Any opinion on Columbia Southern University

Discussion in 'Business and MBA degrees' started by fraz m kayani, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. fraz m kayani

    fraz m kayani New Member

    Doing some general research on schools where I can obtain my MBA without spending a fortune. I will have already obtained my Bachelor's and Master's degree from WGU by the time I enroll in an MBA program so I feel like it is time to diversify my educational portfolio. I came across Columbia Southern University and I did some research for reviews which all seem to be positive but you never know what is legitimate on those review sites. Anyone have any experience with this school or know someone who graduated from here?
  2. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    There are regionally accredited and in some cases AACSB accredited MBAs that you can pursue for around the same price tag as Columbia Southern.

    Not on the list but also affordable, LSU Shreveport.
  3. Steve Levicoff

    Steve Levicoff Well-Known Member

    Let's see if I understand this . . . You will have two degrees from a non-profit, regionally accredited university in the form of WGU, and now you want to muck it up with an MBA from a for-profit, non-regionally accredited so-called online university like Cal Southern?

    (Keep in mind that I consider online university to be an oxymoron. WGU, because of its pedigree, is one of the few exceptions I make to that principle. As for the evil for-profits, I make no exceptions.)

    As for diversifying your "educational portfolio," we cannot comment because you have not told us what you will have earned your two WGU degrees in. Therefore, we would not know how they will relate, if at all, to an MBA from any school. One thing is obvious, especially in light of chrisjm18's comment: You have obviously not done enough "general research" to make a competent decision at this point. You will have two regionally accredited degrees; don't ice the cake with a DEAC degree.

    A postscript of sorts: Never trust reviews. Never. Ever. The good ones are written by shills (paid or unpaid) and the bad reviews are written by whiners with a grudge.

    By the way, I know of no one here at DI who graduated from Cal Southern. We have a very diverse bunch of folks on this forum, and if Cal Southern is not well represented, that in itself tells me a lot.
  4. fraz m kayani

    fraz m kayani New Member

    My Bachelor's degree is in Nursing and my Master's degree will be in Nursing as well but with a concentration in leadership and management. I've already researched the colleges recommended by Chrisjm and what puts most of them out of reach is the out of state tuition costs. The only exception is possibly UCA who might be able to offer the MBA at an in-state price (waiting to hear back) . I'm trying to prevent academic incest on my resume and thought SCU was appealing mainly due to price but after seeing your reaction to the DEAC accreditation I will likely look elsewhere.
  5. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    There are several regionally accredited universities offering competency-based MBAs. Purdue Global is one of them. It was formerly the for-profit Kaplan University, but it was bought out by the Purdue system. JFK University is another non-profit with a competency-based MBA. If you're fine with for-profits, Capella and Walden have competency-based degrees.

    AACSB-accredited MBAs by cost.

    Other RA MBAs by cost.
  6. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    There are many great options available to do an MBA. Before you go with SCU do a little bit more research, then if not satisfied then SCU is still available.
  7. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    Ok I did my MBA at Columbia Southern after earning a Masters in Health Informatics from Minnesota. If you are just wanting to expand your business knowledge without the stress of a rigorous program then CSU might be a fit. I choose CSU in part because of the low cost (my employer only gives 3,000/yr) and the flexible transfer unit policy which I was able to transfer 50% of my units using my coursework in Health Informatics (replaced MIS course), BioStats (replaced quantitative course), health administration and project management (replace elective units). However to be honest I kinda now wished I would have looked harder at LSU Shreveport. Since you have a nursing background both their MBA or MHA programs can be done for under $13K. Also they no longer require you to take prereqs if you don't hold a business undergrad degree (those courses are now optional). Again coursework at CSU is not hard and gives you a good overview on subjects.

    Another option I would explore is Waldorf University which has a masters in Organizational Leadership (specialization in Health care). Waldorf is a owned by CSU but is regionally accredited (unlike CSU). Cost is the same as CSU and would expect the curriculum is similar to CSU's own MS in Organizational Leadership.
    NMTTD likes this.
  8. CSU Graduate

    CSU Graduate New Member

    I graduated with a B.S. from CSU in 2013. The school is accredited (which is the bottom line). FYI - Companies accept a degree from any school that is accredited. That being said, I was able to apply for a job that required a bachelors from an accredited school. I nailed the interview and landed a 6 figure job in corporate sales at one of the largest international pharmaceutical companies. Now, I'm working as a medical device sales rep for one of the largest medical device companies in the world....again..6 figures. So, here's a little somethin' somethin' to consider - you can use your degree from any accredited institution to apply for a job. If you're lucky to land an interview then it's your social skills that gets you the job.
  9. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    No it isn't. It's an important factor, but being accredited doesn't make all other things equal. Not by a long shot. This is irresponsible.
    C'mon, man. You're not even trying. This is incredibly false. Some companies don't check. Other companies make distinctions between forms of accreditation. And still other companies make distinctions among schools with the same form(s) of accreditation.
    It was said (by you), but it was false.
    Congratulations. You do realize, of course, that your anecdote has zero evidential weight. You're an anonymous poster provided who no specifics. This might have actually happened, but there is no way for anyone to know. That doesn't mean it didn't happen; it means that it doesn't matter and certainly cannot preponderate.
    That is a gross over-statement. First, anyone can apply for any job, irrespective of the source of one's degree (or even a lack of one). Your assumptions that all accreditation is the same and that accreditation will get you past the gatekeepers is patently false and terribly misleading. Even your final statement, that social skills will get you the job, is about as wrong as one can get on the subject. Those skills--whatever you mean by "social skills"--might do well in an interview, but they're hardly the whole story.

    As a member of this board, I resent your attempt to shill anonymously for a particular school, particularly when your post is riddled with falsehoods and horrible assumptions. I await your next post.
    JoshD likes this.
  10. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Welcome to DegreeInfo! I see you joined today and your first post is to "defend" the school you attended and state that it assisted you in landing a "6 figure" per year job. I would about guarantee you are an outlier as the vast majority of graduates, even from private/public non-profit brick and mortar universities, do not land a 6 figure per year job right out of undergrad.

    I do hope you stay and contribute to the forum beyond what I see as defending CSU. I do not have anything against Columbia Southern University but I do believe there are far better options that hold AACSB or ACBSP Accreditation at the same, or slightly higher, cost than CSU.
  11. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Rich took what I wanted to say and actually said it. LOL
  12. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    WGU is an online university, and there's no clear line between "evil for-profits" and the nonprofits. It's like you trying to claim your self-designed PhD is "not online" and somehow better.

    Having said that, while Columbia Southern is legitimate, I do not see a single reason to pick their MBA program over many similar programs at better-credentialed places. Yes, including WGU.
  13. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I'm not even going to fault our new friend here...

    For starters, it isn't that some companies don't care. It's that most companies don't care. Few companies verify accreditation at all. Those that do, it's almost always for a licensing situation. You hire a lawyer and you want to make sure their JD is ABA. Hiring a mental health counselor and you're looking for CACREP. Even this goes out the window if they have the license needed. A very large number of employers who say they require RA degrees don't actually know what RA is. To them "regionally accredited" is used interchangeably with "accredited." That's not because they view RA as being tops. It's because they don't know there are other things out there.

    If you ask an HR person "Would you accept a degree accredited by DEAC/DETC?" they might say no. But when a candidate shows up with a degree from Aspen, they very likely won't ask about the accreditation or, if they do, will let it slide once they see that it is nationally accredited by a recognized accreditor. I've run into at least five colleagues who, upon being presented with the concept of "nationally accredited" decided that must be better than "regionally accredited" and seemed impressed at the prospect of it.

    This isn't to say that NA degrees are without utility. But most of the distinction that we see and we notice are imperceptible out in the real working world. There are simply too many employers, too many positions to fill and, for some jobs, too few qualified candidates to screw around with accreditation to the degree we do here.

    That said, I also know how frustrating it is when you go out and earn your degree in good faith. You do your work. You get your degree. You're proud. You go out and work and that degree serves you well. Then you see someone crapping on your school and it makes you a little mad. You worry that your school is just as ticking a time bomb as a mill degree. That one day it will blow up in your face. So, you get defensive.

    I get it. I used to really stress, especially around the time the FBI was raiding UMT's offices, that my UMT degree would be useless. Now? I don't really care. I still list it on my resume. I also realize that I spent way too much time trying to legitimize a fine education by getting more education only to realize that the best way to legitimize that education is to use it well and just move forward.

    It frustrates me still that people attack particular schools, often because they object to loan terms that previously sounded reasonable to them, and in their effort for debt forgiveness do nothing but draw negative attention toward the successful alumni who are using that degree well.

    I get it.

    At the same time, coming here and shilling for your alma mater isn't going to change opinions. Perhaps worse, when we defensively rise up to protect ourselves and, by extension, our schools we miss valid criticism of those schools. That applies to any school, I think. I'm sure there is plenty going on at Harvard that just plain sucks. I'm sure that there is something happening at Duke that any person with common sense would look at and say "Wow, how did so many smart people come up with something so stupid?"

    Don't be reactive. Be constructive.
  14. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Depends on what you mean by "better." I've seen Steve use both versions, but I only agree with one regarding Union. The two: the degree and the education.

    "Better" could be that the degree is better. It functions better to open doors, get interviews, or whatever else you seek as a result of having the designation. In this regard, Union isn't any better than any other degree eared by short- or non-residency. It's a PhD from a school almost no one 's ever heard of.

    "Better" could also be the education. On this point I would argue that Union was better than ANY other short- or non-residency program of the day. The uniqueness of the Union experience has been described many times on this board; I won't go into it. But it was terrific.

    My degree from the University of Leicester is a better-performing credential. But my experience at Union was better.
  15. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    "Better" in giving Steve bragging rights and license to mock other people's choices. Especially if he bases it on other schools being "online", because to the majority, so is Union PhD. Just because it used snail mail and corded telephone as communication tech changes absolutely nothing.
    Perception-wise, a totally unknown school like Union might actually have a teeny tiny advantage compared to schools with bad press like Argosy, notorious for-profits like Capella or UoPx, or schools that chose the name "Trident". But we ought to know better that no matter what, RA doctorate ought to be a celebrated achievement.

    I wouldn't know, obviously, but this seems plausible. Union at least offered way more flexibility than some cookie-cutter DBA or EdD.
    felderga and Rich Douglas like this.
  16. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    "Experience" or education-wise, and not knowing anything first hand, I don't see a case for Columbia Southern either. It looks like a generic MBA program at generic little for-profit. Why pick this one, why is it attractive?
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    I "Liked" this post but I want to clarify something. I complete disagree with Steve's constant assaults on non-resident doctoral programs (as well as for-profit ones, but that's beside the point). The quality of the experience, the learning outcomes, and the products produced are what matters. I like residential periods; I think they enhance the experience and the learning. But I cannot dismiss what someone has done to earn a doctorate (and where) simply because they didn't meet in the same room with other people. Again, I prefer residencies, but their absence does not impugn the degree earned. (The University of Leicester's DSocSci required only one hour on campus--to defend the thesis. Heriot-Watt's DBA requires none, IIRC. I don't hear Steve bashing those programs.)

    It wasn't just Union's flexibility; there were many other growthful aspects of the experience as well. But none of that ever improved the utility of the degree.

    There are many famous schools. There are a few infamous ones. The rest fall into the category where most people simply would not make distinctions between them. Union is definitely in the latter bucket. But so are Northcentral, Walden, Fielding, Trident, and a lot of other short- and non-residency schools, whether or not they're for-profit.

    Gotta go. Don't know when I'll be back. Bye!
    JoshD likes this.
  18. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    If you are looking for a continuing education experience that is check the box then CSU fits the bill. That was my thinking when I did the stress and the cost fit my budget (for me there was no major ROI for gettting a MBA at bigger and better school in my case). However if you are looking to make a career statement LSU Shreveport among others offer a reasonable cost effective alternative that is also AACSB.

    BTW...Columbia Southern is nationally accredited (DEAC) and a member school of IACBE. I wouldn't have gone there if otherwise as my company (major healthcare insurance/hospital system) only reimburses for accredited (CHEA/Dept of Education) programs.
  19. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

  20. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    CSU is a good sized family run operation that started out by offering distance learning continuing education for a variety of niche fields, back when that was a very rare option. They predominately operated in areas such as environmental, fire service, emergency management, etc. They eventually expanded out to full degree programs, and really seemed to focus on military, emergency services, and other public sector employees. I’ve known a few people who’ve attended and taught there and I considered it myself. Students seems to consider it a decent education, but far from a top tier school. Faculty members tended to say it was very programmati, they basically just facilitated premise courses and interacted on discussion boards. If you need to check a box off and regional accreditation is not an issue, it might be acceptable. For similar cost though you can obtain a regional accredited school that is far more recognizable and with better repute, which leaves no advantage that I see in considering CSU.

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