Turning students into responsible global citizens

KNOWLEDGE. SKILLS. VALUES.

We’re developing the next generation of leaders at Columbia

At Columbia International College, students of all ages and abilities are given the kind of engaging educational opportunities and enriching life experiences that will help them develop strength of character and effective leadership skills. Under the direction of Columbia’s Total Care Development® approach, school becomes a journey of personal discovery where students are encouraged to push their limits and reveal hidden aptitudes. Early in their stay at Columbia, students are asked to pledge to practice 10 important character traits: respect; honesty and integrity; responsibility; peaceful and positive conflict resolution; caring; optimism; inclusiveness; fairness; self-confidence and self-advocacy; and perseverance. These character traits become the basis for month-long themes during the school year and the inspiration for programming in school and the residences. The ultimate goal is for students to become sought-after applicants to world-renowned universities and valued contributors to their workplaces and communities.

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Meet the student development team

Columbia is the only private school in Canada with an office dedicated exclusively to developing programs that create well-rounded students. Staff in the student development office put together extracurricular school-based activities and residence life programs that support the growth of students as scholars, leaders, athletes and community contributors.

Step into our student development office

Programs for
every age

Columbia’s programs provide the age-appropriate knowledge, experiences and coaching each student needs to develop his or her unique talents and skills. Our youngest students are given the around-the-clock care they require to feel secure and loved. Our oldest students are offered opportunities to develop responsible decision-making and independent living skills.

Check out our unique programming

Leadership unlimited

Columbia students are given all the tools they need to become tomorrow’s leaders, including training classes on topics ranging from conflict resolution to event planning and trips to beautiful Bark Lake, our wilderness leadership retreat. Interested students receive support to complete the steps to receive the world-renowned Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Learn about our leadership programs

Just for
juniors

Columbia’s youngest students—those who are under age 16 as of July 31 in any given year—have special curriculum and programming designed to meet their specific needs. Programs focus on building strong character, inspiring volunteerism and encouraging global awareness and citizenship. We’ve built these requirements into a certificate program, too.

Find out what’s available for our youngest students

At York we believe that, in addition to academic excellence, a student's extracurricular, community service, and leadership activities demonstrate whether they have the essential character traits to succeed in York's intensive academic environment, contribute to campus life, and become one of our distinguished alumni. We see these traits in Columbia graduates.

Dr. Marilyn Lambert-Drache, Associate Vice-President International