Columbia’s founder, Dr. Tom Snell, was so frustrated with his education that he dropped out of high school. He soon realized that if he wanted to achieve any meaningful purpose in life he had to return to school. His previous frustration with education fueled his passion to create a learner-centered environment based on leading-edge research from around the world. Dr. Snell’s relentless commitment to excellence has created a unique college of dedicated faculty and staff whose students are achieving amazing results. Since 1986, we’ve supported over 40,000 adult learners in achieving their career goals and shaping their best futures. Our students thrive in a stimulating, student-centered environment that is focused on providing quality education that employers value. We’re designed to be both flexible and responsive to the educational and training needs of business, government, and individual community members at a regional, national, and international level. Columbia responds to identified learning needs in the form of programs, courses, workshops, products, and professional services. We provide innovative, flexible, and alternative educational programs, products, and services to all sectors of society in a caring, positive, and success-oriented atmosphere. Our classes are delivered inperson, online, and in blended environments – forging a path to success that is tailored to each student’s unique needs. Columbia has the reputation of being a leader in its field: we are one of 19 Canadian institutions recognized for exemplary adult educational programs and innovative practices by the Secretary of State (Government of Canada).
We’re different, and we’re proud of it.
What Makes Columbia Unique
Approach to Education
We deliver programs in shorter periods of time. This is referred to as accelerated program delivery or compressed learning. Class sizes are comparatively much smaller than traditional classrooms giving learners more access to faculty, and as a result, enhancing the quality of their education. Faculty members actively and collaboratively engage learners by facilitating in small groups rather than lecturing to large audiences. This interactive and hands-on approach allows learners to gain and retain greater knowledge and skills that are transferable to the workplace. In addition to student evaluation of courses and their facilitators, the college constantly seeks input from graduates and their employers. Each program has a board of advisors that includes members from the industry to help guide the direction of the program. This process of continuous evaluation enables the college to keep our programs and courses current.
Discover how these features set Columbia College student outcomes apart from those attending other colleges and universities in North America. Read more to see if these five distinct educational features align with your personal learning and educational goals.
Columbia’s Practical Nurse Diploma Program students have consistently achieved some of the best results in Canada. Our reputation for graduating highly competent professionals is something we are very proud of. This program is the only one we have found in Canada that follows a Mastery Learning Model. Columbia’s Mastery Learning Model provides students with up to 500 additional hours of free Mastery Learning tutorials over the course of the 20 month program. The tutorials provide learners with support from faculty, who work with them on strengthening competencies and skills and working towards mastery. Our free tutorials have proven to be an excellent resource for the students.
Columbia's Practical Nurse Diploma Program students have consistently achieved some of the best results in Canada. Our reputation for graduating highly competent professionals is something we are very proud of. This program is the only one we have found in Canada that follows a Mastery Learning Model. Columbia's Mastery Learning Model provides students with up to 500 additional hours of free Mastery Learning tutorials over the course of the 20 month program. The tutorials provide learners with support from faculty, who work with them on strengthening competencies and skills and working towards mastery. Our free tutorials have proven to be an excellent resource for the students.
Practical Nurse Professional Games
Columbia College follows a Professional Games approach in the delivery of 4-hour Gamification sessions once a week. The sessions are delivered using a fun-based approach to support student learning, by using a series of nursing-related activities to build and consolodate the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their regular courses throughout the preceding week. The Professional Games sessions were added to the nursing program to help ensure that students moving into field-based practicums are able to recall information learned earlier in the program. This strategy and delivery is aimed to greatly increase their confidence, ability to perform in a nursing role, and successfully complete the program.
We are proud of the following list of organizations that represent the level and diversity of recognition the College has achieved. The list includes accreditation, licenses, memberships and professional associations. Either the College or its employees have a formal relationship with:
- Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
- Adult Higher Education Alliance
- Alberta Association of Career Colleges
- Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies
- Alberta Association for Supported Employment
- Alberta College of Paramedics
- Alberta Corrections
- Alberta Council of Disability Services
- Alberta Education
- Alberta Education – Teacher Certification
- Alberta Education, Private Institutions Branch
- Alberta Government Advanced Education
- Alberta Teachers of English as a Second Language
- American Management Association
- American Marketing Association
- Association of Canadian Community Colleges
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
- Athabasca University
- CAEL – Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
- Career Development Association of Alberta
- Calgary Area LINC Coordinators Committee
- Calgary Community of Adult Learning Association
- Calgary Region Community Board, Persons with Developmental Disabilities
- Canadian Association for Supported Employment
- Canadian Chamber of Commerce
- Canadian Criminal Justice Association
- Canadian Dental Assistant Association
- Canadian Federation of Independent Business
- Canadian Military Police
- Canadian Taxpayers Federation
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada
- City Police Forces in Alberta including the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta
- College of Alberta Dental Assistants
- College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA)
- Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada
- Electronic Recycling Association
- Human Resource Institute of Alberta
- Calgary Language Assessment and Referral Centre (CLARC)
- Immigrant Services Calgary
- Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
- National American University
- National Dental Assistants Examination Board
- Royal Roads University