The 2014–2015 academic year will focus on enhancing opportunities and support for Columbia College Students — through new academic and co-curricular programs and enriched advising and mentoring — as well as celebrating some of the College’s successful programs, including Double Discovery Center, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Columbia in Paris at Reid Hall.

Enhancing Support

First-in-Family Students 
The College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will launch a number of initiatives to support students who are the first in their families to attend college, including a Columbia 101 in Spanish, a First-in-Family welcome reception, a first-in-family support group and workshops, outings and events.

Transfer Students
The Center for Student Advising will launch a pilot program to better connect incoming transfer students through programs, workshops and social events. Peer connectors will be matched with groups of incoming students during the summer.

Academic Coaching
The College, in collaboration with General Studies, will start an initiative called Mastery Through Academic Coaching (MTAC) to help students better approach challenging problems in science and mathematics. Inspired by past study groups led by Adam Schweber ’96, PS’18, the program will introduce students to strategies and methods that will teach them how to take key principles from lectures and how to solve novel problems. MTAC will pilot the program for students in the introductory biology course.

Gender-Based Misconduct Prevention
As part of a University focus on the prevention of sexual assault and other gender-based misconduct on campus, the College will expand its educational programming during the New Student Orientation Program to better educate students about the subject and about the resources available to them. The University will also open a second Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center in Alfred Lerner Hall, in addition to its facility at Barnard, that is more accessible to College students; expand faculty and staff training; and hire case managers to support students.

Financial Aid
The College, together with The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, will announce several updates to financial aid to increase support for students, including meeting the full financial need of transfer students pursuing their first degree, allowing students who have been awarded outside scholarships to use those funds to reduce additional work expectations and altering the way that they treat student assets, which will reduce the student contribution for many undergraduates. In addition, the schools will increase the amount designated for personal expenses and travel in determining the cost of attendance to more accurately reflect costs to students.

Alumni Mentorship
Alumni Relations will launch an online mentoring platform to help connect Columbia College Women mentors and mentees. Alumnae will also be able to use the platform to connect with one another and to share resources such as job opportunities, industry advice, articles and more.

Alumni Career Connections
The Center for Career Education will enhance its lifelong career services through additional online webinars and new networking events for alumni such as an alumni career fair prep session, an alumni speed networking event and an “Alumni-to-Alumni Mock Elevator Pitch Night.” 

Enhancing Opportunities

Study Abroad Programs
The Office of Global Programs, in collaboration with faculty and departments, will launch several programs, including a spring seminar, “Byzantine and Modern Greek Encounters,” in Istanbul; a summer seminar on visual cultures at Yonsei University in Seoul; a summer program on “Democracy and Constitutional Engineering” held jointly in Tunis and Istanbul; and a semester and academic-year program in Cuba.

The Core Curriculum 
Art Humanities and Music Humanities will be offered at Reid Hall, the home of Columbia’s Global Center in Europe since 2010, beginning in the spring, allowing students, for the first time, to fulfill these Core requirements while studying abroad. The program will give students the chance to study art and music as they are studied on the Morningside campus, but with an emphasis on Paris’ musical and visual cultures.

Community Scholars Program
The College and The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science will announce a new honors designation for students with demonstrated financial need from schools and communities surrounding the University. The Thompson-Muñoz Scholars, named in honor of Carlos R. Muñoz ’57, GSAS’61 and Albert Thompson ’54, who were both born and raised in Harlem, will receive need-based scholarships and have opportunities to meet local leaders and accomplished Columbia alumni. Up to 40 students from West Harlem, Washington Heights and the South Bronx will receive this honor each year.

Celebrating Opportunities

50 Years of the Double Discovery Center
The Double Discovery Center will celebrate 50 years of working with low-income and first-generation Manhattan-area college-bound youth to ensure high school graduation, college enrollment and completion, career preparation and responsible adulthood. Founded in 1965, the program was the creation of College students moved by the disparities between their Ivy League institution and the community. In the last five decades, the program has served more than 15,000 students.

50 Years of Reid Hall in Paris
Reid Hall will celebrate its 50th anniversary of being connected to Columbia, after it was bequeathed in 1964 by Helen Rogers Reid. Reid Hall offers academic year and semester-long study abroad programs in both French and English. Approximately 2,500 College and Barnard students have studied abroad at Reid Hall in the last 50 years.

10 Years of the Office of Multicultural Affairs
Undergraduate Student Life’s Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will celebrate its 10th anniversary of supporting students through mentoring, advocacy, social justice and cultural programming, leadership development, diversity education and student organization advising. The anniversary celebration will include a conference and forum in the spring. Students and alumni will be encouraged to share narratives about their experiences with OMA and to help create a community mural in Alfred Lerner Hall.