Biography

Dr. Snell is one of the founders of Columbia College. He currently serves as President of the College, and sits on the Board of Directors for Columbia College.

Tom was born in Taber, Alberta. In September 1968 he entered an Academic Upgrading program at Lethbridge Community College and entered the University of Lethbridge Faculty of Arts and Science in 1970. There he focused his attention on Industrial Psychology and Industrial Sociology and worked with Canada Safeway while completing university. After learning about special education in 1972 Tom transferred to a five year joint B.A., B.Ed. program. In January, 1974 he moved his family to Calgary.

In September 1974 Tom joined the Calgary Board of Education as a special education teacher. Later he completed his Masters Degree in Educational Administration in Washington.

Between 1964 and 1980 Tom worked for Canada Safeway primarily in its retail operations. During this period he completed a Certificate in Retail Food Management with Cornell University in New York and received a scholarship to complete an Executive Food Management Program at Cornell. In 1974 Tom was moved to the head office of Canada Safeway in Calgary where he worked in the Human Resources Department and delivered their Employee Training Program.

Tom and Nola married in March, 1980 and in June he left the Calgary Board of Education for a program coordinator position at Mount Royal College. At Mount Royal he taught business courses and managed programs for special needs adults.

The Snell family (including 5 children) moved to Saskatchewan in 1984 where Tom took on the CEO (President) position of Cypress Hills Community College.

Since starting Columbia College in 1986 Tom completed his Doctor in Higher Education (1995) at Nova Southeastern in Florida. He has also taught management courses at Athabasca University and the University of Calgary. Columbia College is now one of the largest private colleges in Alberta. Its graduates consistently achieve some of the highest marks in Canada on national professional exams. The college is positioning itself to offer undergraduate degrees as well as becoming one of Canada’s first institutions specializing in non-traditional adult learners.

Tom has served on many provincial committees, has been active in community clubs and volunteer work. He works out several times a week. Tom enjoys life immensely, spending time with his best friend (Nola), family members, friends, and when time permits he golfs.