Is Columbia Southern University A Scam?

If you are someone who has considered earning a college degree online, whether due to work or family commitments, you may have seen an advertisement for Columbia Southern University at some point and taken a look at what the school has to offer. And since it’s not a well known school, you may have wondered whether Columbia Southern University is a scam. To answer this question it’s necessary to take a brief look at the school, its degree programs, and its accreditation.

Columbia Southern University was established in 1993 and is based in Orange Beach, Alabama. The school only offers online degree programs. There is no physical campus where classes are taught in person. The school offers online degree programs in fire science, criminal justice, business administration, organizational leadership, information technology, human resource management, and occupational safety and health. Degree programs are available at the associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate level.

The Litmus Test For A Legitimate University

The best way to tell if an online college or university is a scam is by evaluating its accreditation. The gold standard of collegiate accreditation in the United States is known as regional accreditation. There are six regional accrediting agencies that are tasked with evaluating colleges and universities in their geographic areas to make sure they meet minimum academic standards.

A college or university only needs to be accredited by one of the six agencies. Before we go any further it is necessary to point out that Columbia Southern University is not accredited by any of the six regional accrediting agencies.

This does not mean the school is unaccredited. There is a third type of accreditation that some distance learning schools choose to pursue. It’s known as the Distance Education and Training Counsel (DETC). DETC accreditation is a legitimate form of accreditation that is recognized by the US Department of Education. It is legitimate but you should be aware up front that schools that hold regional accreditation don’t always accept DETC college courses in transfer. In addition, if you complete a DETC accredited college degree, you may have trouble being accepted into a graduate program in a school that holds regional accreditation.

A Legitimate School With Valid Accreditation

So, is Columbia Southern University a scam? Due to the fact that Columbia Southern University is accredited by an organization that is recognized by the US Department of Education, it’s safe to conclude that the school is not a scam. Nevertheless, you should definitely be aware of the limitations of DETC accreditation prior to enrolling.

  • BC

    I’m a graduate from Columbia Southern University. I had a great experience while attending and I do believe I learned more than sitting in a classroom. I have taked both traditional classes and on line classes. I can further tell you I did transfer credits from CSU to a regional accredited school. Like all school, it is up to the registrar on what they will take or not take. I can further tell you that after completing my Bachelors Degree, I was picked up by a well know company and I am being paid for my achievements. I’m a success story from CSU. They don’t gouge you on price to attend and the staff is more than willing to assist you. It’s a great school at a great price. Even though CSU is not regionally accredited (right now), it doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. It is however Nationally Accredited and you can look it up yourself under the US Department of Education, Accredited Colleges. It worked for me and right now, life is good. You get what you put into it.

    • Rod

      You are absolutely correct, you do get what you put into it. Good luck in the future.

  • Q

    Yeah, such a great education tends to turn out people who write “taked” and “well-know”. Good for you

    • PamelaAnderson

      Big talk for someone who can’t even spell out their whole name…lol : )

    • Rzm Arizona

      Similiar to the education of those that forget a period ends a sentence.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/MPVWHZDOAQGQ54QXIHI63UJ5UE C

        Are you people developmentally disabled, or just really really immature? Wow.

    • Ccclay57

      Yea and internet comments are so important to write precisely.

  • The Guy

    I was going to take courses at Columbia Southern University so that they would transfer to Portland State University. Before enrolling at Columbia Southern I called Portland state University and asked if they took transfer credit from Columbia Southern. Portland State’s reply: No, we don’t take transfer credits from Columbia Southern University.

    Regional Accreditation is the gold standard.

    • Philipritch

      Why are you wanting to school jump? Everyone is comparing apples and oranges.

      • Jonic

        Smart choice, there are allot of universities that will not accept CSU credits, so you were smart to check! I used to work at CSU and it is obvious by the schools own record of actual graduates that something is very wrong at CSU!

        • Tinahill

          I can see why you don’t work there any more. You have a horrible attitude. Perhaps you are a disgruntled ex-employee? If so, you need to collect your thoughts and perhaps move on to acquire some professionalism. Good luck.

        • Guest

          Sad to hear that you have a very unrealistic and slanderous view towards your previous employer. I happen to be happily employed by CSU and have attended a handful of their graduations with people graduating in classes of 500-800 each year. I don’t see anything very wrong about CSU, in fact I see CSU changing the lives of many service members and working professionals daily. With a student count of 28,000 students and being one of the largest schools in Alabama I see very great things happening for CSU. CSU is in the top ten military friendly schools and if you go to there “you can, you will, I did” campaign where you watch videos of actual CSU graduates who are leaders in their field talk about how CSU has helped their careers tremendously you will undoubtedly see that there is nothing very wrong about CSU.

          • Guest

            If CSU has 28,000 students, as you claim, and yet only graduates 500 to 800 students per year, how can you explain that only 2.85% reach graduation? According to the American Enterprise Institute, even the lowest rated colleges for graduation rates are near 60%. Applying that formula to CSU, it would amount to about 1,400 student actively attending each year. So which is it, the 28,000 and a dreadfully low graduation rate or a lower attendance? I theorize that CSU pads their numbers in an attempt to impress the public, probably including inactive records. PS, that makes you a liar.

          • SouthAL Grad

            Sorry, impartial here, but your math is HORRIBLE! Where did you go to school? CSU? LOL. A 60% grad rate means that 60% of the students that enroll as freshmen make it to graduation, NOT that 60% of their enrollees graduate each year! That is literally impossible for a 2 year university much less a 4 year program. PS, that math makes you stupid.

          • Josiechingon

            I have been attending CSU for about year now and I can tell you that it is not as some of you idiots are portraying it to be. I really like the freedom I have to take as little or as much classes as I want. I am the VP of a company and probably earn more money than most of you so I can definitely afford a more expensive education. The question is why? Some of you are under the misconception that you can hide behind a university’s cloak and get a good job. That is simply stupidity on your part and insecurity because you think little of yourself. It is true that some companies will notice you more if you have a degree from a well known university but were not talking engineering here. When people choose to bad mouth something for the sake of doing it, there is usually an underlying cause and more often than not it is personal. I love all those dummies out there who like to critique but offer no real value in their comments to others reading them. Go pay for an expensive education if you want. Maybe, if you got a better job than taco bell, you could afford a pricier education. And you service guy, you are probably one of those that only joined to get a free education and attempted to back out when you went active duty.

          • ServiceGuy

            Anybody can get their own LLC and become a VP of a company. Your boasting of your employment position garners no merit. How can I verify you as a credible source for truth? I cannot. You call some of us “idiots” or “dummies”. Well, you are correct to the fact that I certainly felt like a “dummy” or “idiot” taking courses at CSU. Reason being, you do not have to put forth much effort to receive an “A” in any of their courses. I literally did not read one chapter, and only completed the assignments using a glossary and index. What credible university doesn’t provide quality assurance of their curriculum to ensure students are actually reading assigned chapters? What credible university provides you open book tests and quizzes; which are also the assignments? I worked on my assignments maybe five hours per week. What type of graduate school allows their students to only do five hours worth of course work per week, and still achieve an “A” grade? All students at CSU must graduate magna and summa come laude. I’ve submitted some essay papers at CSU that I wouldn’t turn into my kindergarten teacher, and still got an “A”. That’s amazing! I don’t know about the other people on this thread, but I certainly don’t feel insecure. However, while I was attending CSU, I did feel a little insecure and ashamed that I was taking the “easy way out” in life – that I wasn’t earning a master’s degree. I am currently enrolled in one of those expensive graduate schools that you refer to, and of course, you can afford because you’re such a wealthy chingon. And, this university is very well-known – top 10 in the country in my degree program. The tuition reflects its reputation – more than $800 per credit hour. With all that said, I have homework every night. I don’t have anymore 20 questions on an open book test; I’m writing 2-3 page papers every other day. The course is rigorous, forces me to think, and prioritize my day to meet the assignment deadlines. This is what I would expect out of graduate school. And yes, I did join the military for education benefits. But, the pay was good too, so I stayed for more than a decade, on active duty. And, you can’t receive education benefits, and decide to back out when it’s time to go active duty. it doesn’t work that way. You join active duty or reserve, and that’s it. Depending on your status, you are ELIGIBLE to receive education benefits. It doesn’t always mean that you will receive money from programs like tuition assistance guaranteed. By the way, I love the comment you made that by getting a good education, I’ll end up at taco bell. That made my night. Your logic is reflective of the education you’re receiving. Now, I’m done with you.

            To everyone else: CSU is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and is genuinely accredited. The only problem is that it is nationally accredited. I took five graduate courses at CSU and couldn’t transfer one of them to my new graduate school. I had to start all over again. If you start a degree program at CSU, make sure you finish it, because chances are, if you see another academic program you like from a regionally accredited university, your credits will not account for nothing when you try to transfer them. Even University of Northern Alabama, their partner, would only accredit one of my five courses I took from CSU. And, I think the only reason why they did that is because they have a partnership.

            Customer service wise, CSU’s staff was very helpful and courteous. I loved dealing with them. The professors were courteous as well.

            I don’t dislike CSU, although it seems like I do from my posting. I may end up finishing off my MBA program at CSU once I complete the graduate school I am currently enrolled in. But the only reason why I would is because I’ll have money remaining on my G.I. Bill, CSU is cheap, and my MBA is half-way finished. However, I wouldn’t brag about it on my resume – it would be more like a wall ornament.

          • Towandamiller

            Thanks for that comment….I am a working professional, single mom of 1, and I will be starting classes at CSU in the next month. This fits well in my budget and gives me the time to be a working mom, allowing me to spend time with my family and not have to worry about breaking the bank. I was really worried about the scools accrediation.

    • Anonymous

      Every school has their own acceptance standards; when I transferred to Hawaii Pacific University a few years ago they accepted a lot of my transfer credits from other schools-both regionally and nationally accredited schools-, but they did not accept them in lieu of their own courses, so I had to re-take classes anyway. You just need to be smart and do some research. When you begin your graduate studies, most schools will only accept 9-12 transfer credits from any other school, regardless of their accreditation.

  • John

    I am currently enrolled at CSU and I find it a great fit for my life. As a full time worker in the manufacturing field, the flexibility CSU offers really comes in handy. My sister graduated from CSU a year ago with a Bachelor’s Degree and has a great job working as an administrator with a large telecommunications/engineering company in our state. To go right from an online school to starting out at 49k a year is amazing. Guess it doesn’t really depend on where you get your degree but on how much you apply yourself to learn what you want and need to learn.

    • Rod

      Congratulations!

  • Brian

    Both John and BC sound as fake as fake can come! No one who has earned a “Bachelor’s Degree” refers to it as such! You state, “I had fun earning my BA/BS” or “I majored in ______, with a minor in _____”. Their writing skills, and vague terminology for where they worked, and where is pathetic.

    Of course if no one remembers “Columbia State University” back in the late 90’s, or the douche-bag who ran that scam… he’s currently serving prison time for a ridiculously long charge sheet!

    • fancysapphire511

      What do you know about Columbia Southern University? You mentioned Columbia STATE University. Was this the original name for Columbia Southern University, as we know it now….I am interested in what you got to say!

      • Philipritch

        Definately not the same school.

    • Val6812

      Columbia State University and Columbia Southern University have no comparison. I would also love to hear what you know about Columbia Southern.

      I do know for a fact that Columbia STATE University was a scam with no faculty, curriculum, classes, courses, tests, etc.

      What can you say about Columbia SOUTHERN University?

      • Philipritch

        Hi Val! Columbia Southern is accepted by certifying entities and I belive that is what matters over all. Acceptance in ones field is what make a degrees value.

    • Jsprouse

      Val is correct, just because names are simular does not mean they are related. Also people are different and use different terms for the same thing. Just because you would say BA/BS doesn’t mean everyone would.

    • Responsible Educator

      Brian is correct that the person and some of the staff which ran that Columbia is in prison. I believe that school was located in Louisiana and was shut down many years ago. The schools are not connected in any way, shape or form. Just unlucky for CSU to share a similar name. What really bothers me is the ignorance of the subject matter and proclamation by some of being an expert. This is disrespectful to the staff at CSU, myself being one of them who do their very best to assist students in achieving their goals. We do not hide our accreditation. As a matter of fact, we encourage prospective students to learn more about accreditation. If a prospective student expresses they are considering taking part of their degree program with us, we encourage them to contact the school they plan on transferring to for verification of credit acceptance.

      Tansparency, honesty and simply doing the right thing by our students!

  • jay rosehill

    I am currently attending CSU in the Fire Science field. I have a BS in biology which won’t help me in the fire dept. till I take the captain’s test. A degree in Fire Science will help tremendously and the class schedule works well with my work schedule. The courses seem pertinent to degree and the professors are helpfull.

  • Economitis3

    total scam, the president doesn’t even have a BS degree.
    the name says scam,, columbia? evoking Columbia,
    for low end people whpo wpuldn’t know.

    Employers laugh

    • Big Phil

      Employers laugh at certification? Hmmmmm! maybe you should elaborate. Accreditation nhas little to do with whether a degree is accepted in the business world, it is certifications. CSU degrees are accepted by the top certifying entities in there respective areas. Do some real research before making such comments. The only reason an accreditation matters is if you are a school jumper.

    • Valesha1968

      To Economitis3,

      The president of the school has an M.B.A degree from Capella University which is a regionally accredited school. You really need to do some research before you start to attack someone’s or an organization’s credibility. It really shows your lack of professionalism.

    • Tinahill

      Do you have any education yourself? Your punctuation and spelling are horrid! Perhaps you need to look on the bright side on occasion instead of knocking a university that has helped many people achieve their dreams of earning their degree from a nationally accredited institution. Not everyone can afford thousands of dollars per credit hour and CSU is a splendid alternative.

  • Philipritch

    They have ACE membership under their belt. Their credits are likely to be accepted by schools regionally accredited. Although it is not a given that credits will transfer. People looked at University Of Phoenix the same way, but they are equally legitimate.

  • JoniC

    I am dropping out of the school because I am in the MBA program, but it’s like being in Jr. College! If you want a cheap and easy degree, Columbia Southern University is the place to get a degree! I wouldn’t want that anywhere on my resume! The school is a joke!

    • Tinahill

      Stop hating and start learning. CSU is accredited and a perfectly fine school for those who must utilize online school due to a busy work and home life. Give credit where it is due!

  • James

    School is awesome, the professors are fully certified to teach their subjects… Stop knocking them because the charge less than other schools.

  • Travisdill

    I have been with this school for 3 years now and believe me, it’s not a “buy my diploma” school. You still have to work for it. They have tutor sessions if you are not getting the material. Great school. Never had an issue with them. The class schedule accommodates my work/family.

  • Advisor

    As an admissions representative from a regionally accredited school, I can tell you that I speak with CSU graduates on a daily basis. Unfortunately, on a daily basis, I also have to tell these students that we do not accept CSU credits. I am aware of a few institutions that do accept CSU credits, but they will not be your major well known Universities.

    An alternative I always suggest is to transfer to Waldorf University prior to graduating with your CSU degree. CSU purchased Waldorf, which is regionally accredited. That way, you will have no issues pursuing your graduate degree. I wish you all luck!

    • Anonymous

      Transferring credits is always a tricky task. Most schools will only accept credits from other similarly accredited institutes, Reg-Reg, Nat-Nat, but once you have a degree in hand they don’t really care as long as your degree comes from an accredited program. I am currently searching for a PhD program to jump into with my MSOL from CSU, and I have not had anyone question my credentials. In fact, I just copied this from Liberty University’s website: Admission Requirements: Regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with at minimum a 3.25 GPA.
      So, if you want to spend a fortune on an expensive degree so that in a few years you can stand on Wall-Street holding a sign that asks for your student loans to be forgiven, knock yourself out.

      • Qtien60

        What university accepts credits from CSU for Phd program? Thanks

  • Haleyfamily

    I transferred credits from this school to Portland Community College and they counted for a bulk of my general education. So DETC transferred to regional. Howwever, I would assume it depends on the school. This is a very fair write up on the school.

  • Ty

    Columbia Southern University is an approved institution for using Department of Veterans 911 GI Bill and tuition assitance. It is accredited thorugh DETC and its college credit are approved and referenced in the ACE guide.

    Now, if CSU isn’t your cup of tea, don’t drink! However, for those in the Military who move continuously, professionals who work fulltime and have families, this is a viable option. Good luck to all and reach for your dreams.

    • Anonymous

      A person can also go to University of Phoenix with the Post 9/11 GI Bill. The acceptance of the institution by the VA isn’t the gold standard, the standard by the VA is if it is an institution of “higher” learning…you’re good to go.

    • Quienceta

      I attended CSU as well. The course work is fairly simple to say the least. This may not be the best school for those seeking step by step preparations for their future career of choice. However, it is a great school for active and non active military men and women. Military men and women obtain many years of training and experience that the average person wouldn’t, it’s called life experience, they are already trained in communications, leadership, technology, and human relations just to name a few. I find it appropriate to have a school that acknowledges those things; a school that allows them to match academics with the skills and knowledge they already posses so they they may advance in their future endeavors. I am not a service member. I have not obtained enough life’s experience to coincide with a degree from CSU. This school would not prepare me for a future career. I have since chosen a different school. However, my sister is an active member in the US Army, she attends CSU. CSU is the perfect school for her. This school allows her to match academics with her 10 years of service training and leadership. I have no doubt whatsoever that when she decides to retire, she will be competent enough to succeed in any career, with a degree from CSU.

  • Missat2

    I just graduated from CSU w/ BS Information Technology. I’ve been accepted for MS Information Assurance @ a regionally accredited university with no problem…

    • Guest

      That’s interesting! What regionally accredited university accepted credits from CSU?

      • Rzm Arizona

        I know Grand Canyon University just accepted credits from CSU.

    • Tanesha Fields

      So Glad to hear this..I am currently working in the IT field and wanting to get my BS in Information Technology and eventually my MS. Congrats!!

  • veritas

    CSU sucks, point blank. They rob stupid people, and are all about making money. Have you ever heard of a university that locks all the doors and does not allow access to the general public? They also have a department that specializes in scrubbing the internet of negative or truthful comments about the “school”. The place is run like a cult, and they have “motivational” meetings on a weekly basis to keep the employees in check.

    • Guest

      Yes, I agree that something strange is going on at Columbia Southern. My girlfriend worked there for a couple of weeks and she said that the security and secrecy is odd for an educational institution. She was told that the building is kept locked because of the many threats that they face from former students who are upset. The woman that told her whispered it to her like she would get in trouble if anyone heard her. And CSU goes through a lot of employees too. Two people quit while my girlfriend was in training, and when she asked someone about it they told her not to ask about it again. Then my girlfriend discovered that her job was basically a tele-marketer and she had to call and annoy people all day with no breaks and a half hour lunch. She has a good job now and she is happy.

  • CSU Student

    I am currently enrolled at CSU in its MBA program. I have five courses down and I’m pulling out of the program at the end of the month. I am in the military (active duty), and was lured into CSU’s program by a colleague of mine. I received by bachelors from a regionally accredited college, and knew how much effort was needed to maintain a simple 3.1 GPA. However, once I started taking courses at CSU, I noticed that there was literally no effort required on my part. I mean, everything I submitted turned into an A; a person with an eighth grade education could maintain a 4.0 GPA at CSU.

    Now, is CSU a diploma mill? It depends on the views of the person. There is some work required from you, but as long as you know how to use the index and glossary a the end of the book, you will never have to read a complete chapter.

    If your goal in life is to simply earn a degree and not be competitive for future employment, then CSU may be the college for you.

    A fellow service member friend of mine retired from the Navy a little while back, and he found difficulty getting a job with his CSU degree. It may have been the economy and not his degree, but I found it interesting that the company he ended up getting a job with was Waldorf College.

    Now does regionally vs. nationally accredited degrees matter to employers? It depends on the employer. Often times employers, HR managers, are looking for those with the most qualified resumes. This includes past work experience, competency, and academic degrees.

    With the economy in such bad shape, and with any job opening attracting numerous applicants for that same position, it would make sense for you to have the best qualifications possible. Let’s be truly realistic. If you were an employer, would you hire somebody with a degree from New York University (NYU), Michigan State University, or some other more known university, or would you hire somebody with a degree from CSU?

    Finally, being that I am military, let me speak to my fellow service members. We are being targeted by a herd of nationally accredited colleges offering worthless degree programs for the guaranteed paycheck of our TA. How often do colleges like CSU, Grantham, or University of Phoenix call you if you express just a hair of interest?

    Check this article out:
    http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_02/b4162036095366.htm

    Again, CSU is great if you want a degree to put on your wall. But, if you plan to use the degree for something, or if you want to pursue further academic programs at more well-known colleges, go to a regionally accredited college. You may often find that there are regionally accredited colleges that cost just as much as some of these nationally accredited colleges.

    For graduate degrees, let’s be frank – you get what you pay for.

  • marismit05

    I respect other people’s rights to freedom of speech and not every student is going to have a pleasant experience. In my experience, CSU has been a great school all the way from my Bachelor’s program into my Master’s program as well. I have went to a top university and paid the high prices of books and tuition. I have came to find it was not what all it seemed to be, classes that were overcrowded and I found it hard to talk face-to-face with professors about assignments. I kept an A average, but I felt like I wasn’t really learning anything or being challenged enough. At CSU, my professors take their time in commenting on my assignments and where my strengths and weaknesses are. Discussion boards were nice to have because I had the time to look into other students’ comments and opinions of what we were discussing.
    This school is not a cult and it is not a scam. This school has been recognized by the U.S Department of Education and they provide the school funding as well- Pell Grant, Federal Loans, etc. Most employers will accept a national accreditation because it provides flexibility on a national scale versus regional. However, regional accreditation is a must in some career fields and that is why CSU has partners that are regionally accredited to transfer to in order to complete your desired course. Times are hard enough and money is tight so what is so terrible about paying lower cost tuition and having a top-notch education. It also makes me upset that I work really hard to further myself for a better future for my family and myself. Let us try to be reasonable and look at all the unbiased facts and determine the true answer of this topic-at-hand. Is CSU a scam? The answer I can give from my personal experience as a student is no.

  • Jsdfire81

    As a graduate of CSU in the near future, I will tell you that their Fire Science program IS the gold standard in the Emergency Services career field. Not too many schools do offer a degree in Fire Science. Most departments only require you to earn IFSAC certifications and your EMT license. Having a diploma only enhances your opportunity to become an officer after years of working on the floor. Additionally, if you choose not to continue in the Fire Service, you at least have a piece of paper showing that you have accomplished something. I have worked with many graduates from many colleges. A degree does not make the employee…..it is the employee who creates their opportunities. I love my wife till death do us part, but she graduated from FSU and then Law School and has been un-employed for 2 years in that career field.

  • Canuck52513901

    You can turn in papers you find online for any class and still get a good grade. This program is only interested in taking your money and handing you a not so impressive piece of paper in return. This school borderlines on fake, and under the new directives being put forth by the Obama administration should be closed down or required to provide actually training!

    • Justin

      I disagree. I have submitted papers and actually had points deducted due to the “orginality report” having a high probability of plagiarism. The text was copied, however it was cited appropriately. Then again, it all depends on the instructor. I have had some very lazy and worthless instructors at CSU. Most, however, are very helpful and love what they do.

  • Battlehard

    Be aware that a Fire Science degree from CSU, or any other school accredited by DETC, is not recognized by the National Fire Academy. This is an important consideration if you might want to enroll in the Executive Fire Officer program.

  • Pathfinder11B

    I’ve been a student since 2002. At my own pace, I am close to my B.S in Organizational Leadership. I understand that this degree will not hold the same weight as “brick and mortar” campuses. It does serve my purposes though, promotion in the U.S Army. Senior NCO promotion boards only look for degrees, they don’t distinguish between CSU and Yale. The greatest thing about CSU is that I was able to complete my A.S in Business Administration while simultaneously conducting combat operations in Iraq as an Infantryman during “the surge”. I’ve been able to plug away at my degrees over the years, even when interrupted by 3 years in combat, months away for training and the normal daily duties of my profession. I can tell you from experience; this is not a diploma mill. These courses are challenging enough for their accreditation level. You will have to work for your credits. Prospective students need to do their research and understand what they’re getting at CSU. If they won’t get you where you want to be, look elsewhere. If you’re in a situation similar to mine, I recommend them.

  • Ccclay57

    I have a traditional MBA and I will tell you I learned more getting my MS in Organizational Leadership than I getting my MBA. Columbia Southern is a GREAT SCHOOL! I do wish they would go for regional accreditation.

  • Sally626

    I currently hold a MS in Adult Education and I am looking at Columbia Southern’s DBA degree. At my point in the educational pursuit, what do I have to gain or lose with this education instituion?

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  • Elihu

    I have attended college at East Mississippi, Shelton State, and Jefferson State Community Colleges. With the addition of the Community College of the Air Force I transferred 75 semester hours to Columbia Southern University and by far it’s the most difficult school I have attended to date. It is true that the school is not a regional accredited school but the University is accredited by the DETC and as stated by the article “DETC accreditation is a legitimate form of accreditation that is recognized by the US Department of Education”. As such the training provided by Columbia Southern University is recognized by the Federal Government for employment. So, that being said one has to be careful not to find themselves in a situation like mine where as a member of the Air National Guard the military will recognize my CSU Degree (when earned this year) but my employer the State of Alabama does/will not.

  • J. Johnson

    From my experience…stay away. Many other quality online programs out there.

  • mcboden

    CSU is a good school. I attended Ivy Tech first, it’s a joke, a moron could get a degree. At CSU my classes are HARD. I have learned a lot there and my teachers actually respond to me. The student aid department can ACTUALLY be reached when you need them.

  • Maurice

    I have been reading the negative comments, please excuse me in advance for any misspelled words… smh. I see CSU as an alternative to the typical higher learning institutions. As far as a occupational safety and health major, some professionals consider CSU one of the best. The Dept. of Labor accepts degrees from CSU, therefore allowing me to work towards my CSP certification. I can’t speak for other degrees at CSU, but the instructors are experienced professionals. I compared CSU instructors from other instructors from major universities and couldn’t notice a difference. A college degree can open up doors by meeting certain requirements for potential employers, but it won’t get you a job. If you can’t hold your own during a job interview, how are you going to get that job? Most employers understand the hardship in balancing a career, family, and having the courage to go back to school. I am one class away from my B.S., was CSU easy? No it wasn’t. It has pros and cons just like every aspect of life. The teacher isn’t there telling you what to do, you have to be self motivated. You do have to study and you do have to put forth an effort. If your more proud of the name of the college you graduated from rather than the information obtained while in college then you have a problem. I rather show my potential employers my CSU degree and demonstrate the skills I have to support my degree. CSU is not a diploma mill. FYI, there are several well known universities that have partnered up with CSU and will accept CSU degrees for acceptance into their graduate programs. Temple University and USF to name a few. Yeah the 20 some odd partners of CSU may not be alot, but it is a start. For the people reading these comments and may be wondering if you should attend CSU, yes you should. I rather have a distance learning degree than no degree at all.. It is what you make of it…..

  • Adam Smith

    They are nationally accredited

  • IRamirez

    I am currently a student at CSU. So far it has meet all of my expectations and I couldn’t be happier with what I have accomplished so far!

  • Peter B.

    So far I am really enjoying my time with CSU. I have attended a lot of online universities, and though those schools are regionally accredited, they’re a total scam and annoyance all at the same time. I rarely receive annoying phone calls from CSU. The blackboard is easy to access and the assignments are easily structured for you to get your work done. What is the purpose of attending a university with DETC accreditation? That all depends on the individual. Do I wish I had $0 debt, perfect credit score, and graduated at the average college age of 22-23? Of course! But, that did not happen. Instead, I attended American Intercontinental University, put myself in debt by $35,000 and did not earn a degree. I came in to CSU with 66 credits, which means, I am a little more than halfway from completion. I had attempted to take my credits from AIU and transfer to another university, but they were only going to accept half of my credits, which meant that I would have gone over my limit of $55,000 and I’d have to pay out of pocket, of which I cannot afford. My current employer asks us to earn an accredited college degree for the OPPORTUNITY (notice I did not say guarantee employment) but, the OPPORTUNITY for advancement. I emphasize OPPORTUNITY because just because you earn a college degree does not guarantee you you’re going to be promoted. You have to sell yourself during the interview, and you have to distinguish yourself as an individual who has picked up a book and read it once in his lifetime. So, CSU was my best and cheapest option. Again, if I had to start all over and I just graduated High School (class of 2000) I would have attended Arizona State University, as I am sure many of you have seen their advertisements everywhere; however, that did not happen, so if you add everything up and as I observe myself at this stage in my life: married with an 11 month old; my best bet has been Columbia Southern University, again, not the most recognizable name, not the most prestige, not a school I would have attended if I had just graduated High School, but at this stage in my life, with an opportunity for advancement, this is the BEST school for me personally.
    This may sound taboo, but I honestly do not care about how rigorous or non rigorous my assignments are. In fact, the easier the assignment, the easier the school, the better for me. It just means I get to spend less time writing papers and studying, and more time with my family. Look, I’ve met plenty of people with degrees that should not have college degrees. They cannot spell, they cannot write, they speak as though they just attended a rap concert or a rock concert, so if you are one of those I highly suggest you attended a university that will challenge you to learn. As for me, I am an avid reader, a writer, someone who considers himself a book geek. I enjoy reading daily. I enjoy writing daily. I enjoy learning something new everyday, so regardless of whether or not I put much effort into my education with CSU it doesn’t change the fact that I am already well educated. Like most, we just need that piece of paper to say we have a college degree and have met the requirements for us to have an opportunity to interview for that job we want.
    Good luck to all and God bless!

  • Toi

    I’m a student at CSU and I’m very happy. I complete my BS degree last year and now I’m working on my MBA in Marketing. Yes people might say CSU is a fake or its just taking money. But people don’t realize how others feel walking across the stage when they called your name to received your degree. So if you going to judge CSU just because DETC accreditation please do your research on other different on-line colleges around the world.