Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Columbia Offers Alumni Platform for Lifelong Learning


The Columbia Alumni Association (CAA) offers the university’s graduates many reasons to stay connected to their alma mater. Perusing the Columbia Alumni site one can see that graduates benefit from accessing video content, Columbia University news, discounts, and learning and cultural enrichment opportunities. In May 2023, CAA announced the launch of Columbia+, an online lifelong learning platform.

Columbia University is a worldwide academic hub for research and teaching. Its location in New York City allows it to draw on the city’s resources, attract a talented and diverse faculty, create academic relationships with other countries, and promote teaching and research.

After students complete their studies at Columbia, the university does more than remain in touch with its graduates. Alumni benefit from credit card, shopping, car rental, and insurance discounts. Moreover, the alumni association makes it possible to stay connected to its rich learning and cultural enrichment environment through programs such as its Virtual Alumni Wine Cellar, Virtual Alumni Book Club, and Travel Study Program. Columbia+ is an extension of these programs, products, and services in that it connects alumni with learning resources.

Once launched, Columbia+ will draw on the institution’s academic programs to cover topics ranging from traditional liberal arts to frontiers of discovery. Alumni can access these non-degree/non-credit academic courses through digital content. Furthermore, through Columbia+, alumni needing professional development can learn from thought leaders and renowned faculty worldwide.

Initially, Columbia+ will offer 60 non-credit courses across subject areas such as AI and data science, business and management, computer science, finance and economics, policy and government, and history, among other disciplines. As Columbia+ progresses, program coordinators will connect with partners across the university to regularly add new courses.

In addition to this coursework, alumni will have access to information related to upcoming digital content, such as live-streamed educational sessions, video of past events, and podcasts. They will have access to library resources as well.

While CAA created Columbia+ for alumni, students can also enroll in courses. To take these courses, the students and alumni must create an account by clicking the link at the bottom of the Columbia+ page. Users can use their UNI (Columbia University ID) or email address to create an account.

Once inside, the page allows users to view available courses, and upon selecting the ENROLL button the page prompts the user through the rest of the registration.

In 2023, Columbia+ will offer alumni a first chance to enroll in coursework through the program. Moreover, registered alumni will receive a $50 discount with the code ALUM2023 for each course they enroll in.

Alumni can take these courses online, live online, blended, and in person. Depending on the course or program, attendees may study their own pace (self-paced), or the class could have a schedule.

Depending on the difficulty of the course, it might require students to meet specific requirements. For example, students and alumni might have to understand fundamental concepts or possess certain skills, or meet computer requirements. Students can access more information on Columbia+ by going to its Frequently Asked Questions page, emailing the platform at, or talking to a representative at (212) 854-1919.

Mary C. Boyce, provost and professor of mechanical engineering, stated Columbia+ offers students unparalleled access to courses where they can learn from pathbreaking scholars and innovators across disciplines. She also noted the program will facilitate sustained intellectual engagement among the Columbia alumni community.

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