Columbia Southern University Reviews
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Thanks to the VA's Vocational Rehab program, I was allowed to return to school to obtain a degree that would bolster my employability. I had a B.S. from a (brick and mortar) regionally accredited university, but my major was limiting my career potential. As such, CSU accepted all of my credits, so I was only responsible for twelve classes in the safety field. With the VA paying the tuition AND paying a stipend, I was able to complete the program in less than 24 months. I graduated in 2010. One of the most important aspects I considered was whether or not CSU would be accepted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals when obtaining the coveted Certified Safety Professional (CSP) certification. It was, and I passed the CSP exam in 2012. The information I learned at CSU directly enabled me to move ahead in the safety field. Having experience earning a degree in a classroom setting, I can tell you that the online experience is more of a challenge. To any person that is looking for a new career, I will tell you that you need to focus on a field that offers you the ability to obtain a legitimate, nationally recognized certification, i.e. Accounting (CPA), Safety (CSP), etc. In today's world a B.A. or B.S. doesn't mean much to employers. What does matter is a certification that sets you apart from others in your field. Yes, you have to study and take exams to earn the certification, but it is WELL worth the time and effort, trust me. Overall, I was pleased with the education I received from CSU, and it helped me grow both financially and professionally. I recommend it to any mid-career professional looking to get a leg up on your non-degreed brethren.
I started Columbia Southern back in 2009 and have loved it every since. I enrolled at this school for two reasons. Free books and classes at your own pace for military. Columbia Southern has allowed me to take courses at my own pace (8 weeks course) and as a military member that's a huge deal due to the frequent deployments and late shifts. I have one class left and I will be done with my bachelors and after that I will move on to complete my MBA with them. I never dreamed of finishing my Bachelors degree but Columbia Southern has made it possible. Now that I have my Bachelors degree to combine with my work experience it will definetly make me competitive with my counterparts for healthcare management positions. The only knock against CSU is that they're National Accredited. I left the military in 2013 and not once has anyone cared about where the degree came from and I've interviewed and landed jobs with some of the top hospitals in Southern California and now work as a Federal Govt (GS). I recommend friends and family all the time. My brother even attends. You can't go wrong with Columbia Southern.
I have read all of the reviews concerning this university and they are very accurate. If you are on the fence about attending this university because it is nationally accredited vs regionally, don't be (depending on profession). Most employers only care that the college is accredited. The only problem with nationally accredited universities is that their credits do not transfer as well as regionally accredited ones. I didn't have a problem with this because I knew I was finishing with CSU. Overall great experience.
I was able to complete a BS degree from CSU. The school provided me this opportunity with the schedule and guidance that I needed. The school low rates matched our cities tuition reimbursement program. This was critical, because almost every other program was very costly and would have required out of pocket expenses. I was provided concepts that helped me learn to understand difficult processes. CSU also provided the needed writing guidance. The completion of a BS would have been much more complicated without this wonderful institution. I would like to thank the members of the CSU faculty for their professionalism.
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 to 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.
Attending Columbia Southern University was not my first time taking online classes, because I previously had taken classes at University of Phoenix. I did not like working in the group settings and potentially doing all the work while others took credit for work not done and getting a passing grade. After Phoenix, I began looking for other colleges and was referred by a previous boss to take classes at Columbia Southern University. After starting at CSU I loved it because I no longer had to work in groups but was graded on my own work and effort. I would definately recommend CSU to everyone looking for classes online. They were sometimes very challenging and yes you have to put in the time and effort if you want good grades. The instructors were great with getting back with you when having a problem. I may have had 2 professors I had to speak with my academic advisor about and the situation was fixed. Over all the courses were great and I would attend there again. They also had tutors to help in the different areas as needed. I was very impressed with my instructors and their willingness to help. I also stressed out myself in areas because I thought they had no help, but once I spoke with my advisor and she gave me the tools needed, I passed everything with flying colors. I graduated with high honors with a 4.0 and Summa Cum Laude. I will actually walk in 2015 because I wanted to walk down the isle with honors.
Just completed my last class, MBA with concentration in Project Management with CSU. All of my classes were online. This was the first time I did online classes and I must say it was very challenging but in the end very rewarding. I never had any problems with any of the offices such as registrars, financial, etc. Each time I reached out to any of my instructors, they always responded in a timely manner. My classes were very detailed and intensive. I had to spend some time reading and getting my homework completed. It was no joke and you will be sure to spend many hours working on the assignments so if you do not have time, you will need to make time. You must have a good attitude and a very good work ethic. You will have to communicate with your instructors when necessary. And you have to be very good with managing your time. You will not be able to "get ahead" with your assignments so don't expect to. But you will have to turn in your assignments on time. You have to be determined and motivated. Overall, it was a very good program and I had a very good experience with CSU.
I am currently enrolled at CSU. The initial ease of getting online and completing classes at your time frame that fit your schedule is awesome. I had the vast majority of my degree completed at a local community college but they were not entirely online. Having a family, working full time and all the other aspects of life, completing my degree online is really the only option for me that works. The major problem I have with CSU is their “transfer credit process”. BUYER BEWARE! They say that they count various aspects of your training, work experience and college credits and apply them toward your degree, which is true, but only to a point. They have classes that are titled differently than you would easily recognize. Problem is, I have already taken 4 of the classes they want me to take. They did not recognize all the credits from my previous community college class and now want me to take their class, it’s the same class. I just jumped right in and started taking class after class and then when I received the same textbook I called and they said “It is a higher level class than your previous class”. So I re-took the class, never even opened the new textbook, it was actually less of a class than my previous one. Problem is now, I am at the point where if I had gone to Kaplan University, I’d be done with my AS degree and already classes toward my BA. Very frustrating, feel like it’s a money making venture and not about education. Bottom line is I will finish my AS degree and not return to CSU. Chances are they will make me retake their own classes. If you are considering this university with no previous college credits, great. If you plan on “finishing” your degree, go elsewhere. Go to Kaplan or other online college. Save yourself time and money.
I am a mature student who started out just to finish the AA degree I started before I had children. I chose this school because I was working outside the U.S. at the time and several of my co-workers were using it. I began as a per-class student, but the pace for me was slow and I didn't get many classes completed over two years because life just kept getting in the way and I'm a great procrastinator. I moved back to the U.S. in 2012 and decided it was time to get this thing done. I switched to the 4 year program and applied for financial aid. Every single person I have dealt with at CSU, from the registrars office to financial aid to the professors, have been 100% professional and helpful. My registration has been processed accurately every single time. My financial aid has been processed accurately and timely every single time. Since I am receiving financial aid I had to switch to term enrollment and take two classes a term. This has turned out to be even better, in my opinion, than taking one class at a time per-class. The weekly deadlines and specific assignments have kept me on track and the professors are extremely helpful. The work isn't easy and you won't pass if you don't put in the effort. That's how it should be. I'm a senior now and I'm so excited to be able to see the end of my journey. I highly recommend CSU to anyone and everyone. It is an excellent school that provides the opportunity for a quality education. Best decision I ever made.
CSU is a GREAT school. Everyone, from administrators to faculty to customer support, works hard to make sure students have what they need to be successful. Do not go in thinking this is easy though. CSU is very writing intensive. The good news is that they also have tutors that can help you develop the writing skills you need if this is not a skill that is easy for you. I attended another university to complete my undergrad work and I can say without a doubt that CSU was a much more enjoyable experience!