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Grosso named location director at Columbia College-Hancock Field

Posted by on Aug 16, 2016 in Hancock Field, Nationwide | 0 comments

Grosso named location director at Columbia College-Hancock Field

Renee GrossoColumbia College Region 2 Director Debra Hartman recently announced the hiring of Renee Grosso ’04 as location director at Columbia College-Hancock Field. Grosso is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the location, including class scheduling and student and faculty recruitment.

“We are very pleased to have Renee oversee our Hancock Field location,” Hartman said. “She brings great energy and leadership to the position, and we are fortunate to have her as part of our Columbia College team.”

Grosso has worked as a member of the Columbia College-Hancock Field staff for 24 years, starting as an office manager and Veterans Administration Certifying Official. In 2004 she was promoted to the position of associate director of the campus before recently taking over the director position. Grosso holds a bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Computer Information Systems and a master’s degree in Business Administration, all from Columbia College. In 2015, Grosso was awarded the Columbia College Professional Excellence Award for her outstanding commitment to the college’s mission.

Opdycke named location director at Columbia College-NAS Jacksonville

Posted by on Jun 10, 2016 in NAS Jacksonville, Nationwide | 1 comment

Opdycke named location director at Columbia College-NAS Jacksonville

David_Opdycke_2Columbia College Region 3 Director Alan Hilliard recently announced the hiring of David Opdycke as location director at Columbia College-NAS Jacksonville. Opdycke is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the location, including class scheduling and student and faculty recruitment.

Opdycke has worked as a member of the Columbia College staff since 2011, starting as the campus admissions manager at Columbia College-Jacksonville. He was then promoted to the position of assistant director at the Columbia College-NAS Jacksonville location in 2014. Prior to working at Columbia College, he was associate director of Admissions at Flagler College from 2001-2009. Opdycke served in the U.S. Marine Corps for seven years and holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Jacksonville University and a master’s degree in history from the University of North Florida.

Campbell named location director at Columbia College-Salt Lake

Posted by on Jun 1, 2016 in Nationwide, Salt Lake | 0 comments

Campbell named location director at Columbia College-Salt Lake

Kai_Campbell_2Columbia College Region 4 Director MarJean Knokey recently announced the hiring of Kai Campbell as location director at Columbia College-Salt Lake. Campbell is responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the location, including class scheduling and student and faculty recruitment. Campbell was previously the director at the college’s Naval Weapons Station Charleston location.

“We are pleased to have Kai oversee our Salt Lake location,” Knokey said. “She brings great energy and leadership to the position and we are fortunate to have her as part of our Columbia College team.”

Campbell’s experience in higher education is extremely diverse, but a main focus has been in student financial aid. She served as the director of student financial services at The Art Institute of Charlotte in North Carolina from 2004 to 2008 and then assumed a similar position at Alabama A&M from 2008 to 2010. Most recently, Campbell was the director of training, compliance and staff development for Strayer University where she was responsible for the professional development of more than 100 staff members. Campbell holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of South Carolina and master’s degrees in human resources development and business from Webster University.

Freeport campus inducts four into Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Freeport, Nationwide | 0 comments

Freeport campus inducts four into Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society
Sarah Goeke (left) and Scott Leiser

Sarah Goeke (left) and Scott Leiser

Four students from Columbia College of Missouri-Freeport were recently inducted into the Alpha Sigma Lambda honor society. The inductees were Angela Glessner (Mount Morris, Illinois), Katherine Kalina (Forreston, Illinois), Scott Leiser (Freeport, Illinois) and Stephanie Bushey (Freeport, Illinois).

The aim of Alpha Sigma Lambda is to recognize the special achievements of adults who accomplish academic excellence while balancing competing interests between work and home.

“These students have made sacrifices and dedicated themselves to higher education,” Sarah Goeke, director of Columbia College-Freeport, said. “We are proud to honor them and recognize their efforts toward academic excellence.”

 

Adult Higher Education graduates take part in Ivy Chain ceremony

Posted by on May 16, 2016 in CCIS Homepage Headlines, Lake County, Nationwide, Orlando | 0 comments

Adult Higher Education graduates take part in Ivy Chain ceremony
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From left, Columbia College Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. David Starrett, Nationwide Campus graduates Albert Romero and Alexander Greenberg, and Columbia College Vice President for the Division of Adult Higher Education Dr. Jeff Musgrove.

Alexander Greenberg and Albert Romero spent their morning draped in ivy. The two recent Columbia College graduates, both Nationwide students, were among the more than 100 students who took part in the Ivy Chain ceremony on Bass Commons on May 7, the morning of the college’s two May 2016 main campus commencement ceremonies.

Greenberg, from Columbia College-Orlando, blew a kiss to his wife as the procession made its way through Rogers Gate and around the commons. Romero, from Columbia College of Missouri-Lake County, was last in line when the ceremony began at Atkins-Holman Student Commons and first when the group recessed at the end.

Both were among the seven chosen — along with main campus students Ashley Brouder, Kaylee Brueggeman, Corri Hamilton, Katie Hodge and David Leon — to serve the integral function of ivy cutter, continuing a Columbia College tradition that dates back to 1900 by reminding all those in attendance that while the students participating may be entering a new phase in their lives, they will always maintain a special bond with the college and their classmates.

“It’s meaningful to me to be part of that history, part of that chain,” Greenberg said. “I saw some paintings here that depict the Ivy Chain ceremony and I said, ‘My goodness: I’m going to be part of that.’ I’m truly very moved by it.”

Greenberg and Romero were chosen from around 20 applicants to be the Adult Higher Education ivy cutter representatives, based on their academic profiles, involvement in their communities and an essay. Greenberg is a Deputy Sheriff for the Orange County Sheriff’s Office in Orlando, Florida, who has worked 18 years in law enforcement. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration. Romero is an active-duty Marine in his 16th year of service. He graduated with a Bachelor of General Studies and a minor in criminal justice administration.

Both Greenberg and Romero are the first in their families to graduate from college. Romero, his wife and eight children also made the trip down to Columbia when he earned his associate degree in 2014. He wants to set an example.

“I need to be a good role model for them to see that their dad’s finishing college,” Romero said. “I didn’t have the opportunities that they’re going to get, as far as going to college. I had to do it on my own as an adult. I guess just to be able to not give them an excuse, like, ‘Well, you didn’t finish college, Dad.’ Now it’s like, ‘Well, yeah I did.’”

By the time Romero is done with his education, he hopes to have his associate degree, a quartet of bachelor’s degrees and a Master of Social Work. He has long served as a volunteer mentoring disadvantaged adolescents in his community and hopes to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. He also hopes to teach at Columbia College someday.

“I just clicked with a lot of the teens. I started remembering my teenage years were kind of rough,” Romero said. “I was just kind of drawn to how effective I was with them, how I was able to control difficult situations by just talking to them. Never lecturing.”

Greenberg also hopes to return to Columbia College as an instructor. He plans on pursuing a master’s degree that will make him a more attractive candidate for promotions as he continues his career at the sheriff’s office.

He said he started at Columbia College because a bunch of his work friends were taking classes there. Soon, he was able to glean his own value from the experience.

“It required a very structured life, where study and reading and testing and paper-writing, everything had to be in a proper timeline or everything just falls apart,” Greenberg said. “It was difficult, but it is all the more sweet now that it’s done and I finished summa cum laude. It’s beyond my wildest imagination that I did this.

“It may sound corny, but college has changed the way that I look at my profession, police work. It has changed the way I look at the world.”

While neither encountered the traditional route through college, both Greenberg and Romero got to celebrate their accomplishments in the manner Columbia College graduates have for more than a century: their own personal strand of ivy.

“You came in search of an education,” Columbia College President Dr. Scott Dalrymple said at the ceremony. “What I hope you found is much more than that.”

Students learn financial responsibility through CC Money Stacks

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in CCIS Homepage Headlines, Day Campus, Nationwide | 0 comments

Students learn financial responsibility through CC Money Stacks

MoneyStacks_CCconnectedGraphic2By Emilie Lewis

Navigating the world of personal finance and college tuition costs can be challenging, but Money Stacks is here to help. For the month of April, Money Stacks, a financial awareness program run by the Columbia College Student Success office, sponsored the Financial Literacy Month to help students improve their financial knowledge and understand their spending habits.

Consisting of four weekly challenges, students were invited to create an account at www.financialavenue.org and participate in themed learning. Topics included credit and money protection as well as understanding the relationship between college and finances.

“Our goal is to help our student population learn more about their finances and make healthy financial decisions that will set them up … for life after college.” Student Success Advisor Rachel Smith said of the program.

This was the second year Money Stacks sponsored the event for every member of Columbia College. “Our hope is that we can spread this message to our entire CC student population, no matter what venue they are attending,” Smith said.

The idea of creating a budget was the focus of the month’s challenges and lessons, and the concept might have been new to a few students.

“The first step in becoming financially literate is to really understand your money, and this means creating a budget,” Smith said.

But the event was quick to remind students that a budget doesn’t necessarily have to be restrictive. The event’s motto was “Live large on a budget,” encouraging students to really map out their expenses and learn where to cut spending and where to save.

“Living on a budget actually gives you the freedom to spend your money on the things that mean the most to you,” Smith explained, rather than squandering money on minor expenses or losing track of monthly spending and being unable to travel or enjoy a night out.

Of course, when discussing finances and spending, a cash incentive is always great encouragement for participation. Each student who took part in the challenges was entered in a grand-prize drawing of $100 toward their student account. Participants were also entered in a weekly drawing of two $25 gas cards, which were especially nice for commuter students and those driving to class right after work.

Overall the program was a success, supporting the continuing education of students already used to keeping track of a budget while also introducing the idea of financial literacy to those students who lacked certain knowledge about their finances.

“Once students have a budget it is really about making choices that are best for them and continued research (on financial literacy)” Smith said.

Outside of the Financial Literacy Month events, students can learn more about managing their money, financial aid and creating a budget at the Enrollment Service Center or Student Success offices or even from their advisors. Events and helpful links are posted on the Money Stacks Facebook page.

San Diego CC 360 March Edition

Posted by on Mar 31, 2016 in Nationwide | 0 comments

San Diego CC 360 March Edition

Can students study pre-med at the San Diego campus? 

By Theresa Blain, academic advisor, Columbia College-San Diego

Theresa Blain

Theresa Blain, enrollment advisor, Columbia College-San Diego

Definitely! Our website states, “Though medical schools generally do not have specific requirements as to an undergraduate major, students interested in pursuing a pre-med curriculum typically major in biology or chemistry”.

Though we don’t offer a degree in biology or chemistry, we do offer a bachelor’s degree in general studies with a minor in biology both in-seat and online. The key is to take the right courses. Students should follow these five steps in order to meet the specifications for most medical school admissions.

  1. Research several medical schools’ requirements for admission so you know which CC classes to take.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), the standardized test needed for medical school admission. It’s never too early to start studying!
  3. Work closely with your academic advisor, because not all recommended courses can be done with Columbia College. Access to a community college offering science courses that can be transferred with exact equivalencies to our classes offered at the main campus is a great option.
  4. Shadow a physician. This will help you figure out what specialty of medicine to pursue. Family practice and emergency medicine are good choices to observe, because those physicians treat patients with a variety of ailments.
  5. Consider the cost and time of medical school. Make sure this is the right option for you. There are ways to pay for your education, including military scholarships. The staff at the San Diego campus can help you find scholarships.

Studying pre-med at the San Diego campus is possible with degree planning. Visit your academic advisor today to stay on the right track to becoming a physician!

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Last-minute tax tips for adult college students

taxes graphicIt’s tax season again and April 15 is just a couple of weeks away. You might be among the millions of Americans who haven’t filed yet. You might also be among the many adult students who have returned to school and discovered that filing taxes has changed a bit since the last time you were in college.

No worries. Keep calm and file on with these last-minute tips from Columbia College Student Success Services.

“First of all, take advantage of a couple of education tax credits,” says Rachel Smith, advisor with Student Success Services. “Education tax credits reduce the amount of tax you owe and are designed to make college easier to afford – not to be confused with a tax deduction, which reduces the amount of your income subject to tax.”

The first one is the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which helps pay for your first four years of college. This federal tax credit is set to expire in December 2017, though, so get cracking. Worth up to $2,500 per year, tuition and books count toward receiving the credit.

There is also the Lifetime Learning Tax Credit, which is worth up to $2,000 of undergraduate and graduate costs. This one is nice if you’re enrolled less than half time in undergrad classes or are taking classes for professional development. Tuition, enrollment fees and some books count toward receiving this credit.

Key tips: You can’t claim both credits for the same student in the same filing year. But if there is more than one student in your family, you can spread the tax credits around among family members. Also, there are income “phase-out” rules for these credits, meaning if hit the lotto this past year, you may not qualify for these credits.

So, how you do cash in on these credits? Well, you have to get moving on your tax return. The quickest way to do that is to e-file.

“According to the IRS, nearly 129 million Americans e-filed their taxes in 2015, which the agency website says is easy, secure, offers refund payment options and helps you get your refund faster,” says Smith. “You can purchase commercial tax software, have your accountant e-file for you or e-file for free through IRS Free File.”

That’s right, you can do it for free through the IRS website. Fear not – you can visit the IRS website and brag to your friends about how tax-savvy you are. In fact, you can even use the free IRS Interactive Tax Assistant, which will do a quick check to see which education credits you qualify for and provide you with a list of documents you’ll need to complete your return.

Already filed your taxes? Look at you, rock star! Know what you’ll love? Financial Literacy month in April! Check out the CC Money Stacks Facebook page for awesome financial tips all month long.

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Be an EBSCOhost eBook master in 3 minutes

ebook graphicIn this age of technology, you may think you need an e-reader and a fancy subscription to enjoy e-books. Columbia College Stafford Library to the rescue! With its EBSCOhost eBook Collection of more than 140,000 free titles, you can do your reading on any laptop or mobile device. This is really fantastic news if you’re working on a research paper or just want something leisurely to read between work, the gym, studying, laundry, sleeping and taking the kids to karate.

Getting started with the EBSCOhost eBook Collection is easy. Simply go the Stafford Library eBook Collection homepage, and sign in at the top (or create a free account).

From the homepage, you can search for books by keyword, browse by category such as Biographies & Memoirs, Fiction, Home & Garden, Political Science and Philosophy. You can also peruse “carousels” of featured and popular books like “Bowie on Bowie: Interviews and Encounters with David Bowie” by Jonathan Han and Sean Egan for your music appreciation class.

Once you select a book, you read a brief description, view the full table of contents, pull up the entire book in a PDF or even download it to read offline with easy-to-navigate pages! You can also add it to a folder to reference later.

Once you start reading, you can search the book for specific terms, highlight and look up words using the dictionary function, and create and save notes on specific pages as you read. Need a citation? It does that too. The citation generator gives you full citations for multiple styles, including MLA, APA, AMA and Chicago.

As if all of this weren’t enough, the EBSCOhost video tutorial will walk you through the eBook Collection and have you talking like a master librarian in less than three minutes. Want some one-on-one help? Call, text email or chat instantly with Stafford Library staff.

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Job Interviews 101: “What’s your weakness?”

job interviews career adviceThere comes a time in virtually every job interview when you will be asked the dreaded “What’s your weakness?” question.

Having thoroughly prepared for the interview, you chime in with an answer that shows you have no downsides, perhaps disguising a positive attribute as a weakness. Do answers like, “I’m too much of a perfectionist” or “I work too hard” sound familiar?

“These answers are the worst,” says Dan Gomez-Palacio, director of the Grossnickle Career Services Center at Columbia College. “They have been so overused that few employers are going to believe these answers, and they could show you as disingenuous and insincere.”

While employers are digging to see which skills or qualities you might lack, what they’re really up to is figuring out if you have a realistic and honest view of yourself – and if you can talk openly about it.

But there is such a thing as too much honesty. Common sense is your friend.

“A common mistake is to give a true weakness that will negatively impact the job you’re interviewing for,” says Gomez-Palacio. “You may not enjoy difficult people, but it’s not a weakness you would want to explain in an interview for a customer service position, for example.”

So what’s the best strategy to help you ace this question in your next interview? First, understand the expectations of the job thoroughly so you can identify which weaknesses could derail the interview. Then, choose an honest weakness you can use to answer the question and explain how it’s not going to slow your performance.

“Many people have a strong fear of public speaking, and that would make a perfectly good answer – but don’t stop there,” says Gomez-Palacio. “Follow up by saying what you are doing to mitigate this weakness. For example, ‘I often get very nervous speaking in front of groups. Knowing this weakness, I put myself in situations where I can safely practice public speaking. Giving myself that practice and gaining positive feedback is making me more confident in my communication skills.’”

This top-notch answer shows the employer that your weakness isn’t going to negatively impact your job, and that you have an impressive level of self-awareness and foresight needed to improve yourself. Go you!

For more master tips on interviewing, resumes, job hunting and more, contact the Grossnickle Career Services Center or visit their Facebook page.

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Six Sessions: What you need to know

JAN2016_Number-six(300x225)

Big changes are happening in academic year 2016-2017 and we’re excited to get students involved. We’re adding an additional session!  But this is not just another session, this sixth session marks the transition to our new semester structure. There will be three semesters: fall, spring and summer. Each semester includes an early and late eight-week session.

The primary purpose of this transition is to better serve our students. We understand the time it takes to receive a degree is a top priority. A sixth eight-week session puts the control in your hands by increasing your opportunity to complete your degree faster. By adding the sixth session, we are now able to offer registration for the entire semester, or both early and late sessions. This means students will be able to plan more effectively and register in less time.

Lastly, this transition allows us to increase our ability to meet the Columbia College mission, which is to “improve the lives of diverse undergraduate and graduate learners through exemplary teaching.” We will now be able to reach a broader student base by adding greater course flexibility and the ability to complete their degree faster.

These are big changes. We understand that you’ll have questions. Please be sure to check out the Six Sessions Student Portal for more information.

We’d like to hear from you! Help us build the FAQs by submitting your questions.

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Cougar Baseball signs Miller, son of Kansas City campus director

Posted by on Feb 19, 2016 in Kansas City, Nationwide | 0 comments

Cougar Baseball signs Miller, son of Kansas City campus director

rp_primary_IMG_6075Columbia College head baseball coach, Darren Munns, officially announced the signing of Luke Miller to play baseball for the Cougars beginning next year. He is the son of Cindy Miller, who serves as director of the Columbia College-Kansas City campus.

Miller, a 6’0″ catcher, will join the Cougars after finishing up his senior year at Blue Springs High School in Blue Springs, Mo. Luke is a three-year varsity letter winner and was selected to the Missouri High School Baseball Coaches Association Missouri State Junior Sunbelt team in 2015. He is also a member of the Blue Springs Rod’s Athletics American Legion baseball team, where he led the squad to the 2013 Missouri State American Legion Championship. In addition, the team finished second in the District Championship in 2014 and won Districts in 2015.

Click here to read more! 

San Diego campus shines at HLC visit

Posted by on Feb 17, 2016 in Nationwide, San Diego | 0 comments

San Diego campus shines at HLC visit

HLCIn January the San Diego campus was visited by a Higher Learning Commission peer reviewer as part of a multi-site visit. The multi-site visits occur every five years and are a part of the overall requirements for accreditation. San Diego was one of many campuses visited as part of the overall visit.

As part of the San Diego visit, the HLC peer reviewer met with faculty and students to learn more about the campus experience and quality of education. The reviewer provided positive feedback on his experience at the San Diego campus.

“He enjoyed speaking with education specialist officers, adjunct faculty and students,” says Diana Schriefer, director of the San Diego campus. “He was extremely impressed with the students. It was clear to him that students appreciate the support they receive from the staff, especially their academic advisors.”

San Diego Campus Director Diana Schriefer.

San Diego Campus Director Diana Schriefer.

One student shared his CC experience with the HLC peer reviewer, focusing on the personal attention he receives from his academic advisor. The student stated that his advisor emails him regularly to ask how he is progressing in his courses and informs him of upcoming courses to take during the next academic session.

“The student was happy to share that this personal attention keeps him on track to complete his degree and gives him confidence that his advisor knows all the ‘ins and outs’ of the degree program,” says Schriefer. “And other students agreed. This is a great example of the personalized advising students receive at the San Diego campus.”

Registration for the March Session began Feb. 15, so contact your academic advisor to start receiving this personal attention. Contact the San Diego campus today!

 

Setting students up for success

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Alumni, Day Campus, Evening Campus, Featured Story, Nationwide | 0 comments

Setting students up for success
Career Services Team_Small

Members of the Columbia College Career Services team include (from L-R) Dan Gomez Palacio, Reyhan Filiz, Brice James-Battelle and Angi Pauley.

By Emilie Lewis

When asked how she feels about landing an internship that led directly to her job in the Crime Scene Investigation unit at the Columbia Police Department, alumna Danielle Clifton declares, “I would like to personally thank Mr. Gomez-Palacio.”

That’s because Danielle, like countless other students and alumni, found her current position thanks to Gomez-Palacio and his team at the Grossnickle Career Services Center.

The center, which aims to help current students and alumni around the world with career and graduate assistance, has a team of career specialists ready to prep students for interviews, fine tune a resumé and even help military students adjust to the civilian workplace.

Many colleges offer some career services to current students to help them find a job after graduation, but Gomez-Palacio put it best when he stated simply, “Our services are available to all students and alumni, free of charge, for life.”

That’s right, there is absolutely no limit to the amount of time or help students and alumni can receive from the center. And it’s open to all Online, Nationwide, Evening and Day campus students. Though the physical center is located at the main campus in Columbia, Missouri, Gomez-Palacio states that he and his team are happy to work with students in-office, over the phone or via technology. The ultimate goal for the center is to speak in-depth with students and help them move toward their goals.

This personalized take on career services has led to countless success stories for CC alumni and current students. Lori Curtman ’15, who has a human services degree from the Lake of the Ozarks campus, credits the Career Services team with helping her find her current position at Head Start though an internship with Kid’s Harbor.

“I would recommend any student consider an internship for class credit because it allows the student to experience real work rather than just learning from a book,” Curtman said.

And the internship experience paid off for Douglas Chikono ’16 as well.

“I found [out] about the internship [at Great Circle] through the weekly email that Career Services sends to students,” Chikono said.

But Gomez-Palacio and his team don’t just help students find internships. They also make sure the internships are the right ones for each student.

“Not only does Career Services staff help you prepare for interviews and get the internship, they make sure to ask how you are doing at the internship,” Chikono added.

Christopher Harris ’18 seconded the sentiment.

“Career Services stayed in touch with me and made sure that everything was going the way that I had wanted it to.”

For Gomez-Palacio, aiding students with their career search was an accidental love.

“My plan after graduate school was to work in museums,” he said.

Moving from the east coast to mid-Missouri with his wife, Gomez-Palacio found Columbia College five years ago, and he says he’s enjoyed every moment of it since. And though he commits time to various committees and campus initiatives, Gomez-Palacio still finds time to work with CC students and alumni on a daily basis.

“Frequently students are unsure about what they can do with a specific degree or which academic area is the best match for their aspired career,” he said.

The result is students receive one-on-one sessions with Career Center staff complete with brainstorming, updated LinkedIn profiles, completed graduate school applications and learned interview techniques. The main campus also hosts a career fair with nearly 70 local and national employers eager to hire new graduates.

The success of the Career Center is obvious in the number of satisfied (and employed) students and alumni. But for the center’s director, it’s about more than just statistics.

“It’s very gratifying to work with our diverse student body of traditional, nontraditional and military students – to hear their stories and work with them to move toward their aspirations,” Gomez-Palacio said.

To set up an appointment with Dan Gomez-Palacio or a member of his team, contact the Grossnickle Career Services Center at 573-875-7425 or by email at careerservices@ccis.edu. They can also be found via their website and on Facebook and Twitter.