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Review Averages: 8.7 out of 10 (240 reviews)
Ranking: #9

Columbia Southern University is an online-only school based in Alabama. It offers degrees at every level of higher education and in areas such as business administration, criminal justice, fire science, and human resources. CSU is especially known for being “military friendly” and offers discounts to service members and their families.

Accreditation: Distance Education and Training Council (DETC)
Non-Profit: Yes
Country: USA
Website

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Columbia Southern University Reviews:

Manjone and Mayes are con artists
Columbia Southern University - March 18, 2017
When I signed up 10 years ago I was promised that they were seeking RA. Still to this day nothing. They had applied to SACS but now are not listed at all on thenSAVS site. I had kept in contact witht them and followed up and kept being told it was coming. Mayes told me Manjone was working on it but he apparently made zero progress. Manjone would send occasional replies to my reqofor information updates. I even in frustration of not being able to teach any where applied there. Was told that they only consider RA professors. Eventually I got a chance and the staff there were condiiscending. I signed in for a conference call with two employees who thought I was on hold and they spoke disparagingly about the place. How disappointing. Of course Mayes only offered the gig when I was considering starting a class action suit. Manjone is an evangelical zealot who prayed in meetings and subjects people to his faith. Mayes ignores complaints. It is sad they won't even consider their students to be valid. My case is now pending. I spoken to a few lawyers and two who are taking on the for profit college crisis have expressed interest and will be seeking additional complainants soon. So check back. How can the school get away with this? They won't much long. So if you were scammed being told they would soon have RA like myself and 32 other possible litigants that Mayes, Manjone, his sister, and her husband lined their pockets full of your cash, you are in luck! Relief is coming.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Amazing online school
Occupational Safety & Health columbia - January 25, 2017
I have to say that in the beginning, I was very skeptical about Columbia Southern University (CSU). After having been in the military for over twenty years, and obtained prior degrees from other schools I was not sure. My deployments while in, made it next to impossible until I had time.This school has been a terrific fit and will continue to do so. Very highly accredited professors (especially the fire safety and construction safety) prof's. These professors sit the boards for the CSP. Extremely knowledgeable and take right from OSHA standard. This makes learning true to the point of first hand knowledge. Very impressed by the professionalism they show us as students. If we make a mistake they hammer us to learn and it is not easy. The learning capability that I have gained thus far from this school is truly amazing and humbling. The school is and has prepared me for the challenges of the future and beyond. More to come in the Masters programs and beyond. Thanks CSU!!!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
MS in OSH with Enviro. Mng. Concentration
Occupational Safety & Health - January 11, 2017
I don't see any current reviews for the MS-OSH/EM degree so I thought I'd offer up my experience. I'm an Active Duty Soldier who works full-time with all of the other Army related time sucking tasks. I'm not breaking rocks, but I am actually working 50+ a week, have three kids, and an hour roundtrip commute to work. Through 27 hours of coursework I have found the majority of the professors (all with Ph.D.s) to be both knowledgeable and fair, and the classes have been challenging with a significant amount of critical thinking and analysis. A majority of the classes require a legitimate 8-10 hours of work per week, which generally consists of A LOT of reading and 4-6 essay questions which require 200 word minimum responses...if you want a C. The average appropriate response is really closer to 800-900 words or the equivalent of a three to four page paper. Some classes require the occasional power point presentation which I believe is stupid for an online class where there is no audience, and especially because 12-15 slides can take longer and not validate your understanding of a topic as well as a five page paper. I've had one professor in one class that was absolutely terrible at providing useful feedback and I'm quite certain he gave me a blind B on an assignment because he was too lazy to read it. I challenged the grade and the support from my advisor and student resolution was equally as terrible. I was told to just challenge the final overall grade and none of my specific concerns were addressed. I went into a four hour ten essay question proctored final exam not having any clue how this guy grades. Pretty bad feeling after ten weeks. I got something like a 90.2% in the class so I rehashed everything in the GoArmyEd and CSU course critique and left it at that. If you've made it this far, a.) challenging, not a diploma mill, b.) a lot or reading and writing, c.) one masters level class is considered fulltime for a reason, some will keep you very very busy.

Nothing but a Scam
DBA - December 24, 2016
After completing my MBA with Columbia Southern University (CSU) in 2006, I pursued my DBA with them. However, 9 years of effort went down the drain when, towards the end of the program, my dissertation chair and committee suddenly claimed arbitrary authority to act retrospectively and even repressively. I had my research focus on regime-growth relationship based on comparative historical methods approved in February, 2016 and, accordingly, I expanded and developed my Prospectus into my Dissertation Proposal which I submitted to the committee on or about July, 11, 2016. No major objection was raised saved the request that I make some minor changes to comply with the university's dissertation template. A second submission was made to the committee on or about September 15, 2015. To my surprise, the entire paper was rejected with claims that political economy has no relation to business studies and comparative historical methodology based on secondary data analysis is not acceptable in doctoral dissertation. Exchanges between the chair and me only led to the former getting personal with assault on my political subscription and command of the English language. I was also reminded by the chair that he wields the ultimate power in whether or not to let my paper through. What a blatant threat! It became difficult for me to work with such a condescending, un-knowledgeable, and unprofessional person and any correspondence further thereto will only be distasteful and futile. Therefore, as a final recourse, I referred the matter to the Director for Doctoral Study but, alas, all my objections were ignored and all my questions raised were deliberately avoided and left unanswered thereby bringing the entire deliberative process to a halt. Under circumstances aforementioned, I cannot but suspect a lack in proficiency pertaining to doctoral research activities by those involved in this deliberative process. I regret having to say that the integrity of the entire institution is also being called into question when it allowed and/or condone unprofessional conduct of its faculty members. It is the most unfortunate for a fee paying international candidate to experience such affronting situation. Money wasted can easily be earned back but 9 years of my precious time wasted has no recompense. Therefore, if you are looking to earn a quality and recognised degree then CSU is definitely not a place you want to find yourselves in. I have made all the relevant information including email exchanges available on my Facebook.

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Amazing school and highly respected with employers
Occupational Safety & Health - August 23, 2016
Amazing school and highly respected with employers. I got my dream job thank to the Masters Degree offered by this great school. It took me three long years of hard work and lots of assignments but it was totally worth the effort. The tuition fee was very low in comparison to the similar programs but the courses and instructors were high quality. I totally recommend them for any EHS/ OHS courses or degrees.

14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Fair and Honest Critque from Recent MBA Graduate
MBA - May 9, 2016
Here is an honest and fair assessment of my time at CSU in its online, MBA program. First and foremost, let's discuss ACCREDITATON. Decide what you want out of a school before selecting CSU. Yes, it is nationally accredited, and No it is not regionally accredited, nor does it possess any specialized, prestigious business accreditations such as AACSB (Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business). FACULTY. There are no professors that teach classes per se. They can be more accurately described as "facilitators" or "moderators". They don't grade papers stringently, and there are not any required discussion posts to grade classroom participation. When I had a question, or needed assistance, it would be "hit-or-miss" when it came to getting a response from them - depends on the facilitator. For example, I was having technical difficulty submitting an assignment and it was the final due date. So, I emailed the instructor to ask for a one-day extension to resolve the technical issue. I was able to submit the assignment the next day, and no points were deducted; but, I never received a response from the instructor. As far as the instructor's qualifications, they do possess the appropriate degrees that you would think a professor should have - MS, MBA, PhD. But, you're not going to see many that graduated from well-known institutions - at least I didn't notice any while reading all of my professors' biographies. Important to note, I didn't see any professors who were graduates of CSU. STAFF SUPPORT. I believe that the staff was friendly and helpful, and I don't have anything negative to say. I always received great customer service when I called CSU. CAMPUS LOCATION. I actually visited the "campus" at CSU one day as I was passing through during a business trip. I took a 15-minute detour to the location and drove into the parking lot of the campus. That's essentially what it was. It's a two-building campus surrounding a parking lot. Outside the campus seemed very rural. So, basically, it's a college in the middle of nowhere. The university campus looked nothing like a traditional college campus. Most community colleges I've seen have a more convincing campus - as you could imagine, I was disappointed, but nearly finished with my degree, so there was no turning back at this point. COURSE DIFFICULTY. It's not difficult at all. I believe a senior in high school or a freshman in college could easily pass the courses. It was almost too easy, but for me, it was a relief since I transferred from a top-ranked university master's program where I was writing papers until 3:00 a.m. and having to get for work at 6:00 a.m. I couldn't maintain that schedule while simultaneously performing well in my profession and being an adequate husband and father. Plus, I was paying out of my ears in tuition and books. CSU is cheap and the course load is more than manageable. That leaves you time to have a life and be a husband/wife, father, or mother. For me, that held a lot of value. JOB PROSPECTS. What I have to say about this is theoretical since I have had a zero sum gain in job prospects or income since I received my degree. I've spent a great deal of time in the past speaking with HR managers within my organization, and from other organizations, and many echo the same statement on education. For the Department of Defense, they verify if the university who granted the degree is recognized by the Department of Education; which CSU is. For the corporate sector, I have no idea. I also spoke to some talent recruiters at a career fair and one mentioned that they are favoring certifications, in addition to a degree. For example, if you have a masters in project management, you may want to pursue a PMP certification, or obtain a green or black belt in Six Sigma. That alone may still not be the "smoking gun" that lands you a job. I've witnessed, and you may have to, folks getting hired in management positions with only a bachelor's degree, or in some cases, no degree at all. Their experience and personal network were enough to get them in the management chair. When it comes to landing the target job, your experience and network is going to be more solid than your degree diplomas. In summary, jobs that pay well are competitive, and you may need a combination of experience, education, and qualifications. And even then, you may not get hired if you don't interview well. CSU RECOMMENDATION. I would recommend the CSU MBA program to working adults looking to add to their resume at the most reasonable cost possible while still maintaining a family and professional life. If you don't have children, and your job is 9-5, I would recommend looking into a more challenging, and recognized degree program where you would have the time to invest.

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great School, Real Value, Real Accredidation
Occupational Safety & Health - March 24, 2016
I have been enrolled in the BS Occupational Safety and Health since 2008 (yes, 2008), and it has taken me this long because I am older, work full time, lead a family, and balance real coursework. However, as of March 23, 2016, I completed my audit to be conferred an interim A.S. degree the same field on March 31, 2016. I am proud of this accomplishment as I really worked had an earned it! And I couldn't have done it without the support of the CSU faculty, staff, and learning resources along the way. For those leery (or critical) of this university, let me share some key facts. 1. CSU is a private, for profit institution. If you are looking for them to "give" you something other than quality resources, then you are in society's growing majority, so just move along. Earn what you get and consider it an investment in yourself. 2. CSU is nationally accredited. So what. National accreditation is through the Department of Education and DETC, and is not automatically granted. CSU had to go through a rigorous process to earn their accreditation, and still, they are frequently audited to ensure they maintain high standards. Furthermore, if CSU decided to pursue regional accreditation they could, and would be successful. No need; CSU already has regional accreditation through another PRIVATE, for PROFIT university they own - www.waldorf.edu (North Central Association of Colleges and Schools)...and guess what? The course work at Waldorf is virtually identical to CSU. In fact, when CSU purchased Waldorf, they transferred their distance leaning programs over AND CSU credit is fully transferrable to Waldorf. So, if RA is really that important to you, go to CSU to complete most of your coursework for a lower cost, then transfer to Waldorf to complete your degree. You'll be paying for RA and validation of the same coursework you get at CSU. You should also consider that CSU was one of the early pioneers in distance learning. Now, we see all of the RA laggers trying to get on the band wagon. CSU is miles ahead. 3. CSU has real professors. When you see the professor profiles, they are virtually all B.A./B.S./Masters, and PhD degreed from RA brick and mortar institutions. One of the primary reasons I chose CSU it that I saw that one of the faculty also happened to be one of the most brilliant CIHs that I used to work for! He was a hard-a to work for, so I knew he was the real deal. He was no easier in the course. 4. CSU degrees are accepted by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) as meeting the educational requirements to sit for the ASP and CSP exams. For those that don't know, BCSP is the most prestigious safety and health credentialing organization in the WORLD. It is the certification that virtually every practitioner strives for, and every employer looking to hire a safety professional wants. There are fewer that a handful of schools like CSU that BSCP recognizes. Reason 2 for selecting CSU as my school of choice. Personally, I don't care if naysayers choose CSU or not. The facts above are real facts. I'm proud of the degree I earned, and know the value of it. IF you are intent on a degree from an RA institution, then congradulations. Go get your degree You'll work hard and complete hard coursework, no doubt. Meanwhile, I'll take my 24 years of career experience and walk into my boss's office at the world's biggest heavy equipment company with my worthless degree and walk out with a minimum of 5% salary increase, while you'll be standing in the entry level line with a RA degree hoping to make a salary high enough to pay your student loans.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Quality of CSU is very Professional and Consistent in the Learning Process
MBA - January 17, 2016
Columbia Southern University is about maturity as a student. When I first inquired about the program I spoke with an individual with knowledge that supported the University and had the skills to explain the process to me with great ease. Some students have to be spoon fed. Unfortunately, I look at some of the Discussion Boards set up by Professors as a basic requirement in each program and I wonder about some students work ethic. Students make careless mistakes in their work they present which reflects highly on their behavior and performance skills. If students would take the time and learn patience, CSU Administration and Student Resource section will gladly take time with you. It is how you present yourself for people who find them rude. I have never encountered a rude worker at CSU. I would be upset and have to calm down because they were being so nice. Columbia was my selection after evaluating 457 school's graduate programs online. This University is so consistent that you have to be a big dummy to not follow through. Some professors are stricter than others. Same at the brickhouse University. Nothing different. All professors expect the student's work to be complete, accurate and professional using proper format prior to submission. Some may give you some lead way, depending on the situation. I have found every professor at CSU is easy to contact than my other University where I could knock on their door. If they grade hard, it is because they want you to be successful. Learn from your mistakes and move forward. I feel CSU supports its students to the utmost. If you are a young student, you must listen and pay attention to detail. You will go far at CSU. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around. However, students who submit tacky mispelled work in Graduate school should not move forward if they cannot follow directions. My advice to students is to study and for God's sake, PROOF READ YOUR WORK BEFORE SUBMITTING IT!!! HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PROOFREAD YOUR WORK IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!!!!

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Good enough for the BCSP, good enough for me!
Occupational Safety & Health - November 28, 2015
I have read many reviews that talk about National vs Regional accreditation and I for one am not concerned. I am an older student who already has a successful career, but to plan ahead for changes in the job market, I have decided to obtain a Health and Safety certification. The organization who issues these certifications is the Bureau of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), and they list Columbia Southern University as one of only a handful of Associates Degree programs allowed to sit for the prestigious Associate Safety Professional(ASP)and Certified Safety Professional(CSP) exams. In addition, the company that I work for (big oil) has an agreement with CSU, so I get a discount on tuition, and the company will even pay for 75% of that. Because of all of this, I am very happy with CSU. They serve my needs, and I believe that they will serve the needs of most students that decide to get a degree from them.

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
No complaints
Business Administration/Program Management - November 4, 2015
I was already entrenched in my career but witthout a college degree. Because I worked for a private firm, there was no degree required. Once I decided to get a job with a large firm, I enrolled in CSU to complete my last 50 credits. I did so in about a year. Classes are not very challenging but they do take time and it is busy work. After I completed my degree, I began my search at a large firm. By no means did my degree get me any interviews, my experience did...but never once was I questioned about accreditation (which it is) or about an "online" school. It checked the box quite adequately and at a very affordable cost. I recommend CSU highly if you arre in a similar situation. You need to check the box as having a degree. This is not to say the education was not valuable, it was...but for me it was about getting through the credits. Good luck!

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