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Students have mixed reactions to college dropping higher-level CCCX courses

Lukas Katilius
Assistant Professor Onur Ozturk begins his Columbia College Chicago Experience class, Rethinking Museums, at 618 S. Michigan Ave., on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023. The college dropped higher-level Columbia Experience — or CCCX — classes after the Spring 2023 semester.

Earlier this year, the college decreasethe number of required Columbia Experience — or CCCX — courses from three to one. The change was announced in an email in early June long after fall registration had started and when many students had left for the summer.

Returning juniors and seniors told the Chronicle they had mixed feelings about the decision.

Some said they liked the change because it helped open up their schedules for different electives. Others were upset about the timing.

Olivia Byam, a junior fashion design major, is glad the requirement changed.

“Freshman year I liked having my Big Chicago class because I could learn more about the city since I’m not from here,” Byam said. But she wasn’t as interested in taking additional CCCX classes. “I want to be more focused in my career-driven classes especially since I’m in a BFA program and it’s a lot of work,” she said. “Doing credits I’m not super excited about is not something I want to put my time into.”

Hailey Wilkins, a junior film and television major, was upset she had already taken CCCX classes that she didn’t need under the new requirements.

“I personally didn’t like that I heard the classes have been cut because I took them my freshman year and sophomore year; not because I wanted to but because it was a requirement to graduate,” Wilkins said. “When I found out they were being turned into elective credits I kind of felt like I wasted my time because I’d rather take something that had to do with something that I was interested in taking and not something that I wanted to fill a credit with.”

Jay Vasquez, a senior animation major, said objected to the timing, nothing that everyone had already registered for fall.

“I thought it was kind of inconsiderate,” Vasquez said.

Sarah Budz, a senior comedy writing and performance major, said she would have preferred to have taken courses that really interested her.

“There were a lot of classes I wanted to take and I’m really interested in stop motion and I wanted to have that extracurricular space I guess to take that class. But knowing now that it is no longer in place is a little bit…a lot,” she said.

Steve Corey, the dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and chair of the Core Committee, said he understood why some students are concerned about the change.

“We’ve had lots of success with CCCX classes and students have really enjoyed them. We understand the frustration of not being able to deliver them all, which is why we listened and we made changes,” Corey said. “We wanted to make sure that we provide students with greater flexibility as possible; and that when a student takes a CCCX class, all those credits go towards their graduation, so nothing, nothing was wasted.”

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About the Contributors
Connor Dore
Connor Dore, Former Reporter
cdore@columbiachronicle.com   Connor Dore is a senior journalism major, concentrating in broadcast journalism. Dore primarily reports on Columbia's School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, but has also written about the college's financial deficit, Chicago protests and course changes. He joined the Chronicle in May 2023.   Hometown: Hickory Hills, Illinois
Lukas Katilius
Lukas Katilius, Photojournalist
lkatilius@columbiachronicle.com   Lukas Katilius is a junior photojournalism major. He has covered various campus and Chicago events. Katilius  joined the Chronicle in July 2023.   Hometown: New Lenox, Illinois