Columbia Southern University
Review Averages: 8.7 out of 10 (224 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:
M.S Occupational Safety and Health
Columbia Southern University - May 18, 2015
I never had any issues with CSU. Serving in the Military with a high deployment tempo I was able to complete my course work without any issues and if I did have any issues CSU was there to assist me in every way they could. I can honestly say my degree from CSU helped me transition from an Enlisted Soldier to an Officer. I would definitely recommend CSU to anyone; as a matter of fact I'm going to obtain another degree from CSU to assist me in my transition out of the military.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Great school for it's purpose
MBA - January 2, 2015
As a person that attended a regionally accredited, nationally known brick and mortar school for my bachelors degree, I feel qualified now after completing my MBA at CSU to voice my opinion on the comparison of online schools vs classrooms as well as national vs regional accreditation. Completing a degree online was much harder than sitting in a classroom, it took much more discipline and time management to study and complete assignments. It's very tough to read, comprehend and be tested on material without being able to ask questions of the professor or get the perspective of others in the class. With regards to the knowledge gained, I also feel I got more out of the classes online since I was forced to take my time and understand the material which lead to much greater retention of the information. As for the accreditation, rarely do employers ask about this, as a hiring manager I never have! I check to insure the school has an accreditation accepted by the Dept of Ed and that's it. If DOE accepts it, it's a degree plain and simple. Of course there are some programs and graduate schools that won't take nationally accredited degrees but I'm betting there are more that will than won't. It's imperative that you do a little research before making the commitment to any school, CSU is no different. Everyone learns differently so online classes are not for everyone. During my young and stupid years, I don't believe I could have handled online classes but most adults that are completing their degrees online are dealing with "real life" issues and have a mature perspective on education and why it's important. CSU is a great school for adults looking to finish up or advance their education. The degree is recognized by the DOE and I for one can tell you it is not easy to get. You will work hard and get out of it what you put into it...ironically that's no different than at any other school online or B&M.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great school at a great price
BSBA - December 18, 2014
Due to what I read online in various reviews, I was concerned about my CSU degree being nationally accredited through DETC. I am very happy to be able to say that I was accepted into a state school with one of the best distance learning programs in the nation, to pursue my graduate degree. The university I'll be attending is regionally accredited and they had zero issues taking my CSU degree. I am completely satisfied with the education I received at CSU, and have no complaints. A note to prospective students: be prepared to write! I took about 25 classes here, and the average amount of writing was 15 APA formatted written pages per class. Just because its a distance education school doesn't mean you get a free ride to a degree; you will have to earn your grade here.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great School, worthy degree
Organizational Leadership - December 14, 2014
I have just completed my second Master's degree from Columbia Southern University and I will tell you that a degree from this institution is earned. The staff, professors, and all of those in student services made the learning experience GREAT!!! A lot of hard work and long hours went into completion of all degree requirements. For me CSU is far and away an excellent university worthy of their standing among other Universities.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Completed AAS, working on BSBA
Associates of Applied Science, Business - October 2, 2014
Great school, the teachers are very helpful and always respond to emails within 24-48 hours. The books are always recent, I haven't had one more than 5 years old. Plus, the books are all free. Courses consist of posting on a discussion board every week, and responding to 2 classmates. There is reading required each week, with assessments due that normally consist of 200 word written responses and multiple choice (depending on the class). About half of the classes required proctored exams, which you simply use your computer's webcam and use remote proctor now. Many of the classes also have between 2 and 4 research papers due, typically 3-4 pages in length. I am now pursuing my BSBA, and should complete it within the next 6 months. My only concern is the national accreditation through DETC. I'm thinking about going to Bellevue or Eastern New Mexico University for my Masters, since they're regionally accredited and accept CSU's Bachelors, to maybe offset that "con" in employers eyes.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Very good school, CSU was the perfect choice for me!
Environmental Management - September 8, 2014
I am currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Environmental Management program. I researched other schools for several months before deciding on CSU. It was very difficult to find an online school that offered this degree; it was the main reason for my deciding on CSU. But there were many factors that helped me decide. I would love to share my current experience for anyone that may be considering CSU. I cannot say enough about the quality of customer service. I received a complimentary evaluation of my previous credits for all my general education and electives. I was given full credit for previous work, which only left me needing my core classes to graduate. Once I decided to enroll, I was taken through each step regarding financial aid. The cost per credit hour is $210. The textbooks are included at no cost, provided you do not fail or drop the class. CSU offers 3 different options of enrollment. They have standard 8 week terms with determined start and end dates. You have a week in between each new term, a little longer if you complete the term early. By the way, 2 classes per term is considered full time. They also have what is called the per-course enrollment option; these are taken one class at a time, and you have 10 weeks to complete. Keep in mind, if you choose the course option, you will not qualify for financial aid. Per-course enrollment is self pay only. They do offer a flex enrollment for veterans, but I am not familiar with the details on that. In addition to the assigned coursework, you are required to participate in weekly discussions on what is called the Blackboard. The professor will post a question, and you post your reply. You are also required to respond to at least one other person's post. Most of the time, I responded to several people. This really helped establish a connection with the professor was well as other persons taking the class. It can also help if it happens to be a topic you might be having a little difficulty with. The instructors are very friendly and you can ask a question outside of class any time you need help. The coursework is challenging, but can be completed if you work your assignments diligently each week. The courses that have a final exam are usually open book, but do not let that fool you. The final exams are not just a set a questions you look up the answers to. They are designed to see how well you comprehended the material, as well as practice for strengthening research and writing skills. CSU uses a tool called Turn It In, which is used by many other online schools to detect plagiarism. Do not attempt to copy and paste anything from the web for an "easy" grade. You can end up failing the course, or even be expelled for not completing your own work. Another thing, when you are enrolled in classes, you have a dashboard that shows your courses and what your weekly progress is. Each time an assignment came due, I received an email reminder. I thought this was very courteous. Online classes are supposed to be completed by the student, with each person keeping up with their assignments. It was just another reinforcement to me that CSU is committed to helping students succeed. I also received emails for when my books shipped for the next term. Each student is also assigned an academic advisor you can email when you have a question about your account. CSU has exceeded my expectations for my education goals, and I plan on completing my degree here. CSU has a once a year graduation in mid October, and I plan on attending mine in 2015. For anyone that might be considering CSU, I highly recommend them for service, course content, and instructor quality. GO KNIGHTS! (CSU's newly acquired mascot).
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
CSU was the perfect choice for me
Project Management - August 30, 2014
I just graduated July, 2014 from CSU with a BS degree in Business Administration/Project Management. I researched on-line colleges for several years before I decided to pursue my degree with CSU. There were two reasons I chose CSU. The first was the fact that they took every one of my community college credits previously earned and transferred them into the BS program. I earned an associate’s degree in 1988 in IT and some of the programming classes were obsolete by today’s standards and they still accepted them as electives. The second reason I chose CSU was the price. It was about 1/2 the price of other on-line colleges and they even include the text book for free! I even joined one of their partner associations for $35 per year to receive a 10% discount on tuition. When I first started, I decided to just pursue a certificate program in Project Management as I had not been to school since 1988. I signed up for the per-class option where you have 10 weeks to complete 8 units of work. This work can be accelerated if desired. I found that it was extremely challenging work which did involve a great deal of writing. Writing essays proves you know the material and understand it. I would rather write essays than have to cram my brain with facts only to dump them out on a test like regular colleges require. Another plus is the work can be completed at your own pace and time. They give you a suggested schedule to follow which includes two break weeks if you want. I did not take the break weeks and continued on with the next unit hoping to finish in 8 weeks instead of 10 as allotted. I never knew how much time one unit would take me. The unit assessments for most of the classes included 10 multiple choice questions along with 4 essays. I did have one or two classes that had all essays and one or two had a combination of multiple choice/essay/project of some sort. Some of the classes required me to do research on particular topics as well as citing multiple references. As I progressed further into 4000 level classes, they seemed to want me to produce more work. This is by no means an easy degree. I worked my butt off week after week. I had only two classes that required a proctor for a final. I did not like this very much as I had to find an approved person who would come to my house and sit while I took my final. CSU did start a proctor program where you could use your computer and they would monitor you through your computer's camera, but I did not go that route. Most all of my professors were great. I did have one or two that were really picky with my work or seemed aloof at times. I put a great deal of hours into my work as I was determined to get an A in all of my classes which I did. Once I finished the certificate program, I decided to keep going to get my BS. All of the credits received in the certificate program transferred into the BS program. It took me 4 years, 2 months to finish 20 classes for my BS program and I did put in a lot of sweat. I could have easily produced crappy work just to pass a class, but I wanted to prove I was better than that. I had no problem with registration or financials. I took one class at a time and had it set up to pay 1/2 up front and then the rest of the tuition after 5 weeks. They automatically charged my credit card. I graduated in July 2014 with my BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management. My degree has "Summa Cum Laude" printed under my degree name indicating I graduated with a 4.0 gpa. CSU offers many great degree options and they even have partner colleges that you can transfer to if you wish. From the beginning, my advisor was great and walked me through what classes were required and then which classes I could pick from for electives. They even had tutors that can assist with writing and citing your work which I used several times. I would recommend CSU to anyone who enjoys working at their own pace and time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Information Technology - August 11, 2014
I have had an excellent experience with this university...the classes and materials exceeded my expectations. I have had either fantastic professors or awful professors...it seems it is always one or the other, but mostly they have been quite great. The IT classes were relavent and the professors seemed to want to teach and enjoy teaching. My only snag was that my employer did not recognize their accredations for employee tuition assitance...
6 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not recognized elsewhere
MBA - June 19, 2014
CSU is a good school. However, the school has national accreditation status. This is a problem for foreign (non-US) students and for those looking for jobs outside the US. The degree is recognized in the US but will be rejected by the concerned embassy during the attestation process since it is not regionally accredited. Degrees with US national accreditation are also not recognized in Canada. Schools/degrees that have regional accreditation are a safer and better option for foreign students and for those seeking employment outside the US.
4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Occupational Safety & Health - June 12, 2014
My experience was / is both enlightening and challenging . I would not have it any other way . I have worked Lon NGO and hard for this degree and it as been worth every tear I have shed. Nothing in life comes free or easy . If you want to get out of degree program the effort you put into it . Columbia Southern is the place for you !!!
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