Student FAQ's due to COVID-19 Campus Closure

Columbia College COVID-19 FAQ’s for Students. Updated 3/26/2020

Q: Will students still graduate and receive a diploma?

A: Yes.

Q: Will the Commencement Ceremony be held?

A: We are uncertain at this time if we need to cancel the graduation ceremony. Whether it is in person or virtually, we will celebrate your accomplishments.

Q: Is the Campus closing?

A: Yes, as of March 19 due to the shelter-in-place order from Governor Newsom. Check for updates.

Q: Is the Food Bank open?

A: No, due to the shelter-in-place order from Governor Newsom on March 19.

Q: I am in a club and we have a meeting planned. Can we still meet?

A: Yes – but only remotely.  It is not advisable to hold gatherings at this time. The Governor cautions against gathering with more than 10 people that cannot keep a safe social distance from one another (6 feet).  Talk with your club advisor about setting up a Zoom session.

Q: Will I still receive my units for a lab class if we can’t come to campus?

A: Check with your instructor for more information on your course. 

Q: How will labs and performances required for credit be completed?

A: Your instructor will contact you regarding these requirements.

Q: Can I still meet with my tutor?

A: The AAC will be closed starting Friday, March 20 th , but tutors will be available online starting next week.  

Embedded tutors who are already in courses will be setting up weekly online tutoring sessions through ConferZoom.  Our second phase is to create a new online tutoring schedule for most of our tutors. We are still working on those details, so stay tuned for more information.   We are also trying to add more embedded tutors to courses, so please contact ccaac@yosemite.ed if you are interested in having an embedded tutor. 

Q: I am on academic/progress probation/disqualification, how will I register for classes if the admissions office is closed?

 A: You may meet with a counselor by phone or via video conferencing. Contact the Counseling Office at (209) 588-5109 for an appointment. Your counselor can walk you through the process.

Q: Who should I contact if I am experiencing technical difficulties?

 A: Email the helpdesk at , or if related to instruction, contact your professor with the email provided on your syllabus. 

Q: Are late start courses still occurring for the spring semester?

A: Yes.

Q: How long will the closure last? When will we return to classes?

A: We are following the Governors guidelines. Should remote learning continue through the end of the semester, we will send out campus-wide notification.

Q: How does the closure impact the degree or certificate that I am graduating with this semester? Will I still earn my degree or certificate that I was planning on completing in SP20?

A:  If you have filed for spring graduation and you complete and pass classes needed for degrees/certificates, you will receive your award(s).  We do not anticipate a delay in posting awards to transcripts and printing diplomas and certificates. This process will be completed once final grades are posted via connectColumbia by each instructor. UCs and CSUs have sent out statements that all Spring 2020 courses with existing articulation agreements will be honored, regardless of how they were offered.

Q: How does the closure impact possible transferring?

A: At this time, Admissions and Records will continue to process both electronic and paper transcripts for students in a timely manner.  Students are encouraged to reach out to all transferring institutions for up to date information on transfer deadlines. UCs and CSUs have sent out statements that all Spring 2020 courses with existing articulation agreements will be honored, regardless of how they were offered. 

Q: If I am unable to complete courses this semester, can I receive an incomplete and finish in the fall?

A: An incomplete is given at the discretion of the instructor. Please coordinate with your instructor if you feel that you will not be able to complete a course by the end of the semester due to changes in course delivery.

Q: If I am on academic/progress probation/disqualification, how will I register for classes?

A: Make an appointment with a Counselor at (209) 588-5109 and they will walk you through the process.

Q: What are the options for withdrawing from courses due to the COVID-19 emergency?

A:  Please do not drop any courses on your own at this time.  The California Community Colleges and the Federal Department of Education are in the process of deciding the best way to handle withdrawals due to the COVID-19 emergency.  We are currently waiting on direction before we make any additional changes to student records.  There are financial aid implications to consider and you need to find out about your particular circumstances when considering a withdrawal.  As soon as we have clear direction, we will post our instructions here and on the Admissions and Records web page.  Thank you for your patience.

Q: Who do I contact in order to schedule a counseling appointment?

A: Students can call (209) 588-5109 in order to schedule a remote counseling appointment.

Q: How/can I still apply for SU20 graduation?

A: A&R is currently accepting summer graduation applications. Students are required to meet with a counselor via online or over the phone to complete a graduation application which will then be forwarded to A&R. 

Q: If I do not have the accessibility to either technology or transportation to use campus resources to complete an online course successfully, what options do I have since the last day to drop without a W has already passed?  

A:  Please contact your instructor and coordinate options to complete courses if accessibility is an issue.  A&R will assist any student who wishes to withdraw from a class they do not feel prepared to finish in light of changes to course delivery. This will not impact their GPA or count as an attempt to take the course. However, students receiving financial aid during this time may be impacted as disbursements have already been made. Students are encouraged to contact Financial Aid prior to requesting the drop from A&R.  Any request for dropping a course must come from the student email account or it will not be processed.


Q: Can I still meet with the Career center staff?

A: Career center meetings will still take place over phone or video. Here is a link to the career & job placement website: .

How to schedule a career center meeting: 

  • Students can go into their starfish, select career services, and sign up for a time that works best for them.
  • Students can email .
  • Students can click on this link , which will take them directly to book a career center meeting in starfish. 

Here is a video about online career service access and how to book a meeting.


Financial Aid FAQ’s

COVID-19 Information – Frequently Asked Questions about Financial Aid

Please know that we are working diligently to ensure we are supporting you during this time to provide continued access to your financial aid. Below are the answers to some anticipated questions. We will update this form as new questions or information becomes available.

Q: How do I contact the financial aid office if the school is closed?

A: During the Columbia College closure period, the Financial Aid staff continues to work remotely. If you need to contact the Financial Aid Office, you can email us at You may also leave a message for your Financial Aid Technician (Last Names A-L call 209-588-5105 or Last Names M-Z call 209-588-5272) Your email AND phone calls will be responded to by a financial aid staff within 24 to 48 hours (excluding weekend and holidays) through your student assigned email. Please make sure to email us from your student assigned email or we will not be able to respond to you

Q: Columbia College is temporarily closed from March 23 rd until April 3 rd due to COVID-19, will I be able to finish the term and keep my federal student aid?

A: Yes, you will be able to finish the term and keep your financial aid as long as you follow your professor’s instructions and remain in your courses.  

Q: What happens to my financial aid if I choose to drop all or some of my classes?

A: If you are planning to withdraw from all or some of your classes, please consult with your financial aid technician to see how it will affect your current or future financial aid. Dropping of classes could result in a financial aid repayment of all or part of the funding you have received.  

Q: I am a work-study student. Since Columbia College is closed, will I still get paid for the hours I am unable to work for my Federal Work-Study job?

A: During this closure at Columbia, you will continue to be paid according to your existing scheduled work hours. The timesheet should be submitted to your supervisor as scheduled. Once Columbia re-opens on Monday, April 6 th , you are required to report to work as usual. If you are unable to return to work on April 6 th due to COVID-19 related disruptions (such as student quarantines or taking care of family member who contracted COVID-19), please contact the Financial Aid office for further instructions. 

Q: Due to coronavirus, all my classes are now moved online, am I going to get less financial aid?

A: No. If your classes have been moved to an online format, you must continue to participate in the course work and follow your teacher’s or professor’s instructions to remain eligible for financial aid.

Q. When will I receive my next Financial Aid disbursement?

  1. On March 20 th students will receive their second disbursement from the Pell grant. That will be the last disbursement for already processed students. If you have still not received your funding it is not too late! Contact your Financial Aid technician and see what you need to do! 

Q. I have paper documents that need to be submitted to the office. What do I do?

  1. You can take a clear picture and send it from your student assigned email to your Financial Aid technician to process. Or you can send the document via mail to: Financial Aid Office 11600 Columbia College Dr. Sonora CA 95370. 


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