Columbia Southern University
Review Averages: 8.7 out of 10 (223 reviews)Columbia Southern University is an online-only school based in Alabama. It offers degrees at every level of higher education and in areas such as business administration, criminal justice, fire science, and human resources. CSU is especially known for being “military friendly” and offers discounts to service members and their families.
Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
Columbia Southern University Reviews:
66 of 67 people found the following review helpful
Understand the school and what it is for!
March 26, 2012
I graduated in November 2011 with a BS in Fire Science from CSU. The degree, without a doubt, aided me in getting the job at the fire department I wanted to work for. I get so tired of reading all the dreadful reviews from unsatisfied students on here who don't understand what this school is intended for. Columbia Southern University is not for recent high school graduates wanting the college experience, Ivy League graduates wanting a Masters degree to help get into Law School, or those seeking PhD's from the "Regional Accredited" world. This school is intended for people like me, a WORKING Firefighter who can't attend a traditional campus and earn a degree in my respective field. It is meant for adults with families trying to better themselves. Do you think that my Company Fire Officer cares at 2 a.m. during a fully involved structure fire whether or not I completed 6 credits of English from a Regional school, or took enough Western Civilization from a Harvard grad professor?? NO!! He cares whether or not I know fire patterns , pump pressures, strategic hose lays, and proper fireground communications...which is EXACTLY what I learned in my Fire Science classes here at CSU. I live 7 miles from the University of Alabama. Unfortunately, UA does not offer a degree in Fire Science. The program in Fire Science at CSU is widely accepted in the Fire Service. My state fire academy has even partnered with CSU, allowing for transfer credits from previously earned credits. I took a class at the Fire College to get my pumper certification, later I took a class at CSU similar to the outline of my certification class....SAME BOOK. In saying that, the quality of education at CSU and the resources used (books, outlines, etc.) are superior to my needs. Not once was I asked about the accreditation of my degree. If I wanted to be a lawyer, I would have gone to Alabama...but I am a firefighter, so I went to CSU. I'm not chasing prestige....I'm chasing knowledge!
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
CSU is as challenging as any other school
April 17, 2012
Let's be clear, Columbia Southern University is just as challenging as any regionally accredited school that I've attended. I graduated with a B.A. degree from Thomas Edison State College, a (RA) school and CSU's cirriculum and workload is structured the same. I totally agree with some of the other comments that if you are looking for an ivy league school or obtained your degree from some other big name (RA) school, then CSU is NOT for you! Go spend mom and dad's money or get yourself a loan and go to Duke or Yale. Don't kid yourself, there is no big difference between Regional vs National Accreditation (Go to DETC.org) Distance education is not for everyone, especially the young kids coming out of H.S. or those who could not make the grade at the big schools. Both accrediting bodies are approved by the Dept of Education for title IV funding, GI Bill and student loans and both have rigorous approval standards. What is most important is the price. The tuition and fees are far less cheaper than attending schools like Strayer or University of Phoenix. Don't believe me check it out for yourself. By the way both of those schools are RA and will accept NA credits. Please do you homework and check out CSU thourougly before giving them a bad rap. If the school work is too easy for you then obviously you are not working full-time, holding down a family, and trying to earn a reputable degree all at the same time. Go sit yourself in a classroom. Thank you CSU!
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Real degree...what the?!?
October 10, 2010
Somebody explain to me, if this is a "degree mill", then how come I have to take 20 8-week classes (after I transferred my A.S. degree to them) to complete my B.S. degree for 120 credits. And nobody told me they were ACCREDITED (ick). Also, they have the nerve to send me ACTUAL TEXTBOOKS, which they expect me to read. And I have to take ACTUAL TESTS at the end of each week, and write ACTUAL APA ESSAYS, and some even have a FINAL EXAM! What a nerve. And to top it off, they assign me ACTUAL PROFESSORS who, get this, EXPECT ME TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THE MATERIAL AND PASS THE TESTS! Also, the Department of Education recognizes this "degree mill", and the Department of Defense will pay for its members to go there! My employer even says they are approved..ugh. That was the last straw. Here I thought I was going to breeze through a "degree mill", but I really got conned big time. This is more like a "real" degree, which I wanted to avoid, what a rip.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
20 years of safety experience
November 27, 2012
OK so I took advantage of the military tuition assistance (Army Reserves) and transferred my 60 AA units from a CA community college plus another 12 from another brick and mortar and got some credits for OSHA certificate courses and my E7 course work credits and had to take 12 more classes for 36 more units. I have worked as a civilian in the OCC Health and Safety field for close to 20 years so of course I finally needed the parchment to move forward. Take this college for what it is. It is challenging for some and not so much for others. For those that complain about open book or easy course work lets take a look at real life. So when I run across a toxic substance issue at work where do I turn? Reference materials like MSDS files, chemical dat sheets, online resources. HMMM Open book. We bring in a new material that requires the use of PPE so what do I do? reference the MSDS and manufacturers recommendations and purchase the correct PPE by what? Looking up selection guides and chemical resistance guides for gloves etc etc.. HMMM again open book. Spills? How do you handle them? Fires well OK training involved and muscle memory of using extinguishers but storage of materials. AH reference OSHA guidelines as well as state and local requirements. I am a bit older than some and remember not using a calculator in math classes. Now my 10th grader uses one in calculus that is like a computer. Do we not allow accountants to use software programs? The world has changed. If you know where to find the answer you will go far in business. Knowing it is great. Understanding it is necessary but without the ability to reference and communicate an employee is useless. My advice to any student looking for a degree is yes you get what you pay for but you only get as much as you put into it. The material they use for their Safety degrees are up to date, relevant and have all the information you will need to understand to be a good safety representative. Only experience can make you great in this arena so start with the class work.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
MBA in progress!
February 9, 2012
I am not sure why people are posting that CSU is easy? I've been working on my MBA for 4 years! I have one class to go and I've had many papers to write that were minimum 10 page reports. Let me make it clear. CSU is flexible. You need to do the work in order to complete your classes. The Professors are always there to assist you and answer questions. The text books are current and relevant. It’s up to you to make your experience the best it can be… I recommend CSU to anyone looking to complete their BS or MBA. Be positive and know that it can be done. I have a wife and children, a full time job, play music professionally and I still am going to graduate “Magna Cum Laude” with a 3.8+ GPA because I work hard! Don't hesitate, just do it. Time goes by so fast, and before you know it, you'll be feeling great about your accomplishments.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Some folks that go to "college" are not educated
September 13, 2012
Wow reading the post by Mr. "Be careful" above implored me to review my new school and it's accreditation. I too am in the Occupational Health and Safety program. So far it's been GREAT, and the coursework is no harder or easier than my B&M counter part education. To clarify any misinformation about national accreditation (NA) allow me to respond this way. First, NA is accepted 110% by the U.S. Government, and the U.S. military, local and county governments, as well as 1000's of civilian employers. One can become a military officer with an NA degree - simple. Can one transfer NA credits to an RA school, yes. It is a as easy as transferring RA to RA credits of course not, why because it's different accreditation. What I can tell you is some RA schools are seeking both NA and RA accreditation to accept a larger student population ( Thomas Edison State College, Excelsior College name a few and they take BOTH RA and NA credits without question). Saying NA is a "buyer beware" situation is like saying U.S. institutions do not accept credits from overseas universities. Let me say that they absolutely do, AFTER a transcript/course evaluation is performed. Which consequently they do with NA credits for transfer to an RA institutions. I hate to be the bearer of bad new but not all RA credits transfer to RA schools - that is a fact. So in short, do your homework before you tell folks that NA (DETC) is anything but credible accreditation because it 110% is. As for my experience here: So far the instructors and the classes are great, the structure and materials work well with my assignments. And they treat veterans like myself outstanding. Do not choose or reject this school based on what some "don't know" about the types of accreditation out there, AND most importantly what they mean. Because what I can tell you is most folks that post on this subject have no idea what they are talking about. You just see a lot of "I've heard", "I have been told by" and so on. Do yourself a favor and see if NA accreditation fits your plans. I chose NA not because it's NA but because A) my two other degrees are RA accredited, B) this school has the program I NEED to the letter, and C) The U.S. Government accepts it 110% for my position. Any questions?
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Good College for my needs.
February 10, 2012
This will be my second degree program at this university;and the bad comments are funny because with so many colleges fighting for your money just pick one that suits your needs and go. Columbia Southern University is not for everyone and maybe if I was 20 then a brick and mortar would be OK but for working older adults this is great and besides unless you went to a elite university "Harvard, Yale" who cares where your degree is from.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
April 28, 2012
This is not the school for you if you require hand-holding, you have to be self-motivated. Lots of military and ex-military go to this school. The pace is fast and furious and you can get left behind quickly if you don't keep up. But the payoff is you can get it done relatively quickly if you load up and run with it. Support is exceptional. I was accepted into FSU grad school with this degree too so don't believe the disgruntled or uninformed naysayers. Very satisfied.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Excellent School from a current student!
June 17, 2013
I chose CSU after careful and thorough research on National vs. Regional Accreditation. I spoke to various colleges from Human resources Department, from large and prestigious companies; more than 90% said that they didn't ask or care what accreditation the degree had. So long as it was accredited and based on your resume, you had the qualification. Regional schools get evaluated and re-certified every 10 years, whereas National schools do it every 5; from the same accrediting agencies. That said the school administration is excellent. Always responsive and very courteous. The school is by no means a walk in the park, as was said. You are basically on your own. You receive hard copy books, which is covered in their extremely low tuition ($200/undergraduate, $265/graduate,and $300/Graduate,per credit. It's ridiculously low when compared to other school. As I was saying you have two weeks (out of 8) outlined, and available to you, at one time. You have your assignments on the blackboard, and from your course syllabus. You MUST read, be responsible. It's not as easy as a B&M school., which I have attended. It's up too you to be responsible. You also have to log in the discussion boards, and comment with other students. But if you do everything on time, you should have no problem. I am finishing my BSBA in Human Resource Management, and I have truly enjoyed my stay here , and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good accredited school, with excellent service, and outstanding tuition.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Don't let the low cost fool you!
October 1, 2012
CSU helped me get started on my road to education after over 20 years of putting it off. I completed an Associates of Applied Science in Business with them first, followed two years later with a Bachelor's in Business Administration and now I'm currently in the Master's Program for Organizational Leadership. All i can say is that I've had my share of pressure and stress that a full time schedule and school can put on you. So this was no cakewalk. I've had to sacrifice parties, reunions, weddings, football games, ect. in the name of pursuing my degrees. CSU did not hand me anything, but made me earn it. If you do not open the book, you will not make the grade. Simple. This is online education at it's best. The price can't be beaten, free books, and the best customer service (I have used it on more than one occasion) so I should know. They have been here for me and that's what's matters to me. My degree is accredited and validated. Thank you CSU for helping to reach my goals and now to set them even higher.
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