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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brouder’s vision for the future of Columbia College: a model institution

By Amanda Noel

Columbia College President Gerald Brouder had one overarching goal for Columbia College in his State of the College address Thursday, Sept. 17: becoming a model institution.

Brouder stressed, in spite of the nation’s economic crisis, Columbia College has been able to avoid hiring freezes and layoffs, has maintained retirement funds and has remained debt free. Brouder expressed his gratitude for the dedicated staff at Columbia College and commended their ability to transform the college from a “workplace [to] a community of people that care.” Brouder said, “Great customer service is essential for obtaining our mission” and should be the “number one goal” for the college right now.

One trait Columbia College has that attracts new students and distinguishes us from our competitors is its advancements in modern technology, Brouder said. “Technology permeates our organization,” he said indicating that the college would continue down the path to modernization. Brouder unveiled some of the recent technological and academic advancements at the college, including virtual labs and testing hybrid courses. Also, the addition of the new science building will provide “state of the art computer technology and scientific equipment,” said Brouder. With this supplement, Brouder hopes that “one well-taught student [may] change the world in scientific discovery.”

With Columbia College’s online and nationwide campuses, Brouder’s goal of becoming a model institution has broadened beyond the grounds of the Home Campus. According to Brouder, Columbia College has 34 campuses across the nation and reaches more than 12,000 students through online courses. It also is known for being one of the top military-friendly institutions. This investment in reaching out to students through unique processes and technology is part of the vision Brouder has for the future of Columbia College.

Brouder encourages students to be involved in activities outside of the classroom. During their time at Columbia College, Brouder wants students to develop strength in academics as well as a strong character and a “personal responsibility for learning.” Brouder concluded that the betterment of students is Columbia College’s “very reason for being.” He hopes that Columbia College will instill in students a “passion to learn that will stay with them throughout their lives.”

Photo by Megan Pettegrew-Donley

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