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Columbia College

Columbia College Rating: 4.9/5 (20 votes)

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Columbia College is located in Sonora, California. It was established as a community college in 1968. The college mirrors the architectural style of the Gold Rush era in California. It is popular for its fire academy, one of the best in the state of California. The college maintains a fire department on staff. As a two year institution it is granted eligibility for federal aid for students. Academic options include certificates which take less then one year to one year to complete, as well as Associate degrees.


Confined to the arts, sciences, and vocational education, Columbia takes pride in its anthropology education, art education, photography courses, and biological science education, as well as chemistry education.

Vocational students can receive training in automotive technology, business administration training, or economics educational courses. Students can also actively participate in a child development career through the child development vocational education courses.

Other options for vocational studies include computer science or drafting. For those interested in the medical field, There is also a unique Emergency Medical Services vocational education for students. Students who seek to start businesses on their own can participate in the Entrepreneurship vocational training.

Any students that want to work with fire can benefit from the fire technology vocational training. Given the location of the school, it offers another unique vocational education through Forestry, Natural Resources, and Natural Resources Technology training. There is also a Geographic Information Systems vocational education.

Other options available to students include degrees in Hospitality Management. There are also office technology courses available for students who wish to actively engage in an office setting career after their graduation.

Students are offered a great vocational education in search and rescue. Students attending this school or thinking about attending this school can also opt for a skills development education which can lead to many career paths once completed successfully. Lastly, students are offered vocational education courses in the travel and tourism industry as well as educational courses on welding technology, both of which have a wide range of career options after success completion of the courses.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Financial Aid

The first phase of the financial aid process is to complete the FAFSA, which is available at www.FAFSA.gov. There are a number of financial aid and government grant options at the college, which include the Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, low interest federal student loans, and a state program known as the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver.

Student Financial Aid Details

Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The ASCC is the official student group that dominates and overlooks the college activities and programs. These elected representatives are well trained to ensure student voices are catered to and to enhance job and leadership skills. These student electives also encourage campus clubs, which is a great way to meet and jumpstart your academic career. Some of the organizations on campus include the auto tech club, which is one of the longest running clubs. It was structured to group together students that are enthusiastic about automotive technology. Other clubs include the CEO club (Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization), Christians club, dance club and the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Additional School Information

  • The professional counseling staff at the college provides a great insight to new, returning and continuing students through helping them decide on the right career, abilities and interests, education planning and coping with personal dilemmas.
  • The library atemploys dedicated staff that is keen on fostering learning and skills to excel in the workplace.
  • Blackboard is the online interface that allows instructors to facilitate hybrid instruction. Most students at the college find this tool seamless to use, and all that is needed is basic computer skills and the internet.
  • The campus offers designated smoking areas that are well highlighted all through the property.

Information Summary

Ranks 266th in California and 2786th overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 1 0.03
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary N/A N/A
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.03
Arrest N/A N/A

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 18 0.36
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 4 0.08
Robbery 8 0.16
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 69 1.39
Larceny 342 6.89
Vehicle theft 17 0.34

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Sonora, CA 95370
Surrounding communityFringe rural area (less than 5 mi. from an urban area)
Total Population25,331 (16,249 urban / 9,082 rural)
Households10,621 (2.35 people per house)
Median Household Income$37,714
Families7,046 (2.83 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Associate's — Public Rural-serving Medium
Undergraduate PopulationHigher part-time two-year
EnrollmentExclusively undergraduate two-year
Size & SettingSmall two-year

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringAssociate's degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District604

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 4237th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $1,104 $1,104 $6,000
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $46 $46 $46
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $46 $46 $250
FT Graduate Tuition N/A N/A N/A
FT Graduate Required Fees N/A N/A N/A
PT Graduate per Credit Hour N/A N/A N/A
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $2,860 $2,860 $7,756
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $18,224 $18,224 $23,120
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $7,208 $7,208 $12,104

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $910 $1,150 $910 $1,150 $5,806 $6,046
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,656 $1,666
On-Campus – Room & Board N/A(N/C)
On-Campus – Other Expenses N/A(N/C)
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $10,862 $10,962
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,992 $4,086
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $4,252 $4,346

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record N/A /  N/A /  N/A
College Prep. CompletionN/A
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scoresN/A
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm CapacityN/A
Meals per WeekN/A
Room FeeN/A
Board FeeN/A

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 556th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $84,114 ($84,857 male / $80,838 female)
Number of FT Faculty 47 (24 male / 23 female)
Number of PT Faculty 153
FT Faculty Ratio 0.3 : 1
Total Benefits $1,489,532

Elisabeth Bailey+

Elisabeth Bailey is a freelance writer and editor with particular interests in academics, food,and sustainability . She is also the author of A Taste of the Maritimes: Local, Seasonal Recipes the Whole Year Round and writes regularly for Canadian Farmers’ Almanac and the National Wildlife Federation. Elisabeth and her family live and enjoy great local food in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

11600 Columbia College Dr
Sonora, CA 95370
p. 209-588-5100
w. www.gocolumbia.edu/

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