Columbia College Chicago Reviews | Glassdoor

Columbia College Chicago Reviews

Updated May 5, 2017
142 reviews

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3.3
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Kwang-Wu Kim
43 Ratings

142 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Great work environment, super people (in 10 reviews)

  • Traditionally, it has been a very liberal, creative environment that has offered a hands on experience for students and a great place to work (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Low pay, no room for advancement (in 7 reviews)

  • Cost of living adjustments are a joke, merit raises do not exist (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "More communication would have been better"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Lab Aide in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Lab Aide in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia College Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Low stakes, easy job, flexible hours

    Cons

    Miscommunication about how promotion worked.

    Advice to Management

    Keep more open lines of communication.


  2. "Not a bad place to work at all"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Director in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia College Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people, great benefits and a pleasant work environment

    Cons

    Because the environment is pleasant, you may become complacent


  3. "Adjunct"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Adjunct Professor in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Adjunct Professor in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia College Chicago part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The students are really great

    Cons

    The administration is racist each and every department

    Advice to Management

    Get some integrity


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  5. Helpful (2)

    "Technology Professional"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Director of Technology in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Director of Technology in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flexibility and Autonomy, Creative and dynamic environment.

    Cons

    Limit Growth, Budget Restrictions, Senior Managment out of touch


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Unclear future; dysfunctional is an understatement"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Associate Director in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Columbia College Chicago full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    • Outstanding institutional mission to provide an education in the arts to all that qualify
    • Interesting faculty, staff, and students
    • Creatively charged atmosphere
    • Convenient location
    • Casual work environment
    • Good health benefits

    Cons

    • College has failed to meaningfully address numerous and significant institutional issues as the enrollment continues to decline (from 12,464 students in the fall of 2008 to 8,120 students in the fall 2016) including: student experience, affordability, internship opportunities, onboarding/orientation for new students (current model is convoluted at best), retention programs (generally don't exist), curricular bloat, right-sizing of classrooms and programs (it's past time to trim the fat in order to ensure the best possible experience for the students that are currently enrolled-- don't talk about cutting popular programs with well-known alumni), student services portal (poor), universal learning outcomes (they aren't in the curriculum yet), employment tracking of graduates, professional certificate programs (none), online degree options (none), student information systems (outdated).
    • Poor administrative leadership and problem-solving. Disorganization and directionless meetings abound.
    • Seems that something is always on fire-- leadership is frequently reactionary. Often hear "just get it done" from management without their full understanding of current workload and capacities.
    • Work is often not aligned across the institution (a symptom of poor leadership)-- leading to silos, duplication of efforts, and wasting of resources.
    • In 2015, tuition made up 92% of total core revenue.
    • Unclear if college is committed to a future as a diverse, accessible, and inclusive arts institution-- the education market does not need another third-tier college peddling an "urban liberal arts education for the next generation of leaders."
    • Morale is terrible in many pockets.
    • The institution is awful at championing its accomplished faculty, alumni, and current students.

    Advice to Management

    • Do right by the current students first.
    • Rethink the continued emphasis on branding/recruitment instead of the college's primary product -- the education and services you provide to students. Interest and application numbers have remained strong while the enrollment has declined. Student satisfaction has not improved enough to improve retention and value/market perceptions.
    • Embrace Columbia's core identity and grow healthy by enhancing the institution's current strengths.
    • New is not always better. Sometimes it's best to invest in improving what you have.
    • Recognize and empower the best faculty (including the vital adjunct population) to teach, but also give them a clear vision for the future-- but remember, their primary focus must be the students and the classroom experience.


  7. Helpful (4)

    "EH...."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia College Chicago full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Diverse environment, central location, decent PTO, and the events are pretty good. Also, the networking opportunities for the creative industries are amazing.

    Cons

    Staff is often overworked and underpaid, no real sense of vision, low employee and student morale, and there hasn't been a COL raise in eight years.

    Advice to Management

    Learn to appreciate the staff. If we are the backbone of the college as the President claims, then compensate accordingly.


  8. Helpful (1)

    "Positive Experience"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Supportive staff, creative environment. Lots of room for growth.

    Cons

    Communication is haphazard and goals change frequently

    Advice to Management

    Clearer communication from the top down


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Staff Technician"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Staff Technician in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Staff Technician in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Columbia College Chicago full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Diverse campus in the Chicago South Loop. Many different disciplines to choose from

    Cons

    Communication is sporadic and confusing. Technology is not planned out well.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "In Flux"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Chair in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Chair in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Columbia College Chicago full-time (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    New leadership determined to improve on educational rigor and outcomes

    Cons

    New leadership with little outlet to institutional memory

    Advice to Management

    Keep at it; focus on identifying and promoting student, alumni, faculty, and staff successes and accomplishments. Allow for multiple stories to be told and resist the temptation to settle on a single elusive overarching brand


  11. Helpful (1)

    "Adjunct"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Adjunct Faculty in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Adjunct Faculty in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Columbia College Chicago part-time

    Pros

    Dedicated faculty. Great students.

    Cons

    No benefits. No security. Limit to number if classes adjuncts permitted to teach. Not possible to make a living if you don't teach at other schools as well. Difficult to schedule classes at several schools with different academic calendars

    Advice to Management

    Hire more full time faculty and don't depend on adjuncts


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