COLUMBIA SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY Employee Reviews

Found 37 reviews matching the search
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Difficult
COLLECTIONS REPRESENTATIVE (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALMay 19, 2017
I believe that the owners of Columbia Southern University have an amazing vision and plan to help others succeed. However, they have managers in place that do not have the same values that they have and either falsify information to have employees fired or employees quit due to the unsatisfactory treatment from the managers and supervisors.
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fun work place
Shipping & Receiving Clerk (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJanuary 2, 2017
the same routine everyday. the bosses are excellent and the benefits you receive are outstanding from the presidents to all the workers its a great work environment
Pros
off days
Cons
short lunches
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Good School
PhD student (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALDecember 28, 2016
Typical online school that offers a nice schedule and ability for the working individual to return to school. I would recommend this school
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Fortunate to positively impact emlpoyees overall health
Health & Wellness Coordinator (Former Employee) –  21982 University Lane, Orange Beach, AL 36535November 16, 2016
• Developed individualized health plans for 100+ employees, based on body metrics, in order to enhance their overall wellness, and consistently communicated with employees to provide accountability and direction through their wellness journey.
• Facilitated monthly health education workshops to educate the entire workforce (1000+ employees) on variety of health related issues.
• Led wellness challenges and initiatives for the university that positively impacted employees overall health.
Pros
Daily interaction from compliant employees lloking to make healthier decisions.
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Great team based organization
Military Outreach Representative (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALOctober 24, 2016
Organization was education based in approach to setting goals and meeting set goals through team oriented approaches. This was my first job and the level of opportunity to improve and succeed has been unmet anywhere else I have worked to date.
Pros
Great encouragement and counseling
Cons
Too many changes without benchmarked goals.
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Fast paced, kissbutt, politcs,
Admissions/ Student Services/ AA (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALSeptember 17, 2016
Most enjoyable part is getting to know so many people. I have learned not question authority, keep your opinion to yourself, the older generation is starting to be replaced with the younger generation. You will only move up if you are young and cute. Also, supposedly you can apply for other departments but if the leadership team decides it is not the best interest it will not happen. Although they will allow you to interview and waste company money.

Also, it is supposedly a family Christian environment, however. people who are having affairs at work and breaking up marriages get promoted. If you are a member of their church cliché you will have a job and title made just for you.

If your grandmother works in the HR department, you get all kinds of perks, excuses, promotions. Never written up.

Benefits, raises, and perks are starting to become more expensive, perks, raises, and parties and special events becoming cheesier. The owners are starting to let others take over that do not know what they are doing besides looking cute, wasting time, and not using company resources.

People are getting leadership positions over one employee, while others are leading several. Job titles constantly changing to benefit people in the leadership positions.

Slang is used by the management team like Anywho and emojis, however, it is suppose to be a professional environment. You will see leadership on their cell phones constantly watching games, playing games, facebook, etc. Even in meetings they are doing this.

If you are an outsider coming to work here, more than likely you
  more... will make as much as someone who has been here for five years. They do not take into consideration of paying new people the same or more than people who have been committed to them for years.  less
Pros
vacation time, off on holidays
Cons
No breaks, horrible insurance prices, some management
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A Culture of Taking Advantage
Student Affairs (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALSeptember 7, 2016
Columbia Southern University is a for-profit university. That, in itself, is a significant area to focus on. While the mission and vision are to provide education and opportunities to those who might otherwise not have them, the ultimate goal/aim is to increase enrollments, whatever the cost. There are no admissions standards and limited review of student progress beyond whether the student "persistently enrolls." Keywords like retention and persistence are based solely on numbers, ignoring all qualitative meaning: are students "persisting" because they're getting a financial aid check and get 100s on every assignment regardless of effort/merit? That question was rarely asked, despite lower-level staff reporting entire course grade books that consist of nothing but 100s on every student assignment. Should the retained students actually be retained? While opportunities are important, not everyone is suited for an academic environment. Often, the best service to a student is to lead them in a different direction, one that would cause the student to withdraw from the university. While that sounds negative, it is absolutely the best interest of the student. But again, a profit-fueled company will not turn a student away, regardless of the need. Those two questions only scratch the surface of the disconnect between the company's mission and its actual business practices.

The company is owned by a family, and the company touts its family atmosphere. This is often true, primarily because nepotism runs high in the company. Husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, fathers and sons,
  more... etc. often work together and influence the work environment. CSU is very much focused on "who you know" rather than "what you know." Promotions are often given based on popularity or family ties rather than based on the best person for the job. There are many "fun days" throughout the year that, while perhaps good-intentioned, often seem to be a punishment: who wants to go to work, but not work? Those who choose not to attend the events must use personal time. An example event was a tailgate kickoff: a two-hour picnic in the middle of the day in August in South Alabama. After the picnic, everyone had to return to work for the rest of the day.

While I do believe the founder had and the current CEO (the founder's son) has good intentions, the distance between intentions and actual practice is vast. Those advising the CEO present often skewed data or misrepresented numbers.

My advice to anyone considering a position at this university is to ask yourself if you are comfortable providing a product that is not the product advertised. If not, this is not the company for you.
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Adjunct Faculty is underpaid and overworked
Adjunct Professor - College of Business (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALAugust 15, 2016
Co-workers and Lead positions are helpful and very respectful. Part time faculty are required to attend several meetings a month, online conferences and are not paid for doing so. They do not get benefits, sick days or even holiday pay or vacation. They get paid to grading exam papers and discussion boards within 3 days no matter how many students in the class. no compensation for answering student questions, finding violations of academic integrity, correspondence with students, required video productions for each class or participation in meetings.
They give a great deal of praise, but do not walk their talk.
Pros
Most staff are pleasent to work with, if they stay employed.
Cons
Low Pay, many relatives employed, very non-inclusive environment.
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Never a dull moment
Customer Service Representative (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJuly 16, 2016
Constantly changing environment, co-workers make it a fun place to work. The hardest part of the job is also the best-constantly learning different things and working at a fast pace. There are never two days that are the same.
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Unprofessional Workplace
Mid-Level Management (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJune 27, 2016
If you are looking for a professional environment where you will receive recognition for your hard work, this is not the place for you. It is all about who you know, where you attend church, and how well you know top management.
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One of the best places I have ever worked.
Admissions Counselor I (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALMay 4, 2016
After reading all the reviews I had to write my own. I work here and I go to school here. I have found it to be a very friendly and fun place to work. I was given ample time to learn the position and management are always very encouraging and positive. I have never had to have a negative conversation and I have never felt degraded as stated in previous reviews. So many nice people. All you have to do is ask for help and it is given to you without making you feel bad for asking. The owners are a family and are really great people. So humble and willing to help people improve their lives through a very affordable and quality education. In fact they try to get to know everyone of their employees and actually come your desk and talking for a few minutes. Never has the owner of a company I have worked for even given me a wave let alone knows me by name and wanted to know about me. I am not sure why other reviews are saying CSU is not accredited. CSU is Nationally Accredited and I have talked to hundreds of people who have got a degree with CSU and obtained a great job or was able to advance in the career they were in. Do they micro manage, yes some, but that was never a problem for me. If you come to work to work and follow the few rules they have, then micro managing won't be an issue. Very comfortable place to work. It has been my experience that they go far beyond any other company to make sure that I have a pleasant and comfortable work environment. I will take that over a higher wage any day. I have never felt this was a "cult environment" and the family never excludes  more... anyone or makes anyone feel less because they are not in the family. CSU is like one big family. We get together for several fun days outside with a catered lunch and at Christmas we get a company Christmas party that is second to none. I am getting a second Bachelor’s degree and my first was not at an online school. I find my classes are extremely challenging and very rewarding. Based on reading the reviews of CSU here, I just felt that the owners of CSU and the reputation of CSU deserved this review. It is really a shame that when people get angry they have to try to ruin someone else. I like truth. It will set you free from having to lie.  less
Pros
Very caring owners and management, comfortable, friendly, fair, fun and safe work environment. Deduction in tuition
Cons
Have to walk a long way to the building from my car.
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Horrible place
Academic Advisor II (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALMarch 3, 2016
This place is a cult. There is no room for advancement. Friends from the owner's church are brought in an given jobs over others with Masters degrees. Leadership is inexperienced and inadequate. Only chance at promotion is if you hang in one of the leadership cliques. Leadership does not support the employees whatsoever. Too much fraternization. Too much micromanaging. Faulty job descriptions. They get you in and make you feel that they want your experience and input but in all actuality if you do not agree with their horrible tactics you will be consistently picked on and written up to push you on out the door. Unorganized. A call center looking for call center representatives rather than degreed professionals. Very dysfunctional. No one in leadership knows who does what. Leadership is never available. They all get up and go to lunch on the company credit card and "meetings" everyday. They do not value employees at all. Job descriptions change after you are hired and get worse over time. Everything becomes a quota. They portray to be family oriented.
Pros
Leave at 3:00 on fridays
Cons
Employees not valued and belittled, unfair treatment for not being part of cliques, micromangement, unorganized
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Negative change in culture
Professor of online courses (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALFebruary 24, 2016
See review above, the culture changed with corporate takeover from a family owned and run business to a corporate business. New managers did not take the time to get to know or appreciate employees who helped grow the original business.
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Unhappy work environment
account specialist (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJanuary 21, 2016
The ladies I worked with daily were fantastic, but they expectations of the company are completely unrealistic. If you know someone, or are part of "the family"then you have job security and can get away with anything. They will even go so far to protect the chosen that they will throw others under the bus and blame things that other people did on the less fortunate.
Pros
Pay and benefits
Cons
Everything else
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Caring co-workers
Adjunct Faculty (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJanuary 17, 2016
The people you work with at Columbia Southern University are extremely supportive and friendly. Unfortunately, the role of adjunct faculty lends itself to an unstable working environment.
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Owners are good people, middle and lower management is horrible
Academic Advisor II (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJuly 21, 2015
The owners are great people, and what they think the company is and what it really is are two very different things. The problem at CSU is that lower management is not competent, not properly educated or trained for the jobs they hold. They do nothing in a way that makes sense, they have favorite employees that hang out at the bar with them, and those people do not have to carry their share of the workload. Communication is horrible, and every department in the university operates like its own company so no one knows what anyone else is doing. Every day is even more frustrating than the one before it. Managers at the lower level lie to your face knowing that behind your back they are doing exactly the opposite of what they say. The president and owner tells the top managers what he wants to see accomplished, then those people tell the ones below them what he wants to see, then those managers screw it all up. If you have a job here, you will be micromanaged to death unless you are one of the lower managers' bar buddies. A few people do all the work. This place has a revolving door with people leaving faster than they can hire, and these are the reasons. HR is not going to help you here; they are total idiots who know nothing about hiring laws or practices. The place is still being run like a mom and pop twenty employee company when it has more than 1500 employees- it does not work. Lies and secrets all the time here, you cannot believe anything anyone here says.

Do yourself a favor- steer clear.
Pros
owners are nice, extra holidays off for Christian holidays
Cons
poor communication, HR is incompetent, lower managers are idiots
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Life as an Academic Advisor
Academic Advisor (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALJune 18, 2015
My day consist of assisting my students. My students can either call in or email. Handling these situations are my first priority. I also have daily responsibilities that I have to accomplish. These responsibilities consist of approving enrollments, creating degree advisements for my students, and making proactive calls to my students. These calls consist of helping struggling students and getting students enrolled. This job has taught me time-management, how to be resourceful, and excellent customer service skills. I really enjoy interacting with my students. This is the most enjoyable part of my job. But, this can also be the hardest part of my day. This is because their problems can be very involved and can take up most of my day.
Pros
Good health benefits
Cons
No Sick days
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Good
Military Educational Liaison, Military Outreach (Former Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALMay 29, 2015
Great work atmosphere, excellent benefits. Quality employer, and culture is excellent. I would stay with CSU if not for transferring due to future spouses military service.
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Great school for Healthcare Administration
Student (Former Employee) –  StudentMay 11, 2015
I did not work at this school. I was a student and the experience was great! I had fantastic counselors that helped and guided me all the way through to the finish.
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Best in Baldwin County
Team Lead (Current Employee) –  Orange Beach, ALApril 12, 2015
I have no pull or weight when it comes to human resources, advertising, or hiring/firing, as my position is managing administrative needs and/or escalated student issues. Yes, there have been events of micromanaging and negativity in some departments, but overall, this company is amazing. Each department has different functions and tasks, so most often, one can find a position in which he or she is a good fit. If speaking on the phone isn't your strongest skill, try for something that is more logistic in nature. CSU has by far been my best employer.

I have seen posts where the company "is a diploma mill" and "unaccredited," which is absolutely false. The courses require much thought and effort, and CSU is accredited through the DEAC, which is recognized by CHEA; you may review this information on the website.

Yes, the institution is for-profit and has overcome many obstacles; it has only made the culture stronger. Up to this point, there also has been a gap in communication from upper management to the staff level. This recently has been recognized by the president, and large efforts are being made in closing this gap; he has been directly discussing this with team members to solve the miscommunication. Whereas we can all improve, this organization can and will.

We have fun days when the institution is closed for staff-enrichment events; for instance, CSU reserves Waterville in Gulf Shores for the staff for several hours one day in the summer. The founding family is truly precious and loving, and I feel that the negativity will be resolved with the expansion in training
  more... of departmental leadership. Excellent benefits options are offered, and compared to other employers in the area, it is difficult, if not impossible, to find an opportunity to work in a happy environment and to change others' lives as we do, though pay may be lower than many post-secondary institutions. Offering excellence in service and making a difference in each student's life is what we truly aim to do each day. Come by for a visit and see what we're all about!

I give our company a 4 of 5 rating because there is always room for improvement. We must all recognize our weaknesses and strengths and move forward for a bigger, better tomorrow.
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Pros
Positive atmosphere, appreciation
Cons
Wage vs. other universities, communication
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Overall rating

3.3
Based on 38 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.2
Compensation/Benefits
3.1
Job Security/Advancement
2.6
Management
2.6
Culture
2.9

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