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.