I created California Southern University (CalSouthern) almost 40 years ago out of my own frustration with higher education. I was a married father of four sons, working full-time as a teacher, with a mortgage and driving a beat-up old car 60 minutes to and from my doctoral classes. The best (and most) I could do was take one course each semester due to family needs, tuition expense, and time constraints. The process was made woefully more difficult by deans, professors, and academic advisors who were not interested in my needs as an adult student. It took me ten years to finish my doctorate, and at the age of forty-three I stood at the graduation ceremony at Columbia University and was pronounced “Dr. Hecht”.
Based upon my years of experience as a professor and dean, I resolved that higher education should be more accessible to adult students, regardless of age or location. I envisioned a model of an on-line university that put its students first, that brought the learning opportunities to the student by eliminating travel and rigid class room sessions, that encouraged and promoted each student’s individual learning needs and goals, that was affordable with very little or no burdensome debt, and provided a practical education that prepared each student for the career to which s/he aspired.
A college education was, and continues to be, the largest expense a person will undertake, second only to purchasing a home. However, today’s college tuitions demand outrageous educational loans that almost guarantee that financial security, home ownership, and building sufficient savings for retirement is unlikely for the majority of graduates who run-up outrageous debts by financing their college tuition and fees. Yet, for many, education continues to be the best way out of intergenerational poverty, the disabling long-term effects of family dysfunction and trauma, and the impact of societal influences such as racism, sexism, and family obligations. I believed then, and I continue to believe, that education should be available for all who are willing to commit to learning and growing. And, it must be available, accessible and affordable!
To this end, I created California Southern University, which is a WASC-accredited school of higher learning, offering bachelors, masters, and doctorates. We offer degrees in law, psychology, education, nursing, and business; and professional certificates in several professional careers. In addition, I have always been committed to keeping tuition and related expenses at a level that is below what other accredited colleges charge, and tuition that is affordable for most students without having to incur burdensome student loans and long term debt.
As an online university, we can reach learners (aka students) wherever they are located in the world; and through education we can offer a hand-up to the person who aspires to be more, a stepping stone out of desperate circumstances, or an uncomplicated opportunity to manifest one’s potential and dreams. Many of our students enter with a degree, and simply need to finish in order to advance in their career potential; others wish to begin a new career and need new and updated academic credentials. I understand what it takes to be an adult student and I and my faculty welcome you with unabashed support for your goals.
In an effort to make education accessible, useful, and practical, we offer a few options for earning your degree: 100% online courses, every course is conducted long-distance over the Internet with real-live academic advisors assigned to you for as long as you are enrolled, and instructors who have years of practical experience in their fields to complement their textbook knowledge and degrees with real-world applications; a blended program of online courses and your option to attend doctoral level on-campus courses for as long as a year to complete the doctorate. Additionally, we will work with you to transfer as many of your previously-earned courses and credits as allowed by our accreditors to shorten the number of courses we require for degree completion. And for our international students we provide you with a capstone year on campus in the School of Business if you desire both an academic experience and the cultural experience of residing in the United States on an I-20.
CalSouthern represents almost forty years of my professional career, it is my legacy, and I am committed to its stability, growth, and its employees’ satisfaction in assisting our students to achieve their desired degrees. For our thousands of past graduates, CalSouthern has been a powerful building block in helping them attain their career goals. Among our graduates are princes, ministers of education, corporate presidents, large and small business owners, successful jurists and attorneys, clinical psychologists, teachers, health professionals, and many others.
I invite you to join our family and I look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary with you!
Here’s to your success!
Dr. Don Hecht
Founder and President