Why Columbia College

Our Goal

It is the goal of the Center for Applied Learning that all Columbia College students graduate having had a wide variety of dynamic and engaging experiences that bring their curriculum to life and that better prepare them to be a highly valuable candidate to prospective graduate schools and prospective employers. 


While many colleges and universities have their students participate in an internship in their senior year, at Columbia College, our students can begin exlporing their fields of study or career fields in their first semester on campus! The Center for Applied Learning organizes off-campus and 'real-world' learning experiences via career exploration as an integral part of the coursework in their majors and as supplemental activites that enrich their courses of study. 

Students can take advantage of the following types of opportunities:

9 on a Bus!: Students are able to take advantage of free transportation and free admission to a variety of events that show them deeper insights into their field of study or their career field. Recently, students have participated in 9 on a Bus! events to Style Reset | Women in Philanthropy, An Evening with Os Guiness on religious freedom, and a luncheon with the Columbia World Affairs Council where they met the Consul General of Japan. 



Inside the Corner Office: Our series of guests includes dynamic, talented women leaders from the Midlands, who will be interviewed in a conversational setting. Columbia College students and community guests will:

  • Delve into her perspective on leadership choices;
  • Learn about her education and career paths;
  • Hear her thoughts on challenges and opportunities 
    for women in the workplace and in their community

The audience will have a chance to ask questions of our guests and the event series will be moderated by Erin Carlson ‘03, director of the Center for Applied Learning.



Some of the benefits of an internship experience include:

  • Valuable training for new skills
  • Opportunities to evaluate a particular job or industry
  • Establishment of a network of professionals in your field of interest
  • Opportunity to receive academic credit and/or pay
  • Potential full-time job offer 

Students at Columbia College are completing internships at a variety of places in the Columbia area, including:

  • MB Kahn Construction in their communications office
  • Communities in Schools of the Midlands
  • Dream Riders
  • DHEC
  • Vital Connections of the Midlands
  • Flock and Rally
  • Transitions
  • The Good Samaritan Clinic

and many more! 

Our own Sami Chill is interning at Dream Riders, a therapeutic horseback facility, and is chronicling her experience in a blog. Read more about her internship here: http://inspiredbyequines.wordpress.com/

If you are interested in completing an internship, please contact Jen Hunsicker (jhunsicker@columbiasc.edu) to find out more. 

Click here to download the Internship learning contract.

If you are a business, organization, or community group who is interested in posting your available internship positions for Columbia College students, please also email Jen Hunsicker.


Academic and professional advising is the foundation of success for the women at Columbia College. This center coordinates our unique “Personal Board of Directors” program, which is a 4-year, comprehensive mentoring and advising program featuring a collaborative team of faculty members, career coaches, alumnae and business community leaders, selected for each first-year student. The focus of this program is solely on developing our young women scholars into leaders and network builders.

Our mission is to supplement the undergraduate curriculum experience by providing students a wealth of individual support and varied learning opportunities that complement degree program requirements and that facilitate the highest level of undergraduate academic excellence.

The center supports the college’s 3-credit hour orientation course (LA 100) by ensuring the experience is a unique introduction to college, careers and professional behaviors. Student-centered support ranges from academic skills development to peer mentoring and is the hub of retention and academic progression systems. This center also provides academic and social support for students with documented disabilities.

Additional Services

For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Director of the Center for Academic & Professional Advising.

The 4Cs of leadership development at Columbia College---Courage, Commitment, Confidence, and Competence---are an expression of our mission emphases on Leadership and Engaged Learning.  We define leadership as the choice to exercise the power of education in a way that fulfills social responsibilities and embraces opportunities to create positive change in ourselves and in the world around us.  The 4Cs are characteristics that we hope to promote among our graduates; they are also a series of phases in a process of leadership development.  Our aim in showcasing these four elements is to consistently communicate what we do (what we have been doing for some time) and to give it a cadence, an identifiable and memorable pattern, a comfortable groove.  Consider how the following definitions fit favorably with many of the initiatives that we have already built into our four-year structure for student development and how they lend themselves to future programmatic structure and assessment.

Courage ("Stepping Up"):  Accepting Risk

Like leadership, courage is a widely valued characteristic, but it remains difficult to define.  Though often associated with fearlessness, courage is more of a willingness to take action despite fear.  It is the recognition and acceptance of personal risk in pursuit of a goal, particularly a goal reflecting moral or ethical character.  Courage is not only an important component of leadership but also a natural "first step" in leadership development, especially for newly enrolled college students, who are accepting risks and struggling with very real transitional fears.  Our orientation programs, early general education requirements, and first-year student success initiatives are natural opportunities for emphases on courage.  Other possible venues include introductory courses, departmental seminars, and peer mentoring initiatives.    

Commitment ("Stepping In"):  Embracing Values

Although courage is a foundational component of leadership, in isolation, it has limited potential for effecting change.  If courage is a tool, then its utility depends on how it is used and in what capacity.  To move courage into the realm of leadership, it must be applied in the context of values and goals, which are embraced by a community.  We use the word commitment to describe the process of exploring communities, examining their values and goals, and choosing from among them.  Commitment is the development of a focus, of a personal theme that will define the direction of future motivation.  Our position as a Methodist-affiliated school has always brought this type of exploration to the forefront of our mission.  Through LA 101 and 102, our students are challenged to consider diverse intellectual and cultural world views.  Through chapel events and service and social justice programs, we provide a wealth of opportunity for ethical and moral development.

Confidence ("Stepping Out"):  Seizing Opportunities

With courage and commitment in place, the next step in leadership development is to identify and pursue specific opportunities for change, to plan and implement specific actions.  When this step takes place within an area of expertise, such as an academic major, it brings to bear the knowledge and skills that have been previously acquired.  At this point, such a step is a form of motivation that goes beyond courage.  It is both a reflection of experience and a test of commitment, especially because it will likely expose new challenges and unforeseen frustrations.  This phase of leadership development is best addressed from within an academic discipline, and we have diligently fostered such growth through internships, semesters abroad, and independent research projects.  However, when such opportunities are not available or possible, we should commit ourselves to identifying other kinds of applied learning experiences that will serve to increase awareness and build confidence for the inevitable transition from the academic to the professional sphere.

Competence ("Stepping Back"):  Developing Insight

Committed leaders who have completed internships and projects have demonstrated not only courage and confidence but also competence or effectiveness in their academic disciplines.  Competence involves more than just the completion of goals, however.  For example, many leaders point out that they have learned about leadership by thoughtfully examining their failures as well as their successes.  We use the word competence to describe effectiveness enhanced by reflection and synthesis; in other words, we believe that such contemplation is the primary pathway by which leaders improve their effectiveness.  To address competence, we need to consider the benefits of capstone programming that encourages reflective synthesis, particularly following applied learning experiences.


Prospective Students & Parents

Comprehensive, Intentional, Career Guidance

Our staff is committed to assisting every Columbia College student in career exploration to ensure they are professionally prepared to be a more productive, effective, and desired talent in the workforce and their communities.  Our activities center on a four-year comprehensive plan to provide a transformative and individualized experience for each student.

Through the assistance of the Center, students will:

•       Foster confidence to develop self-knowledge related to career choices

•       Exhibit courage to seek out career and educational planning and information

•       Show commitment to take responsibility for developing career decisions, employment, and/or graduate and professional school plans

•       Build competence to manage their careers upon graduation







Thank you for your interest in Columbia College. The Center for Career Coaching & Professional Development is here to help you fill your recruiting needs, by identifying a strong pool of candidates and developing a solidbrand presence on campus. We offer a variety of ways to develop company recognition, both online and in person.

Reaching out to our talent

Columbia College utilizes C2Success, a national recruiting network sponsored by NACElink©, to connect you to our outstanding students and alumni.  This free service allows you to post unlimited job opportunities, search student resumes, and register for events.  To further promote your opportunities, positions posted in C2Success will also be highlighted on our student intranet and strategically communicated to key faculty, staff, and student organizations.

We also offer the ability to conduct on-campus interviews and information sessions, help develop relationships with faculty, and allow opportunities to serve as guest speaker to our student clubs and organizations. These targeted recruitment efforts will put you in the audience of the most focused, developing professionals. 

Career fairs provide recruiters a unique and convenient opportunity to meet with a large number of motivated and interested students and alumni. Attending a career fair is an excellent way to maximize your recruiting potential. Every spring, Columbia College participates in Career Connections, a joint career fair in conjunction with other South Carolina Independent Colleges & Universities (SCICU) member institutions.

Columbia College, ranked as one of the top comprehensive undergraduate colleges in the South, equips our graduating professionals to compete for the demands of the modern marketplace.

 Contact us at  803-786-3113 or  email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss how we can help you.


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#cckoalaing Photo Contest

Show your koala pride and go Koala-ing! That's when you climb on someone or something like a koala, and take a video or picture of it! If you want to show off your koala hugs, post your photos or videos with the hashtag #cckoalaing.


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