Columbia College Chicago

Student Services: FAQs

Faculty play a critical role in the education of our students as well as in the pathway toward their success at Columbia. We've collaborated with the Assistant Provost for Academic Services, Brian Marth, and Dean of Students, John Pelrine, to help you support students. Below are FAQs on college processes and where to direct students if they need support.

Where can a student access counseling and health services?

There are various resources available for faculty to assist students that may be in crisis.

If you believe there is an immediate threat to an individual or the college community, please call 911 and then notify Campus Safety and Security.

If a student needs help with other distressing issues that do not require immediate attention (struggling with course work, time management problems, housing issues, financial issues, depression, career indecision), please fill out an Every Advantage for a Successful Education (EASE) notification in OASIS.

A helpful Guide for Faculty and Staff is available on the Student Health Center website with more detailed information on:

  • Counseling Services (312-369-8700)
  • College Advising Center (312-369-7645)
  • Student Health and Support Intervention Team (312-369-8595)
  • Services for Students with Disabilities (312-369-8269)
  • Student Relations (312-369-8595). 

The Student Relations office (312-369-8595) manages non-life threatening crisis situations. If there is a crisis situation that must be addressed after their office hours (Monday to Thursday 8am- 6pm and Friday 9am- 5pm), call Campus Safety and Security (Emergency:  312-369-1111 or Non-Emergency:  312-369-3220). 

What is the Every Advantage for a Successful Education (EASE) system?

Every Advantage for a Successful Education (EASE) is a system of support that faculty and staff use to connect students experiencing difficulties with a wide variety of student support resources. With input from faculty or staff, students can receive earlier assistance, supporting their teaching and learning experiences in and out of the classroom improving their opportunity for success.

EASE is a way to provide students facing difficulties with the opportunity to receive assistance before they are at risk of dropping out or falling out of academic compliance. The system also aims to aid faculty with classroom concerns allowing them to focus on teaching. EASE will additionally assist the college by helping to identify the need for additional or different resources in the service of student success.

All faculty members have access to send EASE notifications. If a staff member would like access, they can contact the EASE Manager at

For more information, contact Bess Fuertes, Student Persistence Coordinator, at (312-369-7929). 

How does completing the MAR and APR forms impact students?

The college requires faculty to complete Mandatory Attendance Reports (MAR) and Academic Progress Reports (APR) to help understand the student experience. Although these two processes are very similar, they serve two very different yet important functions. The MAR process is required so we have accurate data on which students have registered for classes, but they have never attended (or engaged in online) in the beginning of the semester. When a faculty member completes the MAR process, they are indicating that a student has never attended the class, and therefore the student will not receive financial aid for the class and they will be removed from the class roster.

The APR process, on the other hand, notifies the College Advising Center of a student’s academic progress in a specific class. Faculty are asked to identify those students who are at-risk to fail their course, and various student support services attempt to contact and offer additional support to these students. The MAR process impacts a student’s financial aid and academic record, whereas the APR process does not. Related but not a mandatory process, faculty can also submit an “alert” if they have concerns about a student in their class. These EASE Alerts will notify different support offices on campus of the faculty member’s concerns, and this allows for collaborative interventions to be initiated to help support the student.

What is the process for a student to “withdraw” from my class?

To withdraw from a class before the posted registration deadline, students need to use their Oasis account. Although it is not mandatory, students should speak with the College Advising Center before withdrawing from a class so they understand the pros/cons of this decision and how the withdrawal may impact their academic record and completion rate. Likewise, since a withdrawal from a course or a complete withdrawal from the semester may impact a student’s financial aid package, we also advise students to consult with Student Financial Services regarding the implications of a course withdrawal.

What is the process for submitting that a student receive an "Incomplete" grade?

The Student-Faculty Agreement for Incomplete Grade form must be filled out by the faculty and the student. It is a contract stating conditions for the completion of the work necessary by the end of eighth week of the semester following the awarding of the (I) grade . Except in the second case stated below, incomplete grades should only be awarded in the case of an emergency in the last few weeks of the semester, and always require a form that is signed off on by the student and the faculty, and confirmed by the department chair. Once the conditions have been met for the final grade, the bottom half of the form (Notification of Conversion to Final Grade) should be filled out by the instructor, submitted to the Chair, and the Grade Change online form submitted by the Faculty via the Faculty tab in Oasis with a brief explanation of the work completed for the grade. The process and required information is on the form.

For more information, visit the Undergraduate Academic Policies page of the Catalog.

Where can a student access additional academic support and tutoring?

The Learning Studio is located on the first floor of the 33 E. Congress Building. The Learning Studio has student and staff/faculty tutors who can assist students with their writing skills, as well as learning in science and mathematics. In addition to one-on-one tutoring, the Learning Studio offers Supplemental Instruction for specific classes where students may need additional support in a group setting. Students can make an appointment in the Learning Studio, but walk-ins are also welcome.

How can I assist a student that needs to request an academic or financial exception?

We hope every student can successfully complete all of the credits they attempt in a semester. On occasion, a student may experience an extenuating circumstance which is impacting his or her ability to successfully finish a class or the entire semester. In these situations, a student may request an academic and or financial exception. These Petitions for Exception (PFE) are initiated in the College Advising Center and a committee of individuals from advising, Student Financial Services, the Dean of Students’ Office, and the Office of the Registrar determine if an exception is justified. In most of these cases, a student may need dates of attendance and specifically the last date of attendance in each class to determine the most appropriate academic and financial exception. Frequently, academic advisors will contact faculty for attendance records to assist a student with this process.

When should I refer a student to my academic department?
There are several occasions when a student should be referred directly to the academic department. When a student is seeking permission to enroll in a class, either after the posted registration deadline or to waive a course requisite, most of these requests can be addressed in the office of the academic department. Frequently, students are referred to the College Advising Center but the CAC needs the permission or consideration of the academic department.  When a student is seeking more information on specific classes, course requirements, and exceptions to these policies – it is recommended the faculty member connect with their academic department before referring a student to various student support services.
Where can a student print on campus and access technical equipment?
The Library (624 S. Michigan) is the location of our Columbia College Chicago Open Lab for students.

Monday-Thursday: 7:30am- 10pm
Friday: 7:30am- 8pm
Saturday: 9am- 5pm.
Sunday: 10am- 6pm

The Library has black and white printers, color printers, and a large format Oce Colorwave printer. Simple Scan and high-resolution scanners are also available. The Library also provides digital equipment checkout, including DSLR cameras and GoPro cameras, microphones, and digital audio recorders for all students. 3D printers, a vinyl cutter, and a 3D scanner are available by appointment in the Library Maker Lab.

In addition, students—just like faculty—have access to, an online resource, to supplement learning in the classroom or to pick up an entirely new skill set. Just login to OASIS, click on the Training tab, and click on to get started.

Please visit the Information Technology website and Library website for more information about services and support available to students. For technical support, please feel free to contact Client Services at 312-369-7001 or email, Monday through Friday from 8am- 6 pm.