California Coast University Reviews – How Does The School Compare?

Are you someone who works full-time but you’re thinking about returning to school to finish a degree?  If so, you may be wondering how you could possibly fit college classes into your already-busy schedule.  After all, it’s not like you have to make room for the class itself, you also have to plan for the commute to and from the campus, parking, and all of the other hassles that come with taking traditional college courses in-person.  For most working adults the traditional method of going to college just doesn’t cut it.  You need a different way, a way to fit your busy schedule.

Thankfully, there is a solution to this dilemma… earning your degree by taking online classes.  This concept is not as crazy as it may first appear.  There are now many highly respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees that can be completed without the need to visit the home campus for any reason.  If you’ve been searching for the perfect online school to earn your degree through, one school you might have encountered is California Coast University.  The school claims to offer degree programs in a variety of academic disciplines from the associate’s degree all the way through the doctorate that can be completed online.  The school also claims to hold valid accreditation.  But are these claims legit?  To answer this question it’s necessary to take a look at the school’s history, its structure and its accreditation.

California Coast University Reviews

California Coast University Online was founded in 1973 in Santa Ana, California.  It was originally named California Western University but changed its name to California Coast University in 1981.  The school was created to be a distance-learning institution from the very beginning.  No classes are offered at the school’s Santa Ana offices.  Today the school has an average annual enrollment of approximately 8,000 students.

California Coast University Online is structured as a for-profit school.  This simply means that the school exists to generate a profit for its owners.  There’s nothing inherently wrong or bad about this structure, but it’s worth noting that students do tend to get better financial deals at local state schools or community colleges.

California Coast University Accreditation

Since 1974 California Coast University has been approved by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education, the California Department of Consumer Affairs and the State of California itself.  However, it’s important to note that approval by these organizations does not constitute accreditation.  In fact, the school did not have any form of accreditation until 2005 when it acquired accreditation from the Distance Education Training Counsel (DETC).

Although DETC accreditation is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a legitimate accrediting agency, it is not considered to be in the same league as the type of accreditation that most colleges and universities in the nation have, regional accreditation.  If you take a few classes through California Coast University and then decide to transfer to another school, the credits you earned may not transfer.  Also, if you earn a California Coast University degree and then decide to pursue a higher-level degree through another school, it’s possible that your first degree may not even be recognized.

While it’s certainly true the school does have valid accreditation, you should be aware up front that the California Coast University accreditation is not in the same league as what most colleges and universities hold.

California Coast University Diploma Mill

One of the mean reasons why California Coast University Online decided to pursue DETC accreditation is because it was involved in a bit of controversy in 2003.  It was investigated by the United States General Accounting Office (GAO) as part of a much larger investigation into unaccredited schools that take federal funds and then provide useless degrees.  In other words, the GAO accused the school of being a fake diploma mill scam.

After a thorough investigation the GAO could not find any wrongdoing.  Thankfully, the school could not be labeled as a “California Coast University diploma mill.”  However, this incident was the catalyst that led to the school seeking and later being awarded DETC accreditation.

Is California Coast University A Good School?

All legitimate California Coast University reviews should emphasize the fact that although the school does have a valid form of accreditation, it is not the standard form of accreditation that most schools in the nation hold.  Because of this, it’s possible that you may run into some unforeseen problems down the road when applying for certain jobs or applying to graduate school with a degree or credits from this school.

  1. DETC accreditation and Regional accreditation. No difference according to the US Department of Education. There are no varying degrees of accreditation. Both are equally valid. Period.

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