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Life At Calsouthern
What is an online course like at CalSouthern?
The course curriculum – including the books and materials – is no different than what you would find at a traditional university. You work through the course syllabus and submit all assignments through the CalSouthern Online Learning Center. Your faculty mentor grades your work and provides timely feedback. Your faculty mentor is also available by email or phone to answer your questions and provide any guidance you may need. Be sure to use your CalSouthern email address for any and all communication with faculty.
Do I have to attend courses or other activities on campus?
No. Courses at CalSouthern are online, and you will not be required to come to campus at any time. Learners are, however, invited to attend on-campus lectures and events (which may also be streamed live or made available on-demand for non-local students) or to visit with their Academic Advisors (appointments are requested).
Do I have to log in to courses at specific times or complete group projects with other students?
No. CalSouthern’s learning methodology is designed for the busy adult learner. There are no mandatory log-in times or group projects. Learners can study on their own schedule so they can earn their degree without compromising their personal lives or professional obligations.
How quickly can I earn my degree?
The average time of completion for most bachelor’s and doctoral programs is four years, while most master’s programs take approximately two years. However, you can work at your own pace and finish faster by taking more than one course simultaneously.
Is online learning effective?
Online learning is an extremely efficient and effective way to learn. In fact, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education (“Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies”) found that students who took all or part of their instruction online performed better, on average, than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction.
Are online degree programs at CalSouthern easier than those at traditional universities?
No. While many students enjoy CalSouthern’s online learning methodology and find it more efficient and effective than on-campus learning, the courses and degree programs are rigorous.
Will I interact with my CalSouthern faculty mentors?
Yes. CalSouthern faculty mentors work with you one-on-one as you progress through each course. They will provide feedback and help you apply the concepts you learn to solve real-world challenges. They are also available to answer any questions you might have via phone, email and/or Skype. Many learners report having more personal interaction with their CalSouthern faculty mentors than they had with professors in traditional classroom settings.
Who is on the CalSouthern faculty?
CalSouthern faculty mentors are dedicated and skilled educators who are also experienced practitioners in the fields in which they teach.
I have more questions about CalSouthern. Who do I call?
If you have additional questions, please call 800.477.2254 and ask to speak to an Admissions Representative.
How do I receive a verification letter of acceptance/enrollment?
Simply send your request by email to the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the last date I can add or drop a course?
You must add a course and be enrolled prior to the applicable start date. Ideally, you should request a course two to three weeks in advance to give you ample time to review your syllabus, order books using the ISBN numbers provided, and make any other necessary preparations.
You may drop any course (without academic or financial implications) by clicking the “Drop” button next to the course before midnight PST on the 14th day after the course start date. Dropping a course between the 15th day and the 42nd day of a course term will be considered a course withdrawal; you will earn a grade of W and will incur tuition costs on a prorated basis depending on how long you have been enrolled in the course. Please contact Accounting Department at 800.477.2254, ext. 4246 for more information.
What if I need additional time to complete my course?
Learners may request up to two (2) 30-day extensions per course as long as the extension is requested prior to midnight PST on the course end date. You may use as little or as much of this additional time as you need, and extensions do not adversely affect your grade. Each extension incurs a $250 processing fee payable at the time of request. To do so, go into the “Academics” tab, click “Request Extension,” click on the cart, and then follow the prompts to complete your transaction. Upon completion of your request, a new course end date will appear.
Extensions add an additional 30 days beyond the current course end date regardless of the date of request. If the Request Extension button is not available, your course may have closed, or you may have exhausted both available extensions. In this case, please contact your Academic Advisor or Accounting Department at 800.477.2254, ext. 4246 for assistance.
Learners using military education benefits: The CalSouthern School Certifying Officer (SCO) does not report/certify extension time to the VA because the fee is typically not covered by VA benefits. Certifying extensions reduces your rate of pursuit for that term and may require you to reimburse the VA for the funds dispersed. Please contact the SCO at 800.477.2254, ext. 4250 for more information. Learn more in the Military Enrollment section below.
I’m on a leave of absence, what is the policy regarding payments?
Learners who are on a leave of absence (LOA) are still required to make their monthly tuition payments. Should the learner’s tuition balance be paid in full while on LOA, no additional payments will be necessary. Once the learner resumes taking courses and incurs new tuition costs, monthly payments will resume.
What if I need to take extended time off?
If personal or professional situations occur that make you unable to devote the required time to your coursework, you can request up to three (3) one-month leaves of absence per calendar year, upon approval by your Academic Advisor. The request must be submitted in writing via email to your Academic Advisor. Leaves of absence must be taken between courses; they may not interrupt an ongoing course. In the case of a need to interrupt an ongoing course, please contact your Academic Advisor to discuss your options.
An extended leave of absence may be available for extreme hardship. Please contact your Academic Advisor for more information. While on a leave of absence, all tuition commitments remain in force. Additionally, you must maintain continuous enrollment as described in the Continuous Enrollment Policy in the University Catalog.
I am a military services member (active duty or veteran) and I am using my GI Bill® benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Now that I am enrolled, what do I need to do?
Contact the CalSouthern School Certifying Officer (CSO), Inglid Pozuelos at 800.477.2254, ext. 4250 to make sure we have the information needed to certify you in the VA system. Make sure you do this before beginning your courses. If you have already been in communication with the SCO, you won’t need to do anything else unless your benefits have changed in any way (for example, your name, type of benefit and percentage of coverage).
I have to ask for an extension in my course(s), and I am using GI Bill® benefits. What do I need to do?
If you are using your GI Bill® benefits and have been granted an extension on your course, you will want to make sure that your extension is communicated to the CalSouthern School Certifying Officer (CSO). The CSO will advise you on how extensions are handled at CalSouthern and if an extension will affect your GI Bill® benefits.
If you are using CH 31 benefits, contact your VA Counselor prior to requesting your extension: they may approve payment of the extension fee on your behalf. If you are using CH 31 benefits and your VA Counselor has confirmed they will approve payment for your extension fee, have your counselor forward approval to pay the extension fee to the CalSouthern SCO so that an invoice can be sent to your VA Counselor.
Please note: if your course end date is not properly communicated, this could affect your benefits and payments received from the VA. Contact your Academic Advisor or CalSouthern SCO at 800.477.2254, ext. 4250.
What if I have questions about the military benefits I am using at CalSouthern?
Please contact the CalSouthern School Certifying Officer (CSO) Inglid Pozuelos at 800.477.2254, ext. 4250. She will advise you regarding what is needed to make the appropriate changes in your CalSouthern file so that you can continue in your degree program..
Who can I turn to if I need help?
In addition to your faculty mentors, you will have a dedicated Academic Advisor to help with any questions regarding coursework, academic policies and more. You will also be able to receive assistance with research and citation needs from our University librarian and our learner accounts specialist will be able to assist with any tuition, payment, or account concerns. CalSouthern’s IT support team is available to provide you with the necessary technical assistance throughout your educational journey.
Visit our Contact Us page for a list of our departments and contact information.
What are the technical requirements for online learning?
We have designed the CalSouthern Online Learning Center to provide the best possible learning experience, regardless of your technical skills or computer system. It is intuitive, easy to use, and will accommodate almost any computer and operating system. Really, all you need is a computer, a reliable Internet connection, a webcam, and the ability to send and receive attached files via email.
To fully utilize the Learning Center as well as the online tools and resources that CalSouthern offers – we recommend the following:
- A processor of 2 GHz or faster
- 2 GB RAM or higher
- 200 GB hard drive or larger
- Monitor and video card with 1024×768 or higher resolution
- Speakers/headphones and microphone
- Web camera
- Ethernet card or Wi-Fi adapter
- Latest version of IE 9 or later, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox
- Microsoft® Office 2010 or later (CalSouthern provides the cloud-based Microsoft® Office 365 software suite at no charge)
- Current antivirus software
- Adobe® Reader®*
- Adobe® Flash plug-in*
- Cisco WebEx meeting plug-in
- Reference Point APA formatting software
*Free to download from Adobe.com
- PC Windows 7 or later
- MAC OS 10.X or later
- A high-speed internet connection with a recommended speed of 1.5 Mbps download and 1.0 Mbps upload.
How do I display my photo, country flag and degree program in the discussion forum?
If you wish to share this type of information with fellow learners, do so within your account settings. Go to the “Your Account” tab and click on “Profile Settings” in the light gray bar to the left of the page. Click “Edit” and choose the information you wish to share in the appropriate boxes. Finally, click “Save” to authorize the display of this information.
How do I get an ID card?
The CalSouthern learner identification card identifies you as a current member of the California Southern University community. Learners who register and pay for their first course are eligible to receive an ID card. Learners may upload a photo by selecting the “Your Account” tab and then clicking “Photos” on the left side of the page. Under the “Learner ID Card Photo” tab, select “Edit” and upload a .JPG file photograph (headshot only). To do this, select “Browse,” locate the file on your computer, select the photo, and then click “Save.”
How do I request a course?
Click on the “Academics” tab located on the blue navigation bar in the CalSouthern Online Learning Center. Then choose the “Next Semester Start Date” in the blue box to the left, and click “Request Course” in the box to the right of the desired course. Once your request has been submitted, several approvals will take place, and your course syllabus will then be available. If you are unable to complete any of the steps above, please contact Accounting Department at 800.477.2254, ext. 4246 for assistance.
How do I contact my faculty mentor?
Any time you have a question or concern regarding your course materials or assignments, we encourage you to reach out to your faculty mentor; they’re there to provide all the assistance you need. You will find the office hours and contact information for your faculty mentor at the top of every page of your syllabus.
How do I post in the discussion forum?
Once in your “Current Course” tab, click the “Forum” button on the left of the page. Select the week that your discussion forum assignment is to be posted in. (Note: you may have to click more than once.)
Be sure to read the faculty mentor’s post and any additional instructions provided. When you are ready to post, simply click on the “Reply to Thread” button in the upper left of the forum area. Paste your response in the box provided.
To reply to a classmate’s posting, simply click the “Reply with Quote” button and paste your response in the space provided.
Like a post? Click the button in the bottom right-hand corner of any posting.
How do I upload and submit an assignment?
To upload an assignment, first click on the link to the course syllabus. Next, select the “Activities” tab and click on the appropriate assignment. Directions are included within each individual assignment. At the bottom of the page under the “Course Work” heading, click the (+) symbol. A box should expand with the assignment number selected for you. Type in the assignment name, then click “Browse” to attach the appropriate Word document from your computer. Comments to your mentor are optional.
Once the assignment is attached, read and check the academic integrity statement, then click “send.” Always click on the linked assignment to verify that it has attached properly and that it is the intended document.
When saving your assignment on your computer, make sure to save the file name following this format: “Last Name-Course#-Assignment#” – the named document should have a file name similar to this: Smith-SAM100-5.docx.
If you have not already done so, be sure to attend a live orientation as soon as possible, and before your course begins. Contact your Academic Advisor for more information.
How can I add my name to the course listing?
To add your name to the learners listed in your course, click “Your Account,” select “Profile Settings,” then click the box “Course Area: My Name.” Your name will then be listed among the course’s learners. Having your name visible to your classmates and others taking the course in the future will promote interaction between you and your classmates.
How do I review my courses once I have completed them?
To review previous work, click on the “Academics” tab and then on the “Course History” tab. From this page, you can click on any previously enrolled course to regain access to the syllabus and previously completed assignments. No new work may be submitted once the course has closed.
How will I take exams for an online course?
Although we are trying to move away from proctored exams, you may still have a few courses that require you to take one. For this method, we use the online proctoring service, ProctorU. Below you will find more information about ProctorU and how to schedule your exams.
Webcams are required for all proctored exams. For the greatest scheduling flexibility, please contact ProctorU at 855.772.8678 at least two to three weeks in advance. If you schedule your exam date at least five days in advance, there is no fee. Scheduling an exam date with less than five days’ notice may incur a $5 convenience fee charged by ProctorU. In addition, on short notice, the number of appointment times available may be limited based upon proctor availability and will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, please contact your Academic Advisor.
The following link contains videos, tutorials, scheduling, and contact information regarding proctored exams: http://proctoru.com/calsouthern.
Please note: exams administered in the JD program are not proctored through ProctorU. If you are a JD learner, please refer to the JD Proctor Designation form found on the “Resources” tab of the CalSouthern Online Learning Center and follow the instructions.
Tuition & Payments
How do I make a payment?
All financial transactions are conducted through the “Your Account” section in the CalSouthern Online Learning Center. After clicking the “Your Account” tab, select the “Financial Information” subsection. Here, you may make a monthly payment or an additional payment, review your account history, payments and fees, or contact the learner accounts department. The department can be reached directly at 800.477.2254, ext. 4246.
When is my first tuition payment due?
The first payment is due the first day of the month following your start date. For example, those starting their first course on January 1 will make their first payment by February 1.
How do I change my credit card information?
To change the payment information on record with the University, please contact the learner accounts department by calling 800.477.2254 and asking for learner accounts.
Can I make a payment that varies from the amount of my regular tuition payment?
If you would like to pay down your balance by submitting an amount that is greater than your regular monthly tuition payment, you can use the payment tool, following these steps:
- Enter a brief description of the payment you are making (“Tuition Balance,” for example), then enter the amount of your payment. Click the “Add Funds” button.
- At the bottom of the page, review your payment information. If correct, click “Continue to Check-out.”
- Once you’ve reviewed your payment and billing information, confirm by clicking “Complete Transaction.”
How do I pay for something other than tuition, e.g., extension or transcript fees?
If you would like to make a payment for something other than your regular monthly tuition, you can use the payment tool. Follow these steps below:
- Enter a brief description of the payment you are making (“Extension Fee,” “Transcript Fee,” “Tuition Balance,” etc.), enter the amount of your payment and then click the “Add Funds” button.
- Review your payment information. If correct, click “Continue to Check-out.”
- Once you’ve reviewed your payment and billing information, confirm by clicking “Complete Transaction.”
Transfers & Transcripts
Can I transfer college credits into CalSouthern?
Yes. CalSouthern accepts course credits and degrees awarded by appropriately accredited institutions toward all our undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University will make every effort to maximize the value of those credits to reduce the time and cost associated with earning your degree.
Do you accept financial aid?
CalSouthern does not accept financial aid. It’s a question we hear quite frequently, and it’s understandable. Few universities take this position. They are motivated to accept federal financial aid (in the form of tuition payments) in order to meet operating costs and either build reserve funds or show a profit.
Of course, CalSouthern requires revenue to operate. But our founder, Dr. Donald Hecht, has chosen, as a matter of policy, not to participate in federal financial aid programs, and the University has no intention to do so in the future. Simply put, the University has long believed that federal financial aid subjects learners to unmanageable debt and contributes to the rising cost of higher education.
This position is borne out of statistics. Today, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau estimates America’s total student debt at more than $1 trillion – more than the total owed on credit cards or car loans. According to The Project for Student Debt, average student debt for undergrads is $26,600, while master’s and doctoral students owe an average of $40,000 and $60,000, respectively, according to a recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. (Keep in mind that the total cost of that debt, when you add in the interest, is likely to be more than twice that amount.)
Meanwhile, over the last 30 years, tuition at four-year colleges has jumped 250%, while a typical family’s income has gone up by only 16% (according to White House figures and as noted in a 2013 speech by President Obama).
A recent article in Forbes magazine summed it up most succinctly: “Tuition has increased at a rate higher than inflation for 30 years, and the end result is higher student debt and an entire generation at a loss as to how they will pay off their loans…”
It’s a real crisis. Ultimately, it’s the graduate who is left holding the bag. They struggle under the pressure of the enormous debt burden. Often, their educational, professional, and personal/familial options are narrowed as they work to make their monthly loan payments. The debt obligation follows them for decades. And not even bankruptcy can discharge student loan debt owed to the federal government, which has the IRS as its collection agent.
Since its inception, CalSouthern has taken a different approach: we price our tuition reasonably, and it’s “locked in” at the time of enrollment so that the amount you pay never increases. And by offering a variety of payment plans, with zero interest, learners are able to graduate with minimal or even no debt – and the freedom to pursue their personal and professional goals and dreams.
Can I obtain a Form 1098-T?
Form 1098-T is issued by educational institutions who offer federal financial aid. CalSouthern has chosen not to participate in federal financial aid (FFA), believing that it contributes to the rising cost of higher education and subjects students to onerous debt. Because the University does not participate in FFA, it does not issue Form 1098-T.
If you have additional questions regarding the 1098-T, we recommend that you consult a tax professional.
The University is happy to provide you with a statement of your account that shows tuition costs incurred. Simply send a request to email@example.com and your current account statement will be emailed to you.
Where do I purchase my textbooks?
Textbooks can be purchased from both traditional and online book suppliers. For your convenience, eCampus.com is committed to providing textbooks for CalSouthern learners.
Through eCampus.com, you can:
- Buy new or used books
- Rent books
- Purchase E-books
- Select from a variety of shipping options
Visit the eCampus bookstore here.
Online Library & APA Style
What is available in the CalSouthern online library to help me with my assignments?
Your CalSouthern virtual library contains a wealth of study, research and writing resources. Simply click the “Library Services” tab in the CalSouthern Online Learning Center. Please take the time to review the available tutorials, instructions, databases, research aides, and services available. If you need assistance with your research or with any of the available resources, please contact the University Librarian at 800.477.2254, ext. 4022.
When and how can I attend the APA webinar?
The Introduction to APA Style Webinar meets online every 2nd Wednesday of the month with two sessions. Please see below the information for each session. In advance of the meeting, please be sure to test your speakers and microphone to ensure that you are able to hear and ask questions during the webinar.
Time: 9:00am-10:00am PST
Webinar Link: https://calsouthern-faculty.webex.com/calsouthern-faculty/j.php?MTID=m43b3b5743d5ef211667f617d8418739e
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
Webinar Link: https://calsouthern-faculty.webex.com/calsouthern-faculty/j.php?MTID=m4bd0e1b05735044bb19dd176b15bd00c
For additional information, please contact the University librarian at 800.477.2254, ext. 4022.
When and how can I attend the Library Research webinar?
The Library Research webinar is held every 2 weeks, on a Thursday. Please see below the information for each session. In advance of the meeting, please be sure to test your speakers and microphone to ensure that you are able to hear and ask questions during the webinar.
Time: 9:00am-10:00am PST
Webinar Link: https://calsouthern-faculty.webex.com/calsouthern-faculty/j.php?MTID=m702710635c176482b9b0b6e48f03587c
Time: 4:00pm-5:00pm PST
Webinar Link: https://calsouthern-faculty.webex.com/calsouthern-faculty/j.php?MTID=ma07fe7f852c30c0b81afee172e1606af
For additional information, please contact the University librarian at 800.477.2254, ext. 4022.
What is LiveText and what is its purpose?
LiveText is a leading provider of campus-wide solutions for strategic planning, assessment, and institutional effectiveness. Its customizable and comprehensive web-based solutions allow for seamless integration and data reporting to effectively measure outcomes-based learning goals and institutional objectives for accreditation purposes, as well as for continuous institutional improvement.
With the goal of continuing to improve the quality of curriculum and educational services, the University conducts assessments of learner achievement of learning outcomes. Student work, collected and managed using LiveText software, is used anonymously to make these assessments.
Integration with LiveText enables the University to collect and assess large amounts of data to support data-driven decisions that strengthen curriculum and continuously improve instruction for CalSouthern’s learners.
How will I know if I have to submit my assignment to LiveText?
There are two ways to check if an assignment is designated for LiveText. First, you can look under Activity Type on your CalSouthern activities page and see if it is labelled as Assessment or Oral Assessment. Both labels mean the assignment must be uploaded to LiveText. You can also look at your syllabus and check to see if there is a LiveText description at the bottom of the activity.
How do I submit my assignment to LiveText?
Assignments designated to be uploaded to LiveText will have a LiveText button on the bottom of the assignment page. Just click the button to be directed to LiveText. (You can also go directly to www.livetext.com and enter the username and password that you created when you registered for LiveText.)
Once logged into LiveText, click on the designated assignment box and attach your assignment. You can also see a demonstration of how to upload an assignment by viewing the LiveText tutorial video at the “Help” tab in the top-right corner of your LiveText dashboard page. CalSouthern LiveText Support is happy to provide assistance, as well at 800.477.2254, ext. 4277 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will I know if my assignment was properly uploaded to LiveText?
The LiveText assignment box will turn from red to yellow to indicate that it has been submitted and is now awaiting assessment. After your mentor has assessed the assignment, the assignment box will turn from yellow to green to indicate that the assessment is complete and ready to be viewed.
When and how will I receive LiveText registration?
You will receive a LiveText registration email on the 15th of the month of your first course start date. It will be sent to your CalSouthern email address. Please click on the link (key code embedded) in the email to be directed to the LiveText registration page. If you have trouble accessing your CalSouthern email, you can contact CalSouthern LiveText Support for the key code number and register on the LiveText website manually.
Do I need to submit my assignments to LiveText if I am a course-by-course learner (not enrolled in a degree program?
No. LiveText submissions are only required for learners enrolled in a degree program. As a course by course learner, you may still see LiveText instructions for an assignment. In that case, complete the assignment as instructed; however, you may disregard the LiveText requirement portion of the assignment. Your grade will not be affected.
I missed the due date for the signature assessment assignment. Can I still upload it to LiveText?
Yes. All LiveText assignments can be uploaded until the last day of your course.