Columbia Southern University
Review Averages: 8.7 out of 10
Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
Columbia Southern University Reviews:
Fair and Honest Critque from Recent MBA Graduate
MBA - May 9, 2016
Here is an honest and fair assessment of my time at CSU in its online, MBA program. First and foremost, let's discuss ACCREDITATON. Decide what you want out of a school before selecting CSU. Yes, it is nationally accredited, and No it is not regionally accredited, nor does it possess any specialized, prestigious business accreditations such as AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). FACULTY. There are no professors that teach classes per se. They can be more accurately described as "facilitators" or "moderators". They don't grade papers stringently, and there are not any required discussion posts to grade classroom participation. When I had a question, or needed assistance, it would be "hit-or-miss" when it came to getting a response from them - depends on the facilitator. For example, I was having technical difficulty submitting an assignment and it was the final due date. So, I emailed the instructor to ask for a one-day extension to resolve the technical issue. I was able to submit the assignment the next day, and no points were deducted; but, I never received a response from the instructor. As far as the instructor's qualifications, they do possess the appropriate degrees that you would think a professor should have - MS, MBA, PhD. But, you're not going to see many that graduated from well-known institutions - at least I didn't notice any while reading all of my professors' biographies. Important to note, I didn't see any professors who were graduates of CSU. STAFF SUPPORT. I believe that the staff was friendly and helpful, and I don't have anything negative to say. I always received great customer service when I called CSU. CAMPUS LOCATION. I actually visited the "campus" at CSU one day as I was passing through during a business trip. I took a 15-minute detour to the location and drove into the parking lot of the campus. That's essentially what it was. It's a two-building campus surrounding a parking lot. Outside the campus seemed very rural. So, basically, it's a college in the middle of nowhere. The university campus looked nothing like a traditional college campus. Most community colleges I've seen have a more convincing campus - as you could imagine, I was disappointed, but nearly finished with my degree, so there was no turning back at this point. COURSE DIFFICULTY. It's not difficult at all. I believe a senior in high school or a freshman in college could easily pass the courses. It was almost too easy, but for me, it was a relief since I transferred from a top-ranked university master's program where I was writing papers until 3:00 a.m. and having to get for work at 6:00 a.m. I couldn't maintain that schedule while simultaneously performing well in my profession and being an adequate husband and father. Plus, I was paying out of my ears in tuition and books. CSU is cheap and the course load is more than manageable. That leaves you time to have a life and be a husband/wife, father, or mother. For me, that held a lot of value. JOB PROSPECTS. What I have to say about this is theoretical since I have had a zero sum gain in job prospects or income since I received my degree. I've spent a great deal of time in the past speaking with HR managers within my organization, and from other organizations, and many echo the same statement on education. For the Department of Defense, they verify if the university who granted the degree is recognized by the Department of Education; which CSU is. For the corporate sector, I have no idea. I also spoke to some talent recruiters at a career fair and one mentioned that they are favoring certifications, in addition to a degree. For example, if you have a masters in project management, you may want to pursue a PMP certification, or obtain a green or black belt in Six Sigma. That alone may still not be the "smoking gun" that lands you a job. I've witnessed, and you may have to, folks getting hired in management positions with only a bachelor's degree, or in some cases, no degree at all. Their experience and personal network were enough to get them in the management chair. When it comes to landing the target job, your experience and network is going to be more solid than your degree diplomas. In summary, jobs that pay well are competitive, and you may need a combination of experience, education, and qualifications. And even then, you may not get hired if you don't interview well. CSU RECOMMENDATION. I would recommend the CSU MBA program to working adults looking to add to their resume at the most reasonable cost possible while still maintaining a family and professional life. If you don't have children, and your job is 9-5, I would recommend looking into a more challenging, and recognized degree program where you would have the time to invest.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great School, Real Value, Real Accredidation
Occupational Safety & Health - March 24, 2016
I have been enrolled in the BS Occupational Safety and Health since 2008 (yes, 2008), and it has taken me this long because I am older, work full time, lead a family, and balance real coursework. However, as of March 23, 2016, I completed my audit to be conferred an interim A.S. degree the same field on March 31, 2016. I am proud of this accomplishment as I really worked had an earned it! And I couldn't have done it without the support of the CSU faculty, staff, and learning resources along the way. For those leery (or critical) of this university, let me share some key facts. 1. CSU is a private, for profit institution. If you are looking for them to "give" you something other than quality resources, then you are in society's growing majority, so just move along. Earn what you get and consider it an investment in yourself. 2. CSU is nationally accredited. So what. National accreditation is through the Department of Education and DETC, and is not automatically granted. CSU had to go through a rigorous process to earn their accreditation, and still, they are frequently audited to ensure they maintain high standards. Furthermore, if CSU decided to pursue regional accreditation they could, and would be successful. No need; CSU already has regional accreditation through another PRIVATE, for PROFIT university they own - www.waldorf.edu (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)...and guess what? The course work at Waldorf is virtually identical to CSU. In fact, when CSU purchased Waldorf, they transferred their distance leaning programs over AND CSU credit is fully transferrable to Waldorf. So, if RA is really that important to you, go to CSU to complete most of your coursework for a lower cost, then transfer to Waldorf to complete your degree. You'll be paying for RA and validation of the same coursework you get at CSU. You should also consider that CSU was one of the early pioneers in distance learning. Now, we see all of the RA laggers trying to get on the band wagon. CSU is miles ahead. 3. CSU has real professors. When you see the professor profiles, they are virtually all B.A./B.S./Masters, and PhD degreed from RA brick and mortar institutions. One of the primary reasons I chose CSU it that I saw that one of the faculty also happened to be one of the most brilliant CIHs that I used to work for! He was a hard-a** to work for, so I knew he was the real deal. He was no easier in the course. 4. CSU degrees are accepted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) as meeting the educational requirements to sit for the ASP and CSP exams. For those that don't know, BCSP is the most prestigious safety and health credentialing organization in the WORLD. It is the certification that virtually every practitioner strives for, and every employer looking to hire a safety professional wants. There are fewer that a handful of schools like CSU that BSCP recognizes. Reason 2 for selecting CSU as my school of choice. Personally, I don't care if naysayers choose CSU or not. The facts above are real facts. I'm proud of the degree I earned, and know the value of it. IF you are intent on a degree from an RA institution, then congradulations. Go get your degree You'll work hard and complete hard coursework, no doubt. Meanwhile, I'll take my 24 years of career experience and walk into my boss's office at the world's biggest heavy equipment company with my worthless degree and walk out with a minimum of 5% salary increase, while you'll be standing in the entry level line with a RA degree hoping to make a salary high enough to pay your student loans.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Quality of CSU is very Professional and Consistent in the Learning Process
MBA - January 17, 2016
Columbia Southern University is about maturity as a student. When I first inquired about the program I spoke with an individual with knowledge that supported the University and had the skills to explain the process to me with great ease. Some students have to be spoon fed. Unfortunately, I look at some of the Discussion Boards set up by Professors as a basic requirement in each program and I wonder about some students work ethic. Students make careless mistakes in their work they present which reflects highly on their behavior and performance skills. If students would take the time and learn patience, CSU Administration and Student Resource section will gladly take time with you. It is how you present yourself for people who find them rude. I have never encountered a rude worker at CSU. I would be upset and have to calm down because they were being so nice. Columbia was my selection after evaluating 457 school's graduate programs online. This University is so consistent that you have to be a big dummy to not follow through. Some professors are stricter than others. Same at the brickhouse University. Nothing different. All professors expect the student's work to be complete, accurate and professional using proper format prior to submission. Some may give you some lead way, depending on the situation. I have found every professor at CSU is easy to contact than my other University where I could knock on their door. If they grade hard, it is because they want you to be successful. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. I feel CSU supports its students to the utmost. If you are a young student, you must listen and pay attention to detail. You will go far at CSU. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. However, students who submit tacky mispelled work in Graduate school should not move forward if they cannot follow directions. My advice to students is to study and for God's sake, PROOF READ YOUR WORK BEFORE SUBMITTING IT!!! HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PROOFREAD YOUR WORK IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good enough for the BCSP, good enough for me!
Occupational Safety & Health - November 28, 2015
I have read many reviews that talk about National vs Regional accreditation and I for one am not concerned. I am an older student who already has a successful career, but to plan ahead for changes in the job market, I have decided to obtain a Health and Safety certification. The organization who issues these certifications is the Bureau of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), and they list Columbia Southern University as one of only a handful of Associates Degree programs allowed to sit for the prestigious Associate Safety Professional(ASP)and Certified Safety Professional(CSP) exams. In addition, the company that I work for (big oil) has an agreement with CSU, so I get a discount on tuition, and the company will even pay for 75% of that. Because of all of this, I am very happy with CSU. They serve my needs, and I believe that they will serve the needs of most students that decide to get a degree from them.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Business Administration/Program Management - November 4, 2015
I was already entrenched in my career but witthout a college degree. Because I worked for a private firm, there was no degree required. Once I decided to get a job with a large firm, I enrolled in CSU to complete my last 50 credits. I did so in about a year. Classes are not very challenging but they do take time and it is busy work. After I completed my degree, I began my search at a large firm. By no means did my degree get me any interviews, my experience did...but never once was I questioned about accreditation (which it is) or about an "online" school. It checked the box quite adequately and at a very affordable cost. I recommend CSU highly if you arre in a similar situation. You need to check the box as having a degree. This is not to say the education was not valuable, it was...but for me it was about getting through the credits. Good luck!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cudos to CSU
MBA - November 4, 2015
I see that there are a few students or former students that think that their degree will not get them to the utopic job that they are searching for, it's not happening. Education is when the mind expands, not when the mind memorizes. A degree is not a piece of paper that allows you to walk into a organization and throw down the degree and say "Hire me, I went to college". Name dropping schools does not get you hired any faster. At CSU if you learned anything, apply what you learned. Remember education does not override experience. If someone went to college for the sole purpose of getting a job you only fooled yourself. Education is an enabler in helping you to perhaps get your foot in the door for an interview, the degree or college does not walk in there with you. I attend CSU for both of my degrees, Bachelors and Masters. Everything that a person learns in college may not be applied in the real world, just like HS. I never end my day saying "Dang, I didn't get to use calculus or trigonometry today", or for the past 5 years. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at CSU and would, and have recommended it to other of my friends. It is one of the only colleges that accept military experience and applies it to credits. Sure you have to write papers but that is part of being in college, especially since no student has to team up with other students that determine their or the groups grade. Some people are just looking for things to complain about in life. Maybe that why some people are using the excuse of not being able to get jobs is because of attitude not education
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Recent 2015 Grad/
Criminal Justice Administration - August 26, 2015
Having recently graduated from CSU, I have been more than happy with what I committed to in obtaining my degree. Being in the high tempo area of the Army and able to take my work with me anywhere was a huge plus and would not have stuck with it if that was not the case. Be aware, you WILL have to earn this degree and it is not given. I wrote more papers here than I would have liked, and trust me when I say I hate writing or research papers in APA. Ughhhh...never again, HOWEVER, I just may get my Masters from CSU because of the quality and service I was afforded. I did read a few other reviews here, and I hear the grumblings. First understand this is NOT Harvard, Ohio State, etc. If you are looking to land a job with no experience, get in line. Plenty of folks are still in the civilian work place...or lack of, and cannot find work. The economy is NOT what they would lead you to believe. Why do you think I have made a career out of my current service? Thanks but no thanks to the unemployment line. Use this school for current advancement, not as a "name-drop" to get you attention from a prospective employer. Next, FEE's are at every school My wife just graduated from American Law School, and I had to pay for the grad fee. ALL schools do this, and even when I went to the U or Akron, OH, we had to pay fees. It's a business based on education folks. Bills have to be paid; get a clue. All in all, I have enjoyed my experience with CSU and recommend them to anyone looking to better themselves if they are in a current career and are looking for a flexible and reasonable school to aid them.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
so grateful for the education
MBA - August 22, 2015
I completed my BBA and MBA here, and I worked REALLY hard; do not think you can skate through- it is tough! I enjoyed the experience. I was never alone: the instructors, the writing center, everybody was always available to help if I needed it. I read a lot of the negative reviews and do not agree with most of them. It may be that you got a degree and could not get a job, but do not blame the school. The school is excellent and if you are planning on attending, speak to an advisor first. they can answer any questions you have. I am grateful for the education I got. I live in Houston and could go anywhere, but the ability to get a first class education AT HOME OR ANYWHERE was the key for me.
4 of 16 people found the following review helpful
DO NOT ENTER!
Columbia Southern University - August 5, 2015
I appreciate all the reviews that were written. after coming from a school that wasn't regionally accredited I decided to do my home work before enrolling into another school. I read where some people experienced negative attitudes from some of the administration. I can testify to that. I had called for some information on some of the student fees, in particular the petition to graduate fee? I had never heard of it and was curious about it. I was then told by an admissions rep the fee was something us students paid in order to obtain the degree we had already EARNED. She went on to state that the fee allows the school to review our records to ensure we have met all the required courses needed to graduate. I found they also keep up with our grades, they know if you've passed or failed a course, so why are they unable to simply pull up our grades to see what we have or have not completed? Anyhow, I questioned the fee and was instantly greeted with attitude. the rep became irate and stated if I did not pay the fee I would not receive my degree. I simply stated "fine!" I will not be attending your money hungry school , and hung up. I perceived her attitude and this fee to be a warning of things to come years down the line. I will simply scratch CSU off my list of considerations... I hope all of the reviews posted will help some one else from making a terrible mistake. to all who have claimed to have had a good experience from this school, GOOD FOR YOU....I'LL PASS ON CSU.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Loved This opportunity
Health Care Administration - July 22, 2015
This is the real deal. I was skeptical of online colleges until I took my first exam. It had to be held at a place with a certified teacher. I was put in a empty room and given my allotted time to complete the exam. The instructor took the test when I completed it and sent it back to CSU for grading. It was all very professional and official. Online College is not for lazy people. It is a lot of individual work and review. You must be dedicated to completing the course. As any college, getting a degree from CSU DOES NOT guarantee you a job. You get your own job. The degree just shows the employer that you have determination and the ability to learn. How you present yourself during the interview speaks a lot to whether or not you get the job. I would never have been able to complete my degree if it had not been for online schools. I am a mother of 2 that had a full time job and still was able to study at my own pace and complete my degree. I even took a trip to orange beach, Alabama to visit the school, once I graduated! They were extremely friendly and courteous. I got a tour of the college and some souvenir items for my trip. I HIGHLY recommend this school.
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