California Coast University
|Location||Santa Ana, California, United States|
California Coast University (CCU) is a for profit, private university, based in Santa Ana, California. They are accredited by the Distance Education Accreditation Commission. Degree programs are offered through CCU's distance education curriculum, through both online and correspondence studies, and traditional classroom attendance is not offered. Approximately 8,000 students are enrolled at any given time.
California Coast University was founded in 1973 as California Western University, with administration and library facilities located in downtown Santa Ana, California. The name was changed to California Coast University in 1981. In 2010, CCU moved to larger headquarters to accommodate its continued growth.
CCU offers undergraduate and graduate programs in business administration, management, marketing, psychology, criminal justice, human resource management, healthcare management, and education. Beginning in the early years CCU was distinguished from other non traditional institutions by staffing the departments with qualified people led by distinguished faculty with doctorates from traditional universities. California Coast University operates an approved testing center for College Level Examination Program (CLEP®), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), Miller Analogies Test (MAT), Pearson VUE, Castle Worldwide, and PAN.
CCU received national accreditation from the Distance Education Accreditation Commission (DEAC) on January 8, 2005. The DEAC is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE). As of January 2010, DEAC accreditation authorizes CCU to award degrees up to and including the doctoral level. Since the DEAC has been approved by USDE to accredit professional doctorates, including the D.B.A. and Ed.D, CCU has been granted approval to offer several Ed.D doctorate programs. CCU has been approved by the State of California since 1974. Such approval since 2009 is currently granted by the California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education a branch of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
Before accreditation in 2005, unaccredited CCU was investigated by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) as part of a study of subsidies given to federal employees for coursework and degrees from unaccredited schools and diploma mills. The GAO found no wrongdoing on the part of CCU, and CCU completed their accreditation soon thereafter. CCU graduates with a degree earned during the school's previously unaccredited status have occasionally run into difficulty when trying to use their unaccredited degrees.
From early years before accreditation California Coast University had full state approval of all academic programs from California which made the degrees legal and academically legitimate nearly everywhere in the world. The original approval system, which established minimum standards for earning credits and minimum time required for completing a degree, was controlled by California State Department Of Education - Private Postsecondary Education Division which ceased operation in 2007. California laws were in revision several times which put the state approval process in doubt and increased the importance of gaining accreditation for California Coast University.
State approval was most important to foreign students and graduates who did business overseas where state approval is the norm. CCU graduates in USA were able to defend their legitimacy in land mark court cases most notably in Texas. Texas accepted the legality of CCU degrees, and other state approved degrees such as the earlier years of the now closed Columbia Pacific University. Many states such as Oregon approve a small number of unaccredited academic programs as a way to avoid creating monopolies of the accrediting agencies and regulating them as public utilities. CCU succeeded where other nontraditional institutions failed, largely because CCU was one of the first non traditional universities to be created under the California law, and CCU offered unique programs that were not available elsewhere. Also from early years CCU operated from it's own building in an attractive neighborhood, and received favorable reviews from leaders in non traditional education.
Employers in the business community have been generally supportive of CCU graduates from the beginning as a way to moderate the rapidly rising cost of college education. Many thousands of mid career adults were able to continue their educations while continuing to live and work in remote locations. The original intent of Private Postsecondary Education Division was to make the approved degrees comparable  to accredited degrees. A substantial difference between academic acceptance and professional acceptance has been noted as a divergence in education between academic degrees oriented toward research and professional degrees oriented toward practice.
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