people are worried about their futures, both physically and financially. One of the most powerful concepts I learned in college was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: people need to feel safe before they can worry about higher order ambitions. Right now you may be struggling to feel safe, with the whole world seemingly upside down. It may be hard to concentrate on anything but the crisis. That’s okay. Just take it one day at a time, and soon you’ll find yourself climbing the pyramid.

Know that we will get through this. You’ll get through this, the College will get through this, and the country will get through this.

We’re here for you.

Dr. Scott Dalrymple


Message from the Provost: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grading Option - April 3, 2020

Dear Students,

We know the conditions caused by Covid-19 have led to extraordinary disruptions in your lives. We recognize that many of you may need additional flexibility as you complete your coursework. Therefore, we are offering all graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in the Spring 2020 and Late Spring 2020 sessions the option to switch to the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading in any of their current courses. Details are as follows:

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) Information:

  • S/U grades do not count towards semester and cumulative GPA calculations
  • A, B or C grades are equivalent to “S”.
  • D and F are equivalent to “U”.
  • While D grades count towards some degree requirements, U grades do not. This is important if you are determining whether to take a ‘D’ letter grade or a ‘U’. The ‘D’, it will count towards hours completed, and may count towards any degree requirements that do not have a ‘C and better’ requirement. Choose carefully!
  • Nursing courses are not eligible to taken pass/fail because it could cause issues with the State Board of Nursing and accreditation. Please contact your advisor to discuss further.
  • This temporary policy removes the restriction of taking one P/F class per semester. P/F can also temporarily be applied to courses in the major.

How to request a change to the S/U option:

  • Ensure that there are no unintended implications of moving from letter grades to S/U. It is your responsibility to discuss with your advisor and other applicable units the implications of switching to the pass/fail option. The checklist below my signature lists all the units you should contact to discuss the option of switching to S/U. Please begin contacting these units well before the deadline.
  • After discussing with your advisor and other relevant units you must inform your instructor by 11:59 pm CST on April 24, 2020 that you would like to switch to the S/U option.
  • Your instructor will enter the appropriate S/U grade when grades are due.
  • The grace and determination you have shown through this difficult time is admirable. The entire Columbia College community stands ready to support you.

    We are CC!


Message from the President: Update on Commencements - March 24, 2020

College Community,

In light of the recommendations from the CDC to restrict gatherings, it’s become necessary to officially cancel all Commencements through at least the end of May.

While the decision to cancel was obvious, it wasn't easy. Our students have worked their entire lives towards this milestone. They were excited. Their friends and families were excited. This is a rite of passage that we feel entitled to. Our faculty is also sorry to miss it. They worked side by side with the students to achieve this milestone. This isn't easy on any one.

The following commencements will be affected:

  • April 25 – Columbia, Missouri
  • April 30 – Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
  • May 2 – Salt Lake City, Utah
  • May 7 – Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • May 9 – Denver, Colorado
  • May 29 – San Luis Obispo, California
  • May 30 – Whidbey Island, Washington
  • May 30 – Marysville, Washington

Graduating seniors will be invited to walk in the December 19, 2020, commencement in Columbia, Missouri and CCG graduates may also choose to walk in their specific location commencements in 2021. More information will be provided as those dates near.

It is possible that additional CCG location commencements will need to be cancelled as well, and that will be re-evaluated in mid-April.

Be safe, stay well and thank you for your flexibility and understanding in these unprecedented times.

Dr. Scott Dalrymple

President, Columbia College

Message from the President: CC's COVID-19 Action Plan - March 13, 2020

Dear Students,

The COVID-19 pandemic has become a growing concern for the entire world, and CC is certainly no exception. We are taking a number of actions to help keep the College community safe. Here I will outline some major decisions we’ve made. Many were difficult decisions, and some will hurt; but we must prioritize the health of our students and employees above everything.

Day campus classes & residence halls

For the day campus in Columbia only, classes are canceled for next week, March 16-20, to allow time to shift courses to virtual formats. (Note one exception: Nursing Students in Columbia and Osage Beach plan to use next week to complete laboratory and clinical requirements that simply can’t be done virtually.) Once day classes resume on March 30, all work will be completed virtually for the rest of the spring semester.

Students living in residence halls are being asked to move out by noon on Wednesday, March 18. (Residential Life will consider exceptions for truly extraordinary circumstances.)

CCG and in-seat classes

All Columbia College Global classes at all locations (including the Columbia Evening program) will shift to virtual classes starting this Monday, March 16. They will remain virtual until the end of the current 8-week school term.

Online classes

Online classes will be unaffected.


Earlier today, the Council of Presidents of the American Midwest Conference (AMC) voted unanimously to cancel the spring season for all sports. The NAIA is considering the effect of this on athletes’ future eligibility. (Our eSports team can still compete, since they can play from anywhere and aren’t governed by the AMC.) I know how disappointing this cancellation will be for our student athletes and fans.


Beginning this Monday, March 16, all events at all CC locations, including Columbia, are hereby cancelled through the end of the spring semester. This includes both CC events and events sponsored by outside organizations. It includes Honors Convocation. Again, I understand how disappointing this news may be.

Ivy Chain & Commencement ceremonies

The Ivy Chain and Commencement ceremonies in Columbia are scheduled for April 25, approximately six weeks from now. While we aren’t yet deciding to postpone them, there is a strong possibility we may ultimately have to do so. There are CCG commencement ceremonies scheduled for early May, and the same logic applies. I’ve advised students that family members should avoid making non-refundable travel plans. I know how much commencement means to all of us, and we won’t make these decisions lightly.

College travel

Until further notice, all non-essential employee or student travel is prohibited. This includes conferences and professional development, even if fees have already been paid. Seek a refund or credit when possible; many organizations are relaxing their refund policies. Requests for exceptions (for essential travel) can be directed to my office.

Effect on employees

Given the changes above, some College activities will obviously be reduced for the rest of the semester, while others will continue relatively unchanged. Our jobs are all different. Some can be performed remotely; others can’t. You should report to work as usual on Monday. Over the course of next week, your supervisor will assign you to one (or more) of the following categories; we don’t yet know how long this temporary situation will last.

  1. Report to work as usual. Many jobs, or parts of jobs, simply must be performed in person. If this is the case for you, then you will continue to report to work as usual unless told otherwise by your supervisor. Of course if you are sick, or have reason to self-isolate or quarantine, you should not report to work and should use sick time.
  2. Work from home. Some jobs, or parts of jobs, can be performed remotely. If this is the case for you, and you have an appropriate home environment to work remotely (available equipment, a quiet place to make phone calls, etc.), your manager may approve a temporary work-from-home arrangement.
  3. No need to report. For some positions, there simply may not be enough work for you to perform, at least at times. In such cases, your supervisor may ask you not to report for work. More details will be coming from Human Resources next week.

There’s no good news here. I understand that some of these actions will create inconvenience, while others will cause disappointment and even hardship. But this is a once-in-a-hundred-year event, calling for bold measures; not since the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918 has the world faced something like this. My great grandmother died in that epidemic, leaving my four-year-old grandmother an orphan. If I could go back in time and spare my family years of pain by announcing decisions like these, I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Please visit the College’s COVID-19 page for more information and updates. A message to students will follow in a few minutes, and a press release will go out this afternoon.

Be well, and thank you for your grace and understanding during these extraordinary times.


Message from the President: CC Coronavirus Response - March 11, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

It seems like every 15 minutes we hear some news about the coronavirus COVID-19. If you’re paying attention to that news, you know that many national, state and local governments, as well as private companies and institutions, are taking significant actions in response. The World Health Organization has now officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Italy is effectively shut down. People returning to Israel from anywhere in the world are now subject to a 14-day quarantine. Many cruise ship passengers are stuck in limbo. Large gatherings, including pro sports events, are now banned in some US cities. In Missouri, Bayer has temporarily closed its operations near St. Louis, and, like many institutions nationwide, St. Louis University, Maryville University, and Washington University have shifted classes online for the rest of the semester, as we have in Washington State. It’s natural to ask whether we’re planning to do the same nationwide, and/or in Columbia.

I had a very productive meeting with our Crisis Response Team yesterday afternoon. We discussed this question at length. Know that many of us are working almost exclusively on this issue. I won’t be coy-- there is indeed a possibility that all CC locations will finish out the semester online, and that employees will be asked to work remotely when possible. However, there are many issues to resolve, including how to handle laboratory classes, time for hourly employees, remote work arrangements, and so forth. We’re working vigorously to create a solid plan.

I promised to keep you up to date—so even though I can’t provide a definitive answer right now, I want you to know that the administration is actively addressing the issue. This is a rapidly changing situation and I’ll be in touch as I know more.

Dr. Scott Dalrymple

Message from the President: COVID-19 Update - March 4, 2020

We’ve all seen the increasing media coverage regarding the coronavirus now labeled COVID-19. Thus far, we have had no reported cases of COVID-19 by any member of the Columbia College community. Although the immediate threat to the American people appears to be low, there is growing concern about the global outbreak. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) expect the virus to spread within the United States. Given CC’s nationwide presence, it seems highly likely that members of the College community will be affected somehow.

I want you to know that the College is taking this threat very seriously. We have a standing group that meets regularly to discuss potential threats to the College community, whether they be active shooters, natural disasters, or pandemics. This Crisis Response Team has been discussing the possible impact of COVID-19 for weeks. Members are now working with me and other senior leaders to consider various scenarios that may face us in the coming weeks. Here are the members:

Columbia College Crisis Response Team

  • James Arnold, Athletic Director
  • Rob Boone, Associate VP for CC Global - Military Division
  • Sam Fleury, Senior Director, Public Relations & Strategic Communications
  • Dave Heffer, Director for Campus Safety
  • Cliff Jarvis, Executive Director, Plant/Facilities Administration
  • Michelle McCaulley, Executive Director of Human Resources
  • Dr. Nathan Miller, Associate VP for CC Global - Civilian & Online Division
  • Jeanne Naeger, Nurse Practitioner
  • Marie Newell, Director of Social Media
  • Andrew Reeves, Regional Director, Civilian & Online Region 4
  • Dave Roberts, Dean for Student Affairs
  • Gary Stanowski, Chief Information Officer
  • Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, Dean, School of Natural Science and Mathematics
  • Miranda Wilkerson, Assistant Provost, International Programs
  • Jason Youngquist, Senior Information Technology Security Engineer
  • Terri Zeilenga, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs/Director for Wellness, Health, & Counseling Services

Jeanne Naeger, the College’s Nurse Practitioner, is working closely with the Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services to stay current on the local response to the coronavirus, and to share information with the Columbia College community. Here’s what we know now:


Symptoms of Coronavirus may appear 2-14 days after exposure. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms and you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVD-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread and ongoing community spread of COVID-19. Call ahead before going to see a doctor or emergency room.

I’ve heard some people dismiss this virus, saying something along the lines of, “What’s the big deal? We have a new strain of flu every year.” That’s a dangerous attitude for a couple of major reasons. For one thing, the annual flu kills thousands of people each year in the U.S. alone—a big deal. (Sometimes a super-deadly strain appears. The Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 killed 500,000 people in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide, including my great-grandmother.)

But beyond that, COVID-19 appears to be much more deadly than the average flu. Just this morning, I attended a meeting in Jefferson City and saw some new statistics shared by the Missouri State Health Department. The mortality rate of the seasonal flu is typically around 0.1%. Among young children, COVID-19 is now estimated to have a 0.2% mortality rate, or twice that; in other words, 2 out of every 1,000 children who contract the disease will, sadly, die. That’s disturbing enough, but as patient age rises, so does the mortality rate. For people in their 50s, the rate is estimated at 1.4%, or 14 out of 1,000. For those over 80, the current estimate is nearly 15%, or 150 out of 1,000.

Clearly, it doesn’t help anyone to panic. But do not dismiss this virus as "just another flu."


Basic measures remain the best defense against coronavirus, flu, and other communicable diseases:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with well individuals when you are sick.
  • Cover coughs/sneezes in your elbow/sleeve or with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balance meals to support a healthy immune system.
  • If you haven’t done so, it’s not too late to get a flu vaccine.


With spring break around the corner, students, faculty and staff making travel plans should take precautions to keep safe and avoid becoming ill. Traveling abroad carries a number of potential risks. Even a country not currently experiencing an outbreak could suddenly be declared a high-risk area, resulting in heightened exposure to the virus, difficulty with departure, immigration barriers in returning to the U.S., and even possible restrictions on returning to campus. Columbia College strongly recommends not traveling to locations with CDC or State Department Level 3 alerts or higher.

Columbia College does not facilitate travel to any country or location designated as Level 3 or 4 Travel Advisory by the U.S. Department of State and requires all participants traveling on CC sanctioned trips to enroll in STEP prior to departure. In accordance with the International Travel Policy and STEP Program Requirement, we are suspending College-affiliated education abroad programs in South Korea (at our partner schools) and Italy (MOSAIC’s Florence program) for summer 2020. Faculty-led trips to Ireland and Jamaica are proceeding as planned, though the College may withdraw approval for international travel at any time when a significant health or safety concern arises.

Future updates

The College will continue to monitor coronavirus developments, and we will communicate with you as we know more.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Hopefully we’ll all look back and say that we over-prepared. But we will prepare.


Columbia College to temporarily transition in-seat classes to virtual classes for locations in the state of Washington

CDC frequently asked questions

View the CDC's frequently asked questions Share facts from the CDC Printable fact sheet PDF

How it spreads

The information about the virus continues to develop. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization believe the virus is spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. When an infected person exhales, coughs or sneezes, the droplets are released and may be inhaled or land on the mouths or noses of nearby people. This is why it’s important to stay six feet away from an infected person. When droplets land on objects, others who touch those surfaces, then touch their eyes, nose or mouth may be infected (this is not believed to be the main form of spread.) The risk of catching the virus from someone who does not have symptoms is low.

How to protect yourself

  • Wash your hands often. Rub vigorously for 20 seconds on front, back, and under nails with soapy water. If you do not have soap and water, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 % alcohol. Rub until your hands are dry. Do not touch your face unless you have just washed your hands.
  • If someone you know is sick, avoid close contact. When able, stay six feet away from someone who is ill, coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently used objects or surfaces.

What to do if you are sick

  • If you become ill, stay home. Do not attend class. Contact your faculty and/or location director to let them know you are ill. It is important for your contacts at the College to know you are ill. This helps us monitor illness in our communities. If you are concerned about attendance, talk with your faculty member(s).
  • Isolate yourself from others by staying in one room away from others; use a different bathroom that others will not use, if possible.
  • Contact a medical provider by calling first. Do not go to a medical office without having called ahead of time.
  • Stay where you are. Do not go to the store, bank, gas station, etc. until you have spoken with a medical provider; then, follow the medical provider’s directions.
  • If you are coughing, use a tissue to cover your cough and throw it away immediately; if a tissue is not available, cough into your elbow.


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