Student & Graduate Reviews
Felicia - 7/19/2019
Graduation Year: 2024
"Columbia Southern University is a wonderful online College. They make learning online as simple as possible. The teachers are always more then willing to help students who need extra help via email or phone .The easy enroll option has make registrating for classes easy. Columbia Southern University exceeded my expectations."
Shawn - 5/18/2019
Graduation Year: 2019
"I did not find Columbia Southern University's M.B.A. program to be as easy/breezy as some have stated- there was constant reading, research and writing throughout the year-and-a-half I completed my online M.B.A. degree. The classes are set up for students to pass and I wondered if some students were being granted A's without making as strong an attempt as the more serious pupils, but if you make an effort you will definitely believe you truly earned the degree when you finish- I know I have a lot more free time now that it's over, and I do feel a sense of accomplishment now. I enjoyed some of the coursework and being able to do assignments at home, but I had a big problem with the lack of communication and what seemed to be arbitrary grading practices by some of the instructors, to the point I wondered how much time and effort they were putting in to read and grade the assignments- for example, I might get 100% on an assignment I made a good effort on, but then have my score drop to a low-90's/high 80's range (sometimes with no explanation) for a project wherein I clearly made a substantial effort. I suppose this situation is more apt to occur with online degree programs, but improvements could be made to ensure everyone (both students and professors) are taking their responsibilities seriously. Overall, Columbia's courses are well-organized and provide a solid overview of the subject matter. It worked well for me, but I was relieved when the classes and this type of grading were over."
Disappointed Student - 4/10/2019
Graduation Year: 2019
"I had grievances with the professors who cut and paste generic responses to student assignments. This is how the professors grade assignments. No individual feedback. When I submitted grievances in accordance with the student handbook, administration brushed off the complaints and then asked me to resubmit them to go to the next level of appeal. They did this twice, so it's a way to get students to not complain about the teachers AND make it difficult for you to share your experiences. Admin doesn't care about students. Teachers are lazy and do not have any lectures or feedback to share. The only upside to this school is that it provides textbooks free to students. But with such a low tuition rate, you get what you pay for. Professors do not teach the class. They just grade papers. This is strictly a correspondence school put online."
Chris - 3/9/2019
Degree: Public Health
Graduation Year: 2019
"I found Columbia Southern University to be an excellent school. I attended for my graduate degree and the support I received from the advisers to the faculty was excellent. The school really cares about the success of the student and will support you the whole time from start to finish. The classes can be challenging, but they equip you for the future."
Angela Danler - 2/22/2019
Degree: Organizational Leadership
Graduation Year: 2019
"I returned to school to pursue my Master's degree after many years. I was not sure what to expect because I had been out of school for so long. To my delight, my experience was nothing less than exceptional. From the very beginning with admissions, to my academic advisor (MK), to each professor, I was met with kindness, quality, and care. My questions were answered in little to no turn-around time. Everyone was incredibly helpful and pleasant. The quality of education is excellent and so pertinent to my every day occurrences. I have recommended people to this school and will continue to do so. I am so grateful for this experience."
Disappointed - 2/20/2019
Degree: Emergency Management
Graduation Year: 2019
"Professors give no legitimate feedback. They use cut and paste responses. "Good job (student's name). Keep working hard." Professors add nothing to the pre-made courses - no video lectures, no supplemental material, nothing. It makes one wonder why they work in education since they have no knowledge to share. They are merely paper graders. "Professors" will nitpick you over APA and the appearance of your assignments rather than on the content. Many of the pre-made study guides were filled with errors and broken links to articles and videos they wanted you to view. When you contact the student resolution office, they play the game of "you didn't complete the complaint form" even though you wrote a lengthy explanation of your complaint via email. They will "conduct and investigation into your complaint" but not address any of your concerns. The professors are always "within the grading rubric", even though they don't actually read your assignments because it's a rubber stamp process, so making a complaint is pointless. Your complaints get escalated to a different person, but it's always the same generic response you receive. Administration has no genuine interest in student's concerns OR improving their program. Their goal is increasing enrollment only. This "college" was a disappointment. It is nothing more than a correspondence school, not a university. The tuition is low for a reason....very little human labor involved. You're paying for automated feedback and responses. The assignments are cookie cutter - meaning they are the same for each course. An essay, an article review, a powerpoint, and research project. Nothing original or unique...nothing to stimulate the student's interest in going deeper or allowing their creative juices to flow. Very boring courses and you come out feeling like you've learned nothing. It's probably better to go to the library and read books on the topics because you don't get much from the courses and there's no interaction with the professors to stimulate learning or discussions. This "university" does the bare minimums to get by."
Anthony Anderson - 10/8/2018
Degree: Criminal Justice
Graduation Year: 2017
"Overall my experience was excellent with Columbia Southern. I did get some useful feedback and the academic adviser was easy to work worth. I will say there was a large varying degree of instructors and the strictness in grading. One thing to pay attention to is the accreditation. CSU is a nationally accredited university and if you desire to attend a regionally accredited college there is a very good chance that the regionally accredited school will not accept your transfer request. If you start at a nationally accredited school then you will need to end at a nationally accredited school. You think it is the other way around but this is not true. I was lucky and found a regionally accredited school which accepted CSU's degree so I was able to start my Master's a few months after a graduated. The course work is definitely geared towards professionals and most of the professors were easy to work worth. I had one issue with one instructor and my adviser was very good at communicating with me. I believe CSU is always trying to improve their academic standards so hopefully they will we regionally accredited some day if not already."
Jasen Six - 9/28/2018
Degree: Business Administration
Graduation Year: 2018
"I went to CSU for a little over two years. I entered it with an Associate's degree and finished with my Bachelor's in Business Administration. Please disregard the review (especially the lengthy ones that go on and on...you know what they say - you can tell a liar when they try to give too much information). My only "gripe" with my experience at CSU was during my last year my academic advisor was changed twice on me. Granted I did not require their help much, but I did not like the switching of advisors. Overall I found the professors to be knowledgable and willing to help. The feedback I received on assignments, projects, and essays was professional and on point. I graduated cum laude in May of 2018 and three months later got a job working for my city in their HR department."
Rachel Gryner - 9/18/2018
Graduation Year: 2019
"Do not expect actual feedback from your professors, this is a instrumental part of learning that CSU thus far seems to lack. Grading responses are automated pre typed and your name is simply inserted. My assessment grades say the same exact thing word for word every week and its upsetting. To put effort into your education and receive no effort in return. Grading is considerably inconsistent and when seeking aid on this matter Ive received nothing. This is a university of convenience, not quality."
Online Business Masquerading as an Educational Institution - 9/12/2018
Degree: Occupational Safety
Graduation Year: 2018
"I purchased three degrees (Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science) from Columbia Southern University (CSU). The established trend throughout all three programs was the Professors failing to provide valid and useful feedback (i.e. indicating where the mistakes actually were on the submitted assignments) in order to reinforce potential learning points. Without identifying where the "minor errors in punctuation and grammar" or "APA formatting errors" existed in the submissions, these obviously generic critiques became nothing more than random deductions. The trend in reference to feedback for any written assignment is to have an obviously pre-generated and generic assessment prefaced by a sentence, poorly attempting to personalize the generic talking points (i.e. Good job [input Student Name Here]! Generic comments. Keep up the good work.). There were a few exceptions, however, the well-established norm was CSU Professors' reliance on seemingly arbitrary checks in grading rubrics without any useful or meaningful feedback. Speaking from an academic perspective, just what is a student expected to glean from checks on a rubric, without errors being highlighted within the actual submitted assignment? This question was submitted through the student services center multiple times without being adequately addressed. Each time the validity of a critique was challenged, due to a Professor's failure to highlight where the error occurred within the submission, the Professor's response would be to assure me that my course GPA would not be adversely impacted. The challenges to the deductions never stemmed from a focus on the GPA, the challenges were attempts to actually come away with useful information in order to have a quality academic experience. This point fell on deaf ears. To read feedback wherein a professor has the audacity to write, the instructor is left with the impression is frustrating in the extreme. The question Just what instruction has been given? would immediately come to mind. In each course, I'd refer to a syllabus for reading assignments and topics for essays. The only interaction with the instructors is when they review written assignments. I use the term review lightly because of how dependent the professors seem to be on the SafeAssign software to justify their assessments. It seems to me they go for the low hanging fruit of APA format or grammar/punctuation for some quick point deductions so they can demonstrate critical assessments of student submissions. I can refer to multiple times wherein a professors feedback included according to SafeAssign your grade is., yet few and far between are there examples of a professor actually addressing or identifying the submission's content inaccuracies or errors. I am left with the feeling that what has actually occurred during this entire academic endeavor with Columbia Southern University is that I have used my VA Educational benefits to be given access to material which was graded by software. The academic experience has been that inconsistent, that impersonal. Grading criteria is inconsistent applied. There were multiple times when I had to bring amendments to the CSU grading policy to professor's attention. I would share the following excerpt from an email exchange with a full-time faculty member in order to have erroneous deducitons reversed: "Regarding references and citations in Unit Assessment written responses (like Unit I), that requirement was removed more than a year ago. The assessment instructions no longer state that references are required, and the static rubric used for all written assessment responses no longer has an APA element. This has caused some confusion among our students after we pounded APA references into their heads for several years. Complicating the matter are some of our part-time professors who have not paid attention and still deduct points for lack of references. For assignments that are uploaded, the instructions should specify whether APA format is required." There was one professor in the Master of Science Program who didn't know the difference between a written response and an essay! When challenged, he shared the rubric which he was using to justify formatting deductions. I was able to highlight the CSU policy governing formatting requirements for written responses, and the correct grading rubric, only to be told the deductions for formatting were within the "professor's discretion". I'm still waiting on a reponse from the Department Chair and Faculty Lead explaining how a professor who clearly disregarded Unit Assessment instructions, utilized the wrong rubric to assess written responses, ignored CSU policy regarding assessment requirements of written responses, and has demonstrated an inability to discern the difference between a written response and an essay, should continue to represent the academic standards of CSU. I began the Associate of Science program in Occupational Health and Safety in November of 2014. I was able to complete all three (Associate of Science, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Science) programs, with a concentration in environmental management in April of 2018. To put it another way, I completed 47 courses, only 2 of which required final exams within 2 years and 4 months! That should tell you all you need to know about this online business. If you're looking to buy a degree from an acreditted degree mill in order to meet a pre-requisite for an application or promotion look no further. Pay the fees and you'll receive a college tuition receipt, suitable for framing. However, if you are looking for a quality academic experience where you will come away with a true education in your field of study, this is not the place."
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