Columbia Southern University

Discussion in 'Accreditation Discussions (RA, DETC, state approva' started by pakrz, May 3, 2016.

  1. pakrz

    pakrz New Member

    I'll start by saying that I think the RA versus NA debate is a bit silly, but that's just my opinion. For background purposes, I graduated from Columbia Southern University (NA) with a BA in Criminal Justice Administration. I then applied to three RA schools for grad programs and was accepted in all three. I am currently enrolled in a RA grad program and am on pace to graduate at the end of September, 2016.

    With that said, has anybody noticed that Columbia Southern University has applied for RA through SACS. The link below shows CSU as an applicant as of January of 2016. This has to be a nice step in the right direction for those that are chewing off their fingernails worrying about RA versus NA.
  2. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    They have a few programs that are kind of interesting. I've interviewed at least two Safety Representative candidates with degrees (Occupational Safety and Health) from Columbia Southern.

    Aside from that degree, however, the offers are pretty common. So, whether RA or NA I can't imagine why Columbia Southern would stand out to a prospective student.

    But hey, good for them. Maybe Florida Polytechnic will get its candidacy status this time around. It's got to be a little embarrassing for a state university to get a decision like that deferred.
  3. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    It is silly. There's nothing to debate about, but some advocates of NA schools--some of their graduates, almost exclusively--seem to think otherwise. Let's hope no one misunderstands your post and thinks there is no difference--or that the difference is negligible. It most certainly is not. CSU seems to think so, too.
  4. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    If the RA vs. NA debate is silly, then why has Columbia Southern applied for RA?

    If their graduates are already accepted into RA graduate schools, then why bother with the expense and headaches that come with another accreditation review, which is the academic equivalent of a colonoscopy?
  5. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    The debate itself is silly.

    NA degrees have less utility than RA degrees. That doesn't mean that NA degrees have no utility whatsoever. There are a goodly number of people who use their NA degrees without ever running up against any of those walls.

    CSU is applying for RA because that is likely the best thing they can do for themselves if they intend to remain a going concern in the current market.

    RA isn't silly. But the constant bickering over NA is a bit silly and that goes for both sides of the argument. You used your NA degree to get into an RA program? Awesome for you. Not terribly surprising given that CSU boasts a fairly large set of articulation agreements (granted, some of them might not be that great) and I see at least a handful of RA schools on the list. But that doesn't mean your NA degree won't potentially cause a problem down the road. For those who argue that NA is equivalent to RA or the difference is negligible, that's a ridiculous argument. The flip side is that some on this board talk about an NA degree as if it is a diploma mill degree and that it is a ticking time bomb on your resume. That's equally ridiculous.

    But the bigger issue here is that I don't see CSU doing anything to differentiate itself. Even Cal Southern boasts an interesting mix with a non-ABA JD, an MSL and some pretty interesting degrees in Psych. If accreditation is the only thing your school can boast then that's not really a good thing. It would be like hiring a lawyer only on the basis that he was admitted to the state bar.
  6. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    A reasonable position on degrees from NA schools is that, generally speaking, they can come with some acceptance issues. These issues, however, may or may not affect each individual graduate. As with all decisions regarding which school to attend, one should gather as much information as possible and consider both one's present and future needs.

    It's the reaching beyond this modest distinction by some posters that draws scorn and creates arguments.
  7. siersema

    siersema Member

    What, if anything, does this mean for current CSU students?
  8. felderga

    felderga Member

    Columbia Southern MBA

    Thinking of doing a MBA at Columbia Southern starting in Fall or next Winter 2018. The BIG plus is transfer units as I can hopefully transfer 18 units from previous graduate work at University of Minnesota (Health Informatics and Public Health). So for just $290/unit for the remaining 6 courses I'm looking at about $5200 to finish (I get 3K from work a year so I can make this work with no cost). I would eventually like to teach at the community college level but I think my grad work at U of Minnesota and UCLA (Project Management) should allow me that opportunity (so I don't care so much about the RA vs NA debate). The only con that I see with CSU is that the MBA program doesn't have any major business school accreditation as I was hoping for at least IACBE. Given that I'm pretty established in my career (25+ IT and Healthcare) I don't see this as much of a problem job wise even if I do change jobs. Just wondering if anyone has taken MBA courses at CSU and other IACBE institiutions? The remaining courses that I have to take are all required general MBA stuff like HR Management, Business Ethics, Strategic Management, Marketing, Intl Business and Research Methods (which I wish I could get out of since I already had plenty of this already at Minnesota). Does anyone know if CSU is looking at IACBE? Also how about NA with HLC since they own Waldorf University?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  9. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    I have never seen anyone care about IACBE accreditation. I've never seen it in a job posting. It is of marginal, if any, benefit.

    Institutional accreditation is limited to the institution which is accredited. Waldorf University being accredited by HLC has no effect on the organization that owns it nor on any of its sister schools.

    I have heard that CSU has applied for WASC accreditation. Obviously no guarantee that they'll get it. But I'd consider it a good sign that they have it in mind.
  10. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator Staff Member

    For only a bit more (even assuming no transfer credit) you can get an MBA that's not only RA, but also AACSB-accredited at the University of Texas-Permian Basin;

    UTPB | Master of Business Administration Online
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Columbia Southern University is in Southern Association territory.
  12. heirophant

    heirophant Well-Known Member

    Neuhaus may be confusing Columbia Southern University with California Southern University (the former SCUPS).

    California Southern has successfully achieved WASC accreditation:

    California Southern University doesn't use the initials 'CSU', which in California are legally reserved for the California State University (all of whose 23 campuses are accredited by WASC).
  13. felderga

    felderga Member

    Thanks for the tip. I did look at UTPB as well as both the MBA and MHA programs at LSU-Shreveport (roughly $12K). However I'm kinda limited with transfer credits at both schools ( I think 6 units ) which is why leaning towards CSU. Not having a business undergrad means I have to take the foundation courses (finance/accounting) which I'm kinda not too enthusiastic about (adds about $2K to the cost at both schools). I'm really more interested in the management and leadership aspects of a MBA (or Organizational Leadership degree). I don't think I will still be able to beat the cost of Columbia Southern if they grant me full transfer of 18 units, however the real question is whether I can stomach the difference in quality of education especially after finishing at U of Minn and UCLA Extension. About half the units that I earned at U of Minn in the MHI program were thru the School of Public Health which is ranked #8 overall and #3 in Health Care management. So CSU will be drop that I hoping I can live with. Again I'm looking at this as more of continuing education with the plus of being able to add MBA (as oppose to just another certificate program).

    Accreditation isn't really a deal breaker for me but a nice to have. SACS doesn't grant accreditation to DEAC schools so I guess if I were Columbia Southern I would move operations to Waldorf in Iowa or starting offering similar programs like the MBA thru Waldorf (they currently offer the MS in Organizational Leadership but I can't transfer in any units).
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  14. felderga

    felderga Member

    Got Columbia Southern to take 15 transfer units from University of Minnesota. However, I'm bummed as they won't accept the Organization Theory & Management course as it was 2 unit course (all of there course are 3 units). I'm going to try and contest this as the course is a required course for the MPH and MHA program at U of Minn (which is top 3 in Health Care Management per US News). I've sent them a copy of the syllabus, link to the text book (which we covered in its entirely). Even though it was 2 unit course I feel the course is probably much more rigorous then the course I'll be forced to take. Sure its just $900 for the extra course but that's money that could be spent elsewhere. Still I guess 7 courses for roughly $6000 for a MBA won't be bad. Again this is continuing education for me.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2017
  15. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    6k for an MBA, not bad at all.
  16. Neuhaus

    Neuhaus Well-Known Member

    Neuhaus did not confuse SCUPS with Columbia Southern.

    Neuhaus said "WACS" when he meant "SACS" (note I also said "WACS" and not "WASC").

    As Bruce referenced earlier in this thread, Columbia Southern had applied for RA. They appeared on the applicant list. They do not, as of the January 2017 list, appear there now. I'm unaware of their current plans. But, at the time this discussion kicked off last year, Columbia Southern had applied for RA.

    But despite the rigors of his current academic program, Neuhaus has not lost his wits to the point of confusing Columbia Southern with California Southern.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2017
  17. Phdtobe

    Phdtobe Well-Known Member

    You are right it is silly. However, by there being a NA/RA debate make it necessary for there to debate otherwise the debate wont have been necessary. It most cases the NA/RA debates are about going from NA to RA – not RA to NA, I have not seen one yet. in “fact”, much of the debates are about RA to RA, but they are centered on institutional acceptance unlike the NA to RA which is based on accreditation acceptance.
  18. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Short but sweet.
  19. felderga

    felderga Member

    Got Columbia Southern to accept my Capstone course in my MHI program at Minnesota for the required Research Methods course so I now have a total of 18 transfer units which now means I have only 6 classes to take for the MBA. Total cost is now $5400. Planning on starting sometime late this fall. Will keep you posted on my thoughts of the program.
  20. sube

    sube New Member


    I'm very interested in Columbia Southern's MBA in Marketing. You've been taking classes there for a couple of months now so could you let me know what your impressions are so far?

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