John F. Kennedy University

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John F. Kennedy University
Motto"Education for Change"
TypePrivate, nonprofit
ChancellorMichael R. Cunningham
PresidentDebra Bean
Location, ,
United States

37°57′24″N 122°03′17″W / 37.95667°N 122.05472°W / 37.95667; -122.05472Coordinates: 37°57′24″N 122°03′17″W / 37.95667°N 122.05472°W / 37.95667; -122.05472[1]
AffiliationsNational University System

John F. Kennedy University was an American nonprofit private university based in California with offices in Pleasant Hill, San Jose in California;[2] Natick, Massachusetts; and Willemstad, Curaçao.[3] The university was founded in 1965 to offer degrees and certificates for non-traditional higher education students, taught mostly by adjunct faculty. In April 2009, the university became an affiliate of the National University System initially as an independent university.[4] The institution closed in 2020 with programs transferred to other National University schools.[5]


The institution was organized as a collegiate university comprising four constituent colleges which conferred undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, psychology, law, and medicine. The university did not own a traditional campus and instead taught either through distance education or blended learning. Physical locations of the university for blended learning programs were typically housed in leased office sites and business parks.

College of Undergraduate Studies[edit]

John F. Kennedy University College of Undergraduate Studies was accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (formerly known as the Western Association of Schools and Colleges).[6] The college offered certificate programs, undergraduate degrees, and graduate degrees, including a JD-MBA dual degree and MBA. The college also housed the university's experimental Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership (IEL) which offered certificate programs and low-cost office spaces. The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy was also housed at the college.

College of Psychology and Holistic Studies[edit]

The College of Psychology and Holistic Studies was a graduate institution which offered certificates, master's, and doctoral degrees. The college held experiential learning curriculums through three community-based clinical internship programs. The counseling psychology program housed student-operated art camps which taught self-confidence and self-expression to elementary-aged children. The Family Resiliency Project, also under the counseling psychology program, operated with Californian school districts for family counseling and childhood behavioral therapy.[7] The Solt Evans LEAP Project in the Sports Psychology program provided disadvantaged youth life skills lessons through athletics.[8] The college also operated three University Counseling centers in California which provided affordable, confidential to mental health services.

College of Law[edit]

John F. Kennedy University College of Law offered four-year, part-time program, and three-year programs. The college housed a Housing Advocacy and Legal Clinic offered free legal services to elderly locals at risk of eviction. The college had an enrollment of 160 students at the time of closure.

Although it conferred the Juris Doctor degree, the college was accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California rather than the more professionally recognized American Bar Association.[9] The lack of formal ABA accreditation limited graduates to only take the California Bar Examination and thus, cannot practice law outside the state of California. The college had a California Bar first-attempt pass rate of 33% in October 2020.[10]

School of Medicine[edit]

The John F. Kennedy University School of Medicine offered a 4-year, offshore Doctor of Medicine degree program which accepted Curaçaoans and international applicants from the US and Canada. The school was approved by the World Federation for Medical Education (WFME), FAIMER, Medical Council of India, and the World Health Organization to hold its third and fourth-year clinical rotations sites outside of Curaçao in the United States, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.[citation needed] As an offshore medical school, the college followed the legal convention at the time in which classes were given outside the US in Willemstad, Curaçao while it kept a legal address in the US in Natick, Massachusetts. Though the college's clinical training was marketed to North American students, the curriculum itself was neither accredited by the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates nor by the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and other Health Professions and graduates did not qualify to practice in the US.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: John F. Kennedy University
  2. ^ "JFKu On Campus". John F. Kennedy University. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  3. ^ "Contact John F. Kennedy School of Medicine - 5999 -463-6475 | JFK School of Medicine". Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  4. ^ "Addition of John F. Kennedy University Establishes National University System as Model for 21st Century Education". Archived from the original on 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-04-07.
  5. ^ "JFK University in Contra Costa County closing for good in December". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  6. ^ "WASC Statement of Accreditation Status John F. Kennedy University". Retrieved 14 November 2017. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  7. ^ "FY18-19 JFKU General Catalog" (PDF).
  8. ^ "Click here to support education". SponsoredScholar. Retrieved 2021-01-02.
  9. ^ "The State Bar of California". Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  10. ^ "General Statistics Report October 2020 California Bar Examination" (PDF). Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  11. ^ "John F. Kennedy University School of Medicine, World trade center, Piscaderaweg, Willemstad, Curaçao., Willemstad (2020)". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2020-11-24.

External links[edit]