Charitable Programs

As a Canadian charity, your success is our bottom line.

We are a registered charity with an 80 year history. 

As a registered charity and a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of education, Columbia College can approach higher education in completely unique ways. The rapidly changing world, including changes in higher education, offer an opportunity for the College to pilot new and alternative approaches to preparing students to pursue a higher education, and make a positive impact on the world as global citizens.  

In 2018 the Columbia College community made a decision to leverage and expand activities aligned with the College’s charitable status in operations going forward. Inspired by this vision, Columbia College has committed $1.7 million to launch the Institute for Equity and Advancement in Education. This hub for educational pathways will include:

The ICSS provides comprehensive and holistic wrap-around supports to enable students from diverse backgrounds to access, continue, or restart their academic journey. Programs at the ICSS include counselling, tutoring, academic advising, immigration advisors, career support, and annual events such as the Limitless Conference to support and profile leadership skills amongst international students.   

Beginning in 2020 Columbia College will augment these programs with the Essential Technology and Workplace Skills Program, the Community Connections Program and an expanded Limitless Conference. The key objectives for this Centre include:  

• Piloting and developing modular learning programs to help students to acquire workplace skills and gain volunteer and work experience.

• Deliver workshops and networking opportunities to further assist our students in developing their workplace skills, learning to advocate for themselves, gaining certifications.

• Identify and develop new partnerships to incorporate experiential learning and virtual internships into specific programs.

Equity in education requires an understanding of the unique challenges and barriers faced by individual students. For the Columbia College community, this means spreading access to transformative education across diverse populations through specific systems and supports to help overcome those barriers. Since 2016, Columbia College has demonstrated both commitment and leadership in growing and expanding equitable opportunities to access an education.

Responding to the wave of Syrian Refugees arriving in Canada in 2016, Columbia College introduced Bursaries under our Student Refugee Program to help remove financial barriers to students with Refugee Backgrounds. Students in this program currently come from various conflict regions like Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Burundi, Myanmar, Ethiopia, and have carved a new path to leading Universities in Canada. They have achieved monumental success in re-launching their educational journey.

Unfortunately, forced displacement is still one of the most powerful trends impacting youth around the globe. In 2019 there were over 79 million people worldwide who were forcibly displaced. Access to education remains as one of the main barriers refugee youth experience over their lifetime.

In this environment, building on our success, the College has committed to expanding supports available for youth and aspiring students who have been forcibly displaced. With your support we can equip more youth from around the world to restart their education and begin a pathway to becoming successful leaders in the workforce of tomorrow. 

The CentRe has four primary programs to support youth facing barriers to access a higher education:

• Global Scholars: Student Refugee Programs

• World University Services Canada: Student Refugee Program

• Scholarships and Bursaries: Equitable Access to Education

• Student Emergency Support and Technology Access Program

This is a dedicated space to examine and develop new approaches to education in a way that centres the student experience. Educational delivery models are changing – the Co-LAB will put current students into leadership roles, working directly with faculty to build knowledge that can inform the next innovations in education.  

The long term purpose of the Co-LAB: Build partnerships between faculty and students in a collaborative teaching and learning environment to foster overall student-centred learning at the College.   

2020-21 Objectives:  

• To create opportunities for student-instructor collaboration; provide a space where students and faculty have the resources and support needed to be able to contribute to knowledge production.   

• To offer a multidisciplinary research setting designed to give instructors the space to explore questions and design research projects, while partnering with students in the planning and execution of research projects.

• To empower students to step into leadership roles in projects such as content creation initiatives to design and innovation trials.

Contact us

If you would like to explore a potential partnership, please contact Mark Friesen at [email protected]

Our initiatives

Ride for Refuge - 2020

During the month of September, Columbia College participated in the Ride for Refuge challenge to raise funds and awareness for World University Services of Canada Student Refugee Program. 

To pay tribute to our next student’s journey, the team’s goal was to combine walking, biking, running, and/or hiking to reach 13,866 KM, the distance between Canada and Somalia, as well as raising $2000 with all proceeds going directly to the Student Refugee Program.

Thanks to all involved, the Columbia College team had over 47 students, staff and community members participating, raising a total of 15,600km and $2,570.