The New Year is here, keep your resolutions!
By Andrew Reeves, regional director, Columbia College Region C4 and Evening Program
As we enter 2021, many of you have pondered what New Year’s resolutions to make for the coming year. In need of ideas? I’d like to propose three highly obtainable resolutions for 2021 that won’t end up as forgotten goals.
The first resolution is to get started on your degree at Columbia College. If you are interested in Columbia College, don’t postpone starting. I have found the longer you postpone something, the less likely you will accomplish it. Give me a call and I will guide you through the initial advising session, the application process, and registration. Getting started – check!
The second resolution is to continue your education here at Columbia College. For students who have already started their degree program, commitment is so important. If you have taken a term off, contact your advisor to assist you in returning. Don’t delay; act now! Statistically, our campus “stop-outs” (students who sit out for a session or more) have only six to 10 classes left to finish their degrees, which can be completed in a year by going fulltime. We can’t do your coursework for you, but we are still here to help motivate and see you through to your degree completion. Continue your education – check!
The third resolution is to stay connected and involved with Columbia College. Individual alumni and the Columbia College Alumni Association have been instrumental in spreading the word about the Evening Program, which helps us grow. Please continue to refer your family, friends and coworkers. We sincerely appreciate your continued support and enjoy hearing about your life after Columbia College. Stay connected – check!
by CCG staff (go to top)
We have a pair of updates from Main Campus in Columbia as you begin the semester. First, you may have seen earlier this month that the Board of Trustees named Dr. David Russell as interim president of the college following the resignation of Dr. Scott Dalrymple late last year.
Dr. Russell (right) had been a member of the college’s Board of Trustees since 2016 and served as Chair of the college’s governing body since July 1. He will serve in this position while a committee led by Rev. Dr. Brad Stagg, who will serve as the Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees, conducts a national search for a permanent president in the coming months.
Also, as set forth in our original return to campus guidelines back in the fall, we are set to resume instruction this semester. Most courses at Columbia College Global (CCG) locations are being offered in-seat, with appropriate social distancing, and include a virtual classroom option for students. This initiative expands on our existing expertise in virtual teaching and provides students with access to a wider selection of synchronous instruction.
Due to local and state regulations, some locations are not currently able to offer in-seat courses. In addition, locations that are hosted by a partner institution, such as locations on community college campuses or military installations, may not be able to offer in-seat courses if the partner institution has cancelled face-to-face education for the Spring Semester.
You should contact your location director if you are experiencing symptoms, have been exposed to COVID-19, or have tested positive for the virus. The important thing is that students who are experiencing symptoms, tested positive, or have been identified as a direct contact of a person who has COVID-19 should self-quarantine at their residence and not come to campus, and seek medical attention if they need it.
Please review the college’s full return-to-campus guidelines for more information.
Eligible for a refund?
Are you eligible for a refund? Refunds are sent to students who have excess Financial Aid after their tuition is paid. Eligible students can expect their refund as early as January 29 for the Spring Semester.
Refund information can be viewed through your ePayments account. To ensure you have your refund as quickly as possible, set up your Direct Deposit by this Sunday, January 24. If you have questions, please email ESC at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (573) 875-7252.
Tips for online job interviews
Because COVID-19 remains an issue in the workplace, virtual job interviews aren’t going away any time soon; in fact, they may permanently replace phone interviews. Before we get into some tips, know that we’re here to help! Staff at the Grossnickle Career Services Center offers mock interviews for students and alumni over Zoom. We can always chat with you to help prepare for an upcoming interview.
While you certainly know at this point how to use Zoom and participate in best practices, here are a few tips to getting that job virtually:
- Dress for the part. The standard rules apply even if the venue isn’t traditional. Dress one notch above what the company’s typical attire is, so if the office culture favors collared shirts, check that box but also slip on a jacket. One interview expert even recommends wearing work shoes: “It might seem strange to wear your shoes during a videoconference, but it has an important psychological effect on you.” Also, be sure to wear solid colors, as stripes and complex patterns can look awful on video.
- Eliminate distractions. This one seems obvious, but doesn’t always happen. Close the door and windows in your room, shut off the TV down the hall and silence your cell phone (unless you’re using it for the conference). Even though it’s inconvenient, that includes the dogs and kids, if you have them. “And make sure the only window open on your computer screen is the video platform you are using,” says life coach Tom Marino. “Silence all pop-ups. The last thing you want is to lose your train of thought.”
- Prioritize the camera, not the screen. This may sound counterintuitive, but it’s most important that the interviewer see you clearly, not the other way around. This takes some practice and feels unnatural, but during your interview you should look at the camera as much as possible, not the picture of the other person on the screen. Looking at the camera is as close as you can get to making eye contact with the interviewer, while looking at the screen will appear to the other side like you’re staring off into space. The good news is that, on a small phone screen, this effect is minimized. If you’re doing your interview on a laptop, you can cheat this by shrinking the size of the videoconference app’s window and positioning it as close as possible to the location of the webcam. Also, elevate your laptop to eye level by stacking books or boxes underneath it. This way, you can stare directly into the camera without slouching or craning.
- Make a Cheat Sheet. Remember that the interviewer can’t see what’s not on camera, so use your interview space to your advantage. Stick a Post-It Note cheat sheet with notes, questions, or needed inspiration directly to the screen or to the wall behind your camera. The interviewer on the other side won’t ever know.
- Practice. Systems like Zoom let you record your meeting, so use this to polish your interviewing skills. “Record yourself telling your story before you go into an interview,” says Nicolle Merrill, a former career coach with the Yale School of Management. “A strong professional story will set a confident tone that offsets the awkward start on Zoom.” Study the recording to help scrub nervous tics, stammers, and other flubs from your delivery.
For assistance on this and other career topics, reach out to the Career Services staff by email at CareerServices@CCIS.edu or by calling (573) 875-7425. You can also schedule an appointment via Aviso, Zoom or Skype.
Apply for the Westling Scholarship!
By CCG Staff (go to top)
Applications are now open for the Frank S. Westling Scholarship, which is given annually in honor of a former dean of what was formerly known as the Extended Studies Division. Dean Westling was a champion of the adult student and these scholarships are given in his memory.
A total of 20 awards of $1,800 each are given to students from our Nationwide, Evening and Online programs. Applicants must be currently pursuing a Columbia College baccalaureate degree, be enrolled during this academic year, completed 15 hours of Columbia College residency credits, and own a 3.0+ cumulative GPA.
Students can apply through the Financial Aid office’s Scholarship Finder. The application includes a 400-500-word essay discussing the student’s career goals and leadership and/or community service achievements, as well as evidence of the student’s leadership and service to the community, college or country within the past 12 months. Students should include documentation of their accomplishments, such as letters of recommendation, awards and news articles. The deadline for submission is February 15, 2021.