Any opinion on Columbia Southern University

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

  1. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    For almost every NA school and program there seems to be a comparable RA option at a similar cost. There are some exceptions, of course. (Taft, ACE, and Harrison Middleton come immediately to mind, as well as almost every professional doctorate option.)
  2. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    So referring back to the original post this question was around an affordable option for a MBA for someone who already has a masters. CSU does have a flexible transfer policy that will let you transfer up to 50% of the required units. This was a big selling point in my case as I able to bring in units related to MIS, project management, research and Bio-Statistics to satisfy units for the General MBA (although the program requirements have now changed a bit since I was in the program). In my case it was a check the box continuing education exercise ( I wasn't thinking about doing any sort of doctorate degree at that point in time). Bottom line after transfer credits applied my bill was about $5K which I was able to get fully covered by company's tuition reimbursement program. So that's the advantage one could argue over other programs. However I do agree if you remove that option there are better similarly priced RA schools now out there to choose from today.
  3. arohi

    arohi New Member

  4. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    FWIW the fact that they're willing to accept upwards of 50% transfer towards an MBA should speak volumes. Or, at least I interpret it as such. That being said, do what is best for you. Being able to graduate quicker may be advantageous than seeking out a full graduate learning plan that is tailored as an MBA program.
    felderga likes this.
  5. warguns

    warguns Member

    You ask for opinion: it's a joke. Very close to a diploma mill. I know people who have gotten degrees here; they wanted a place that was extremely easy and spent almost no time or effort into their degree. Mostly civil servants who geta raise in pay for a degree by union contract so there is no merit required.
  6. chrisjm18

    chrisjm18 Well-Known Member

    It also produces great graduates.
  7. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Excuse me, but which civil service system awards more pay for a higher degree? Not the federal civil service system, and not by "union contract." (Federal pay is not negotiated by collective bargaining.) If you are incorrect in this, I'd have to question the rest of your unsupported statement about that school. So which system are you talking about?
  8. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    Would be curious, as others apparently, if you can expand upon this. Yes, they heavily market to the military, emergency responders, and civil service. Knowing a few people who've attended there and having reviewed some of their course work, they do appear to have very programmatic courses, but that by it's self does not make them a diploma mill and I thought the course work, while not being exceptionally challenging, was adequate.
  9. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    CSU is not a degree mill but its not either a top research university either as its geared toward the adult learner. While I will agree the coursework wasn't extremely hard it did take some time and energy to complete and like many places its all what you put into the learning experience is what you will eventually take away. Yes a majority of the students either have a military or current civilian government employee background with many seeking the school to complete their undergraduate degree aspirations. Given the fact many civil service jobs aren't extremely high paying or have extremely generous tuition reimbursement plans places like CSU are popular for those adult learners looking to move up the ladder while balancing work and family commitments all the while at a reasonable cost.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    The term "high paying" is relative, of course, but the average federal salary is just over $94K. This compares to the private sector's average of $63K. (These numbers move around a bit at each source, but the basics are pretty steady.)
  11. Vonnegut

    Vonnegut Well-Known Member

    While everything is relative, that comparison is arguably fairly meaningless. When you look at the roles and responsibilities of Federal positions versus private sector, I’d argue you have a far more accurate picture. When you use that as a factor of comparison, Federal positions tend to be stable with decent benefits, but also on average 27% below their private sector equivalents. While I can’t state that no one is not getting rich from working for the Federal government, your average Federal worker is certainly not doing better than their private sector equivalent. Also worth noting, a good portion of major Federal agencies, are headquartered in a fairly high cost of living region.
  12. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I don't know that looking at average federal workers is a reliable measure. Nor do I think you actually CAN compare them to their private sector equivalent because many don't actually have one. Yes, a VA Doctor makes less than one at a private hospital. But there is no "go private" option for an Air Traffic Controller. Happens with the military as well. I was a Personnelman in the Navy. My private sector equivalent was HR. They're still miles apart. What I did at PSD in the Navy does not really compare to what I've done in HR since leaving. Nor do I think any modern HR shop has the sort of functions that a PSD has (or had at that time). You might be able to enroll people in benefit plans but you, in the military, don't get to design benefit plans and negotiate with vendors as we do out here. And, of course, the private sector version of jumping out of planes and killing people is such a small segment that it doesn't really compare favorably.

    Federal salaries encompass everything from the cashier at a commissary making $14/hr to executive level positions at federal agencies where you can be making $200k. It just depends on what, specifically, you do and, as Vonnegut says, what the market rate for that job is IF there actually is a market rate outside of federal employment.

    But otherwise it's a bit like that statistician who drowned in a river with an average depth of 12 inches...
    Rich Douglas likes this.
  13. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Having good reason to pay attention to this issue for the past dozen years, I can only say that there is some argument back and forth regarding who is better compensated for comparable jobs. The general consensus is that the more education, training, and experience one has, the less better one does in the public sector.

    But that wasn't the original comment. You're moving the goalposts. Your comment generalized civil servants as not having "high-paying" jobs. I suggested otherwise.
  14. felderga

    felderga Active Member

    I would agree the definition of high paying is relative varies widely especially based upon location. Also my categorization of civil service also meant to include local and state entities as well. Here is a list of organisations that have partnership discounts with Columbia Southern with a great many being local cities as well as fire and police agencies (
  15. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Anecdotally, of all NA schools, I have seen two come up more than any others while hiring; Columbia Southern and Penn Foster. For Penn Foster it's people with the Engineering Technology associates, typically, and for Columbia Southern it's their EHS program. Every time we hire a safety/environmental health person I can pretty much bet on one applicant having their degree from Columbia Southern. Said applicant is almost always also a veteran/retiree or has worked for the federal government.

    Columbia Southern has an EHS degree. Relatively few other schools offer that as a major and yet most employers with EHS departments require it as the degree of choice. They obviously flex when someone has another degree and certifications and experience. But the requirement is there. They are, for that program, filling a niche. Add in military/civil service TA and that could well be a very solid choice. Same with their Fire Science program.

    Would I recommend it for IT, Business or Psychology? No.

    But if you said you had the choice between studying Music at Cornell versus Ithaca College, the correct answer there is Ithaca College. It isn't uncommon for some programs at a school to stand out above the others. Columbia Southern, unlike many NAs we talk about, actually has that going on. But outside of that niche mileage begins to vary wildly, in my opinion.
  16. Courcelles

    Courcelles Active Member

    CSU is 315 a credit, and needs 36 credits for a total of 11,340. Yikes, for an NA MBA degree! Georgia Southwestern State, Missouri State, University of Texas-Permian Basin, Western Illinois. All are actually cheaper than CSU, and are RA and AACSB.

    Central Arkansas, LSU Shreveport, Louisiana-Lafayette, etc. are slightly more than CSU, as additional options. An MBA isn’t a unique enough offering to justify looking at NA for-profit schools when there are plenty of options out there that are, at a minimum, RA, not to mention AACSB or ACBSP. (Not to mention names that will generate an impression at a minimum of “state school I’ve never heard of”, which is a better impression than CSU will generate, even after investigation, to many, generic state schools are going to rate better than unknown private school, even before they learn that CSU is both NA and for-profit)
  17. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    There is very little upon which one may base an argument in favor of pursuing a degree from a nationally accredited school. When that argument is based on cost, it nearly always fails.

    I suggest two exceptions. First is the niche degree, something found at a DEAC-accredited school that is rare or impossible at an RA school. Second is the professional doctorate, which can be significantly less expensive, have quite an impact on one's professional practice, and won't be needed as a prerequisite for entry into other degree programs. (But still severely limited if one wishes to use it to qualify for a teaching position--not what it is designed for anyway.)

    You can't swing a dead cat without hitting a cheap, easy-to-enter, RA, online MBA. Why settle for less?

    (NB: I'm fine with degrees from DEAC-accredited schools and do not consider them inferior in anyway. But a degree is a proxy; it speaks for you when you are not there to speak for yourself. Thus, its value is in the eye of the beholder, and some think less of degrees from these schools. Significantly so. Still, YMMV.)
  18. lawrenceq

    lawrenceq Member

    The shorter version: don't waste your time because you can find a RA program for around the same price. CSU might be good for EHS and Fire Science majors.
  19. felderga

    felderga Active Member

  20. NMTTD

    NMTTD Active Member

    Why are we falling down the rabbit hole again calling NA schools degree mills? I thought we moved past that. Certain degrees work for certain people. No 2 situations are the same and insulting people or their choice isn't supposed to be what this site is about. Levicoff has always been rough around the edges, but since when is just an all out a$$ to people now? I've been away from this site for a while, and I'm sad to see nothing has improved.
    Vicki likes this.

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