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Columbia Southern University appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Online Colleges

10 Best Value Online Schools in Alabama

Columbia Southern University is an online university based in Orange Beach, Alabama that focuses on a flexible learning format to provide an exceptional student experience. A subsidiary of Columbia Southern Education Group, the university offers online degree programs at the associate, bachelor, master, doctorate, or certificate level in areas such as occupational safety and health, fire administration, criminal justice, business administrations, health care administration, and human resource management. It also provides focused training courses for adult learners looking to advance their education in specialized areas of study. With more than 29,000 students currently enrolled in programs at CSU, the college has a faculty and staff of over 1000 professionals who continually strive to improve the programs, services, and operations of the university to make sure it continues to exceed student expectations.

CSU has set the standard for online education for more than 20 years. With a focus on degree programs in the most employable and rewarding careers, the university keeps their curriculum fresh by incorporating the latest trends, best practices, and cutting-edge issues that are facing today's workplace. With one-on-one teaching support and a caring environment that promotes direct interaction with the student, the college supports learners at their own pace and helps them achieve success. CSU's programs focus on the individual student's learning pace and helps them develop a budget and timeline that works for their own unique situation.

Learning options at Columbia Southern include a traditional term approach, a LifePace Learning program, and a Veterans Advantage option. The traditional term approach offers students the flexibility to complete assignments at their own pace while working within set course registration and completion dates. This program is ideal for students who want a more structured, organized schedule and is available to all students within any degree-seeking program. The LifePace Learning option allows students to progress through a course in as little as four weeks or extend the program up to 18 weeks. Students can cover course materials as rapidly or as slowly as they'd like, depending on the pace they learn best. The final program is for those using VA educational benefits and need a flexible structure for course completion, and offers flexibility with term dates starting almost every month of the year.

Columbia Southern University Accreditation Details

CSU is an accredited member of the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and has maintained accreditation since it was initially granted in 2001. The DEAC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). All programs at Columbia Southern have been reviewed and approved by DEAC.

The university is also an institutional member of the American Council on Education (ACE), a major higher education coordinating body that influences public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

CSU's occupational safety and health degree programs meet the educational requirements mandated by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals for the Associate Safety Professional designation (ASP) and the Certified Safety Professional designation (CSP).

Columbia Southern University Application Requirements

CSU offers open enrollment that allows students to start their education at any time using the LifePace Learning option. Their Admissions Department walks prospective students through the process of enrolling and registering for the first courses and can enroll students under Temporary Admissions Status even if they are missing copies of transcripts or have not yet completed their evaluation. Along with academic transcripts, CSU requests that all applicants also submit military transcripts and professional licenses and certifications with their application.

After applying, a CSU Admissions representative schedules all students an advising session with their academic advisor, who serves as their main point of contact throughout their chosen degree program. The initial session helps the advisor devise an educational pathway that best suits the student's goals, lifestyle, and timeline.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition to CSU is $220 per credit hour for undergraduate programs, $290 per hour for graduate programs, and $350 per hour for doctoral programs. The total annual price to attend Columbia Southern University on a full-time basis is approximately $5,799, which includes tuition, room and board, books and supplies, and other fees. There is no cost difference for residents and non-residents. The yearly cost is about half that of competing universities.

For those students who need financial aid, CSU offers federal grant and loan programs as well as military benefits and scholarships based on academic achievement, community involvement, and special areas of study. CSU has also partnered with more than 2,500 corporations and organizations to offer a 10% tuition discount to their employees or members.

Occupational Health and Safety Studies at Columbia Southern University

Students interested in careers in the occupational safety and health field will find both a bachelor's and master's degree program through CSU's College of Safety and Emergency Services. The Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health provides students a relevant and current curriculum that will help them function and thrive in the safety and health professional level in the industry. The bachelor's program offers a concentration in fire science. Estimated time of completion of the bachelor's program is three years.

The Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health will prepare students to oversee the occupational safety and health efforts of a medium to large organization. It offers a concentration in environmental management. Through the program, students will be able to manage occupational safety and health efforts within an organization, provide expert input and consultation in safety and health related matters, serve as an advocate for occupational safety and health, and manage workplace analysis and hazard prevention and control processes. Estimated time of completion of the master's program is three years.

The Occupational Health and Safety program is perfect for students who want to become part of the growing demand for experts who can help manage a company's ergonomic, safety, accident prevention, waste management, and pollution prevention programs. It is also an excellent stepping stone for students who are interested in becoming safety and health consultants for large organizations.

Prospective students who are interested in furthering their career at a personalized pace and who appreciate affordable learning opportunities would benefit from attending Columbia Southern University.

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