Exclusive: Columbia students no longer required to take three CCCX courses

By Connor Dore, Staff Reporter

File Photo Kaelah Serrano

Four years after introducing a new set of core courses exploring various topics related to the city, equality and innovation, the college will no longer require students to take three CCCX courses.

Students still need to take one CCCX class, and all incoming first-year students will be enrolled in a 100-level “first year experience” course. These courses used to be called “Big Chicago” and cover issues related to the city. Transfer students bringing in 15 or more credits can choose one three-credit class from any of the CCCX options. The courses cover such topics as music and media in Chicago, fashion ethics and environmental inequity.

The Columbia Core Curriculum approved the change in the spring semester and sent an email to students about it earlier this month. The change took effect immediately.

The change comes after another registration year passed with students struggling to find a spot in the required CCCX classes, said Steve Corey, dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences and chair of The Core Committee.

“We were having problems scheduling enough CCCX classes, we knew that, and that was a real problem.” Corey said. “We were just processing a lot of substitutions for these classes which was sad, but we just don’t have enough capacity at this institution to make sure students get one of these levels.”

Students also complained about taking classes unrelated to their major, especially the 200- and 300-level classes.

“There’s only a certain amount of those classes that actually interest me or have something to do with my major,” said Emmy Meadows, a senior Film & Television major.

The classes were designed to bring students together from various disciplines to work collaboratively on a range of topics. But they were larger than typical class sizes. A first-year class this coming fall on Chicago’s economic, ethnic, racial, cultural, and political development has 100 students enrolled.

Students who have already completed a 100-level CCCX course can take additional CCCX 200- or 300-level course if they choose.

“This new change will continue to let students take these classes but will give them other options so students can fill their schedule without getting locked out of full courses,” said Elizabeth Davis-Berg, professor of Biology and Faculty Fellow for the Columbia Core.

Corey said students still need to take 42 credits to fulfill the core requirements.

“The question first and foremost is always how does this benefit a student?” he said. “Students can still take any CCCX classes they want to or they can any of the core classes to reach the 42 required credits for the core.”

The decision was guided by Columbia’s strategic plan, which was renewed in 2022 with a major focus on the core curriculum, Corey said.

Frida Arellano, a senior production design major, said it was a good decision.

“I liked the two CCCX classes that I took already, but I’m completely fine with not having to take another one,” Arellano said. “Now I’ll have more options and that could fit better into my schedule.”

This story clarifies that first-year students will still take a 100-level course in the CCCX series.