The Journey Begins

On April 9, 2018, Columbia College officially launched My Columbia College Journey, a new framework designed to encourage students to routinely reflect on and assess their ongoing personal development.

My Columbia College Journey grew out of faculty conversations during the 2015–2016 academic year, in the College Committee on Instruction, which identified a need for a shared language regarding all that students acquire during their time here, inside and outside of the classroom.

Read About the Launch Visit the Journey Website

We asked students at a College event to briefly explain what My Columbia College Journey means to them. You'll find some of their replies between the panels below.


Telling Their Story

Through the Journey, students will see how their experiences are becoming part of the narrative that they share about themselves and inform their plans for the future.

When you enter these gates at College Walk, there becomes a tendency to introduce each other with certain facts about oneself, such as major, academic year, class schedule, residence hall or activity. But those singular facts are not just separate entities; they are all connected together … in a continuum that helps tell your story.”

An illustration of a student's experience with My Columbia College Journey

Providing a Network of Support

Each choice our students make along their journey helps them grow personally, professionally and as a citizen of the world. Guiding students through these myriad choices is a network of Columbia College faculty, advisers, mentors and program coordinators.

Here are a few of the ways we supported our students on their Columbia College Journey during the 2017–2018 academic year:

financial aid
$117M in financial aid
study abroad
393 study abroad experiences on 108 programs in 40 countries
academic advising
19,800 academic advising sessions
6,900 students went on Core Curriculum–related outings
career counseling
8,755 career counseling sessions
fellowships advising
597 fellowship advising sessions

See More


Introducing Core Competencies

A few of our most significant areas of growth in the 2017–2018 academic year aligned with several of our Core Competencies — tools for self-reflection, self-assessment and ongoing personal development, within the My Columbia College Journey framework.

Wellness and Resilience

Columbia University established a partnership with the Jed Foundation (JED) to enhance student health and well-being efforts on campus. Fourteen strategic working groups were formed to improve student wellness.

Civic and Individual Responsibility

Named after former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. ’73, LAW’76, the Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights sponsors courses, public events, student internships and fellowships for practitioners that extend the themes and questions of the Core Curriculum into a more focused interrogation of the mechanisms that promote justice and civil and political rights.

Community Engagement and Inclusion

The Odyssey Mentoring Program connects community members in a dynamic and easy way for long-term mentoring relationships or short and informal connections. Alumni can use the community to network and make connections. Students and young alumni can use the community to get answers to questions, discuss challenges or opportunities, and exchange stories about the Columbia experience


Reflecting on the Year

Self-reflection is an essential part of My Columbia College Journey. Our goal isn’t just for students to develop skills, capacities and capabilities, but also to understand how they developed them, where they developed them and how the experiences fit in with their entire Columbia College journey and the journey they will take after Commencement.

“Taking that step into the discomforting realm of the unknown has truly helped me become a better person and has equipped me with personal tools to help me achieve my goals.”

Shanga Labossiere ’19
Global Programs – Student Stories

“I found that I personally thrived working alongside artists by helping them organize and collect their thoughts.”

Trinity Lester ’20
Center for Career Education – Student Experiences

“There are so many choices and paths one’s life can take while at the College… four years is not enough time to fully relish all that I could do at this institution.”

Nicole Valencia Tello ’18
Columbia to the Core

“In a world that continues to globalize at an unprecedented rate, learning about other cultures is a necessary and responsible thing to do.”

Trevor Menders ’18
My Columbia College Journey Reflections


Making the Journey Possible

Whether you volunteered your time or made a donation, you helped make the Journey possible. I am proud of all that you do, every day, to make this Columbia College experience unlike any other. Thank you for your commitment, for your expertise, for your dedication, for your support, for all that you do for Columbia College. Because of you, Columbia College is the greatest college in the greatest university in the greatest city in the world.

signed James J. Valentini

College Fund Volunteers

$1.52 million
1,584 gifts received as the result of peer-to-peer fundraising

Columbia Giving Day

$4.1 million
1st place for the 6th year in a row

Core to Commencement

$152 million
most raised in any year since campaign launch

Young Alumni Scholarship

500 gifts
from young alumni made a new scholarship possible

Donors Volunteers Committees Campaign