Our student development office realizes the potential in each student

At Columbia International College, we believe a true education goes beyond classes and marks. Education should build character and prepare students for what comes next in their studies, careers and future lives. Such an ambitious goal can’t be accomplished without a structured program, specific resources and dedicated staff members. That’s why Columbia has established its Student Development Office, which is the only one of its kind among private high schools in Canada, to provide students with meaningful activities and experiences that give them the essential knowledge, skills and values for a bright future. Student development staff organize celebrations and events that promote school spirit, coordinate structured sports activities, facilitate school clubs, host workshops, and help students find volunteer opportunities. Staff also manage leadership training and make sure there are chances for students to practice what they’ve learned through student leadership positions within the college. Student development programming takes place in the school, residences and community.


Physical activity is an important part of a healthy, balanced life. The student development office organizes sports and other physical activities that meet the needs of students of all interests and abilities, from varsity sports to fun, informal activities. Students can also join the Columbia Crew, where they learn how to organize sports activities themselves.


Columbia’s Leadership Enrichment and Development (LEAD) program offers opportunities for students to develop leadership, teamwork, goal-setting and time management skills. They can try out what they’ve learned through leadership positions in the Prefect Body, Columbia Crew, Student Council, International Council, Residence Council and Student Mentor Program.

Residence programs

Columbia’s students can participate in fun and social activities that are relevant to the residence setting in which they live, including occasional co-ed events such as movie nights. Students aged 15 and younger receive specific academic supervision and assistance to ensure homework and assignments are completed on time.

School programs

The student development office organizes age-appropriate special events and activities during school hours and after school, extending the learning outside the classroom. Staff promote awareness of issues such as bullying and harassment; healthy living, including the impacts of smoking, drugs and alcohol; and global ethics during themed awareness weeks.

Community service

Columbia’s community service program promotes volunteerism and helps students explore their community and discover the power of making a difference. Students earn community service hours, a pre-requisite for graduation in Ontario, as well as gaining valuable work experience, leadership skills, social awareness and a portfolio of volunteer service.

Character building

All students at Columbia pledge that they’ll conduct themselves according to 10 traits that are found in a strong and ethical character, from caring and optimism to peaceful and positive conflict resolution. The student development office supports students in fulfilling their commitment by organizing activities that explore one of the character traits each month.

Our residential and extracurricular activities play a direct role in shaping the knowledge, skills, and values of our students on their quest to become responsible global citizens.

Cathy Cheeranjie, Director of Student Development