CCCU Welcomes Sophomores to BestSemester Programs

May 25, 2016
WASHINGTON – As a reflection of a growing national trend, the CCCU’s BestSemester programs are opening up to participation from sophomores.

“Sophomores are participating in semester abroad programs with increasing frequency, for good reason. Many students benefit from hands-on experience in their major early in their course of study, which many study abroad programs provide. Furthermore, institutions benefit from their sophomores studying abroad, since such students are more likely to be campus leaders upon their return home,” said Rick Ostrander, vice president for academic affairs and professional programs.

In addition, studying abroad in the sophomore year helps students stay on track to take their required classes and graduate on time, Ostrander said. Studying through BestSemester programs enables many students to get experience in their field, complete some general education requirements, and experience life abroad, all while remaining in a Christ-centered curriculum like that of their home campuses.

“As BestSemester alumni around the world can attest, a Christ-centered semester program is a truly transformative experience,” Ostrander said. “We hope that this policy change creates the opportunity for more CCCU students to benefit from such an experience.”

Visit for more information about the CCCU’s nine off-campus experiential learning programs.


The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of 180 Christian institutions around the world. The 117 member campuses in North America are all regionally accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences and whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. In addition, 63 affiliate campuses from 20 countries are part of the CCCU. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth. Visit

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities offers nine off-campus study programs, collectively branded BestSemester®, which expand learning opportunities for students from CCCU campuses and are designated as culture-shaping or culture-crossing programs. Culture-shaping BestSemester programs are: American Studies Program (Washington, D.C.), Contemporary Music Center (Nashville) and Los Angeles Film Studies Center (Los Angeles). Culture-crossing BestSemester programs are: Australia Studies Centre, Latin American Studies Program, Middle East Studies Program, Oxford Summer Programme, Scholars’ Semester in Oxford and Uganda Studies Program. Visit for program details.