Officials from Columbia College and the City of Columbia recently agreed to a partnership that will offer the City’s 1,500 employees a discounted tuition rate and help them pursue additional educational opportunities. The offer is available to employees who take classes online or via the Evening program at the college’s campus in Columbia.

“We are proud to be a strong partner with the City of Columbia,” said Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple. “We look forward to welcoming the City’s employees to our college community and helping them work toward their educational goals and furthering their careers.”

Columbia College offers classes during six sessions lasting eight weeks each, allowing students to complete their degree quickly. Students can earn an associate degree in 20 months, a bachelor’s degree in 3.5 years, and a master’s degree in just 12 months. The college is transfer-friendly, which may allow a student to graduate even earlier if they have previously attended an accredited college or university.

Students will also have the opportunity this fall to utilize the college’s Virtual Education Initiative, which offers the option to enroll in either an in-person or virtual section of a given course.

“Recruiting and retaining a trained and well-educated workforce is critical for the City of Columbia,” said Columbia Mayor Brian Treece. “Thanks to this new partnership, City employees will have the opportunity to continue their education, improve their skills and deliver better service to taxpayers.”

City of Columbia employees who take advantage of the offer will also have access to the Truition® program, which offers a transparent look at the cost of college by eliminating all fees and providing books at no cost.

“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership agreement with Columbia College to give our employees a new option to advance their education and grow,” said Columbia City Manager John Glascock. “Additionally, this program will complement the City’s tuition reimbursement program very well.”