California Southern University

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by phdcandidate1374, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. phdcandidate1374

    phdcandidate1374 New Member

    Anyone enrolled in Doctorate from California Southern University? I know it is a nationally accredited University but besides that - how is it?
  2. simon

    simon New Member

    Good question. I don't know of anyone on this forum who has attended this school let alone their doctoral program.

    However, it appears that the teaching format will parallel NCU's, due to their previous close association. Students will be assigned an adviser, a doctoral chair, a dissertation reader and have individual faculty oversee each course. Students will be provided a course syllabus and will be able to complete courses as quickly as they can, although semesters run 16 weeks, and then commence new ones. Grading is based on submitted papers, participation on an asynchronous chatroom and a final exam which is proctored by an independent monitoring service that observes the student with a cam attached to their computer. A comprehensive will be administered, will not be an oral, and consist of essays. At least for the Psy.D, a doctoral project is expected in lieu of a dissertation. Practicums are also required but not an internship unless the student is planning to seek licensure in Psychology.

    I have no idea as to the level of faculty/student interaction or availability and accessibilty of faculty during the course of the degree program.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    What is not known is the utility of such a degree regarding its traditional purpose: licensure as a practicing psychologist. It meets the educational requirements for licensure in California, and it might be helpful in some other states.

    What is also not known is the rigor of the program, as well as the support one will receive, the quality of the faculty, etc. Nor does one have a good feel for its position in the subject matter's (psychology) community.

    What is known is that the school operated for years as an unaccredited entity called "SCUPS." It is also known that it was not successful in its bid for DETC accreditation until a makeover that included a new name.

    What is also known is that the school formerly known as SCUPS operated legitimately, with a few hiccups. It was owned by the same person(s) who founded Northcentral University in Arizona.

    What is also known is that its accreditation from DETC, while sometimes limited in its acceptance, is recognized as legitimate. But here's the biggie:

    Finally, what is known is that the doctorate is awarded for something considerably less than a dissertation: a literature review. I find that appallingly insufficient. In some applied doctorates, the student is allowed to conduct a project that might not be applicable to the field as a whole. (Northcentral's DBA does that, for example.) But the project still involves research, applying a solution to a problem, and measuring outcomes. But a literature review as the project? No way. That's insufficient. In either a doctoral project or a dissertation, the literature review is a component. It isn't the project itself.

    The literature review in a dissertation provides several things. First, it demonstrates that the student/candidate is familiar with the main ideas and scholarly arguments in his/her field. Second, it demonstrates the gap(s) in the literature that the dissertation is intended to address with original research. Third, it provides the theoretical underpinning for the study, which in turn provide support for the hypotheses to be tested (in deductive research) or ideas/theories to be created (inductive). But in no way, NO WAY is a literature review sufficient as a doctoral project. (It is for an academic paper, but not in order to earn the doctorate.)

    California Southern University might be calling this thing a doctorate, but you don't have to do one to earn it.

    If one was interested in practicing psychology in California and could meet the other licensing requirements and wasn't too concerned about employers' perceptions (like being in one's own practice, for example), this might be an option to consider.
  4. simon

    simon New Member

    We have already reviewed in depth the pros and cons of this school but I am not certain that this is what PHDCandidate is seeking from us. He/she is asking 'how is it" which MAY relate to the level of instruction, interaction with faculty and peers, structure of the courses, difficulty of the academic work, (etc) not an unrelenting and unproven litany of negativities against this school, its academic credibility and the utility of the credentials it offers when we are not anywhere near the point to draw any valid conclusions.

    Perhaps PHdcandidate can more specifically clarify what information they wish to obtain.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Everything I said is immediately observable. SCUPS' history has been observed for years. Limitations on using this kind of degree for licensure is also easily observed. The laughable notion of awarding a doctorate on the basis of a literature review instead of a dissertation is provided by the school itself. And so on.

    If you'd like to refute anything I've said, I'd welcome it. Absent that, a general dismissive assessment like this hardly advances the discussion.
  6. simon

    simon New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 14, 2010
  7. OpalMoon34

    OpalMoon34 member

    Thank you, Rich, for a most excellent and insightful rebuttal!
  8. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Yet you did not hesitate to (attempt, failing) bring up work I was involved in almost a decade ago as relevant today. What I said about SCUPS is true. Whether or not it is relevant can be left to readers of this thread.
    Oh, but we can. It is not approved in any state other than California. It is approved there, but candidates will need further qualifications in order to sit for licensure. It is not explicitly accepted anywhere else. Things may change in the future, but that's how things stand.

    It is frustrating to hear repeatedly that one cannot predict the future while, simultaneously, ignoring the past and present as predictors.
    The basis for that is? I would point readers to the term "I suspect," which comes from an anonymous poster with no established credentials or identity.
    This isn't an "accomplishment" at all; no one did it. It is a condition, sort of. Readers are reminded that the use of the term "doctor" in these jurisdictions comes with many restrictions and caveats, especially for those not licensed at that level. This is true irrespective of the type of accreditation claimed by the degree-granting school. It has nothing to do with DETC in particular.
    Same projection into the future while ignoring the past and present made by an anonymous poster with no established qualifications in the field.

    Assertions of fact are fine from anonymous posters; they don't rely upon the identity of the one doing the assertion. But assessments like these--opinions offered with or without supporting facts--without the reputation and qualifications of the writer offered for consideration--are simple to dismiss. You might be right, but you haven't offered any reason why someone should think so.
    This is a critical thinking error known as the "straw man." No one said that a doctorate from a DETC-accredited school is "valueless." You offer an objection to something that didn't occur, leaving the impression that it did and you stood up to it.
    That's not what their website says. There is no way anyone can validate what "you" talked about with "key representatives" of CSU. Occam's Razor suggests we go with the interpretation that requires the fewest assumptions: that what CSU puts on their website likely represents their practice. Finally, what you're suggesting is an alternative approach that might be made available, not prescribed practice. The notion that a school would allow a student to do more than the minimum is hardly noteworthy, in my opinion.
    Right. "Includes" a lit review. That's what I said. That's not what CSU says.

    So CSU's program doesn't meet the requirements of Alliant U., which is irrelevant anyway to the utility and rigor of CSU's program, nor its utility for its graduates.
    Let's not, since we've already seen that CSU's program doesn't rise to that level.
    Indeed it has. Again, I'll leave it to others to draw their own assessments from our assertions.
  9. simon

    simon New Member

    I hate to disturb you, but Rich did not rebut my statement above!
  10. OpalMoon34

    OpalMoon34 member

    I meant to say: Thank you, Simon, for a most excellent and insightful rebuttal!

    I don't know why I ended up typing "Rich"!

    I don't like it that this board is programmed in a way that you can't edit posts after a few minutes.
  11. simon

    simon New Member

    SIMON: It is clear that CSU is no longer the SCUPS of the past; that its Psy.D program will enable a number of students who are licensed as Counselors and Social workers to legally refer to themselves as "doctor" in a number of states (of course each student should check with their state board of licensure prior to seeking admission into CSU's Psy. D program); that students with specific professional needs and goals ( ie, private practice and other positions as enumerated in my previous post) could possibly benefit from the CSU Psy.D program; that CSU's doctoral project in lieu of a dissertation is not far apart from the "videotapes, clinical case studies or training manuals" that some RA APA Psy.D programs require from their doctoral students.

    In sum each student needs to make their decision as to whether CSU meets their professional and personal goals by carefully examining the facts, by speaking with state boards of licensure, employers and by analyzing the strengths and limitations of obtaining a CSU Psy.D. However, keep in mind that this is the beginning of the story regarding CSU and as this school evolves and more of their graduates enter the world of work in diverse contexts or seek to improve their current professional status, we will be in a stronger position to assess how effective and viable this degree turned out to be.
  12. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    Please don't force this thread down the same path as the previous thread on the same topic. Thanks.
  13. simon

    simon New Member

    Kizmet, in line with Chip's request you can see that I am focusing on the facts in an objective and impersonal manner. Obviously I can not speak for other posters, the intensity of their personal feelings and the subjective manner in which they react and respond to my presentation of facts that do not correlate with their own.
  14. Kizmet

    Kizmet Moderator Staff Member

    My request was directed at all members.
  15. simon

    simon New Member

    I realize that but merely wished to confirm that I am on board and agree entirely with your objective to maintain a civil discourse on this forum.
  16. iryancooper

    iryancooper New Member

    Any Updates?

    Wondering if any CSU students have joined the forum since the original posting. I too am wondering just how "vanilla" the education will be. I'd like an opportunity to study Psychology and Law together and publish (a dissertation like) work. I realize that isn't required at CSU.

    My "practice" will be law, from a top twenty law school. I also am currently getting a Masters in Political Science at the University of Texas. I have a soft spot for Psychology, especially how it relates to law and social change.

    Again, not wanting to use a Psy.D. as a foundation, rather just a very credible brick in the whole picture.

    Any students out there yet who can contribute to the question asked?
  17. CRS0410

    CRS0410 New Member

    I am attending California Southern University and I love it. They offer a lot of lectures you can view online or attend in person at their campus in Irvine, Ca. Here's a link to one of their free webinars: Exploring the Genius of Dr. Milton... - Eventbrite

    I wish the discussion forums were more like Facebook because it's hard to keep track of who commented on your posts, etc. I am always amazed at the people who attend the school that are currently working in their fields of study. For example, a lot of people who already have a masters degree and are working for a county attend CSU to complete their doctorate and license.

    You know, it's a school that is evolving and I feel really good about the direction it is going. I love the convenience and simplicity of the classes. You are, essentially, teaching yourself via the textbook. There are no lectures from your instructor (mentor). They do offer a lot of lectures through their library and
  18. ebbwvale

    ebbwvale Member

    I have wondered why medical practitioners are allowed the title of Doctor, yet no thesis, even in a literature review format, is ever presented by them. They have been joined by dentists, again, not thesis or literature review.

    Why then are other professions denied the title of Doctor for advanced learning in terms of practice unless they have completed a research component? how often have I heard medical practitioners use the words"practice based knowledge" as opposed to "research based evidence", indicating the difference between two worlds.There is a difference between a professional doctorate and a PhD. I don't see why a professional doctorate requires any thesis as the medicos and dentists have been awarded the title for years without going that route.

    I think the important issue for professional doctorates is the ability to be able to interpret research and then turn into practice or a product. They should leave the research to PhDs. The gap often occurs when the researcher reports a new finding, but there is a difficulty incorporating it into practice. Good researchers are just that, not necessarily, good at translating findings into practice or product. The professional doctorate should bridge that gap.

    With that view, the ability to interpret research literature and project to practice is more a critical element than being able to do the research itself. This doctorate is increasingly important to research as much good research is never used because of an inability to see its worth for practice or to implement it in practice. PhD's should applaud the graduates of professional doctorates as they will ensure that the PhD's have jobs. They are complementary, not competitive. The same yardstick should not be used to measure them.
    Acknowledging my limited knowledge of DETC, I understand that they only accredit professional doctorates, not PhD's. They may be aiming at industry not academia and see the differences between the two doctorates. They have chosen the applied science track, not the research one.

    This may not help resolve the issue with the university in question, but, perhaps, it may assist in assessing the value of these sorts of doctorates and why there seemingly may be less emphasis on the research component.
  19. OpalMoon34

    OpalMoon34 member

    CalSouthern appears to be genuinely 5-star and it is not that expensive either. Nevertheless, I can't help but notice how few the graduates are each year. Of course, not every graduate attends the commencement ceremony (video), but I believe most of them do. Given the fact that they are not short of program offerings, what do you think could be the reason for this?
  20. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    CalSouthern had intrigued me for a while. It looks like they offer a sound program, but they're not competitive at all price-wise. For slightly more, you could attend an RA school (e.g. Trident or a state school). For slightly less, there's CCU and any number of out-of-state DETC programs. I think California Miramar is somewhere around the same price point per credit.

    That's where CalSouthern really has a problem grabbing "market share"-- differentiating themselves to where students will hop on board at their current price points.

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