Photo from Columbia College.

Columbia College has made the decision to expand its coeducational practices and policies beginning in the fall 2020 semester. The college, founded as Columbia Female College in 1854, has since been an all-women’s college until officials began exploring different enrollment models in 2017.

The board of trustees decided earlier this year that male students would be able to enroll in the college’s undergraduate residential day program in fall of 2021, but have since decided to push it up to fall 2020. According to the college's academic calendar, the first day of classes is Aug. 24.

The college's board of trustees made the decision to become coeducational so that all students can benefit from the Columbia College experience.

Columbia College president, Dr. Peter T. Mitchell, and the Board of Trustees refined the vision of the college and attributed the decision to two possible impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic:

1. The possibility that all colleges and universities will be forced to continue conducting courses remotely via distance learning and online platforms.

2. Students and parents already declaring that if campuses are open in the fall, they plan to attend college close to home or commute locally to avoid the possibility of having to leave in the middle of a semester again.

“These factors are likely to make the summer of 2020 a crucial window in which to enact the expansion of our brand of high-quality, leadership-focused, liberal arts education at a time when it is sorely needed. This is the same motivation that compelled the College to open to men for a brief period after World War II,” said Mitchell.

Though male students will be admitted for the fall 2020 semester, they will be admitted as commuter students as the school continues to prepare to house male students.

Males will have the opportunity to participate in athletic programs and live on campus in fall of 2021.

Additional information about changes at Columbia College, visit the college website.

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