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WELCOME FROM OU R P R E S I D E N T On behalf of the entire university, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to California Southern University. I congratulate you on your decision to further your education and am pleased you have chosen CalSouthern. In 2018, the university will celebrate its 40th anniversary and embark upon the next 40 years of assisting those like you seeking to better themselves personally and professionally. It is both a decorated past and a compelling future which make CalSouthern the vital learning institution it is today. At CalSouthern, we take great pride in both the quality of our degree and certificate programs and the personalized guidance and support we provide each unique learner. Our pledge to you is to deliver “Online Education with a Personal Touch®” from our first conversation with you to the day you graduate and even extend the personal touch to you as a valued graduate. To help you get off to a solid start, we have included in this “let’s roll” package with a variety of resources which will be helpful to you throughout your academic program.

Dr. Steven Beazley President

Whether you are just beginning or resuming your higher education journey, we wish you the very best. Some years ago, upon my own consideration of returning to school, a wise person said to me, “You might as well go, time is going to pass anyway.” Wise indeed and I am so glad to have heeded that simple and sage truth. You will be too. Finally, you are invited to our new and beautiful world headquarters in the coastal city of Costa Mesa, California, a mere four miles from the water’s edge of the Pacific Ocean. I will especially look forward to being one of the first to shake your hand as you receive a well-earned diploma at your commencement ceremony! That day is closer than you think… Again, a warm welcome to you.

Dr. Steven Beazley

Dr. Donald Hecht founded California Southern University in 1978 with a vision: to make higher education of exceptional quality both affordable and readily available to non-traditional students who are often busy, working professionals. While distance learning methodologies have evolved and greatly improved over the decades, Dr. Hecht—and CalSouthern—have stayed true to his original vision. His innovative ideas regarding the learner-faculty mentor relationship, a flexible, student-centered learning platform, and a steadfast commitment to student support continue to inform and inspire the CalSouthern mission.

Dr. Donald Hecht Founder and President Emeritus



It is our pleasure to welcome you to the California Southern University community. It’s a community that learners, alumni, faculty, and staff hold dear and we are happy that you are now a part of it. We are proud of our heritage, our distinctive approach to online learning, our learner-centered values, and our vision for the future. CalSouthern was founded in 1978 to provide higher education of exceptional quality to students for whom traditional education was not feasible, whether due to professional, family, or financial reasons. CalSouthern met the needs of these students by making quality degree programs available through affordable distance learning. Today, CalSouthern offers online certificates and degree programs in psychology, business, law, nursing, education, and criminal justice, serving learners at the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. All programs are offered 100-percent online, leveraging a proprietary learning platform. A state-of-the-art online library—staffed by an ALA-certified librarian—contains a wide variety of research, writing, and citation tools, as well as other academic support resources.

CalSouthern’s faculty mentors are gifted educators who are also experienced practitioners in their areas of expertise. They work with students to help them apply the concepts they learn to real-world scenarios, as well as to answer all their questions. Academic advisors, university administration, and other staff provide additional academic guidance, services, and student support. The university is dedicated to continuous improvement and refinement. Courses and degree programs are regularly evaluated and enhanced and we are always looking to improve the educational platform and learner experience. We invite your feedback on how we can improve our academic offerings. CalSouthern is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, #100, Alameda, CA 94501, 510-748-9001.



Your first few months at CalSouthern are a critical time. If you ingrain the right study habits early on and employ a few useful, time-proven strategies, you will not only set yourself up for success, you will also make your learning experience more enjoyable, rewarding and stress-free. We surveyed CalSouthern deans, faculty mentors and academic advisors for tips and advice for new learners. Here are their top-12 success strategies: 1 FOOLS RUSH IN Don’t be in a hurry to start your coursework. Familiarize yourself with the learning platform and get comfortable with common tasks like uploading assignments and posting to the forums. Request your course well ahead of your start date; you’ll receive the syllabus right away which gives you time to review it and develop a study schedule.

3 TIME AND PLACE It’s true that online learning is wonderfully flexible, but most students do better when they set a study schedule—and stick to it. Try to schedule your study time when you learn best: some people are early birds; others are night owls. Pick a quiet location with good lighting and airflow—and minimal opportunity for distraction.

2 INTRODUCE YOURSELF Reach out to your faculty mentor. Tell him or her about your academic and career goals, your work experience and your interests. This will help your mentor personalize the feedback you’ll receive on your assignments. Also, it’s helpful to explain that you are a new learner and ask the mentor for advice on how to get the most out of the course.

4 REACH AN UNDERSTANDING AND GATHER SUPPORT The best study schedule will be meaningless if the people around you don’t respect it. Talk to your family, friends and other support groups and let them know when you plan to study and how important it is that you have this quiet, uninterrupted time. Maybe you’ll need to make some adjustments, but if you have their buy-in, it will pay great dividends and eliminate unnecessary stress. These same groups will often become some of your greatest sources of inspiration—and they may hold you accountable to that schedule!

5 STYLE POINTS For most of your academic writing, you will be asked to follow APA (American Psychological Association) style. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the very basics of APA format and citation before (or at least very early in) your first course. 6 THE FLASH Get a flash drive with a decent amount of memory, store your current coursework on it and carry it with you. That way, you can work on your assignments at the office, home, and while traveling—whenever and wherever inspiration and opportunity strike. 7 WORK AHEAD Do your best to work an assignment or two ahead. That way, if something comes up and you have to miss a couple of planned study sessions, you won’t fall behind. And if you stay ahead, you’ll have additional time for the more involved assignments toward the end of the course. If you can’t work ahead, at least do your best to begin that week’s assignment on Monday or Tuesday—don’t leave everything for the end of the weekend if an assignment is due on Sunday evening. 8 FORUM FRIENDS Get involved on the learner forums right away. Most of your fellow learners will be professionals with a wealth of life and professional experience—they can be a great source of knowledge, advice and support. Plus, connecting with others will keep you from feeling isolated. You will quickly develop friendships and add to your professional network.

10 FIND THE RIGHT FREQUENCY There aren’t many people who can study effectively for six to eight hours at a time. If you study in frequent, shorter sessions, you’ll be fresher, you’ll remain close to the material (if you leave it alone for a number of days, you might find you need to spend precious time reviewing material to get back up to speed) and if you miss a session, you won’t fall too far behind. 11 PROCTOR PROCEDURES If your course has a final exam, you will need to arrange for a proctor. Contact ProctorU (the live, online proctoring service CalSouthern uses) early on in your course for the greatest appointment availability. Schedule your exam at least two or three days before the course end date. That way, if something comes up, you’ll have time to re-schedule. 12 ASK FOR HELP If you find yourself falling behind, struggling with a certain aspect of the subject matter, unclear on mentor feedback, or experiencing difficulties with any feature of the learning platform, let us know. Everyone at CalSouthern—from your faculty mentors and advisors to the administrative staff and IT team—is dedicated to your success. It’s in CalSouthern’s DNA! However, you need to let us know as soon as a problem arises

9 LEAN ON THE LIBRARIAN The CalSouthern Library is state-of-the-art, filled with helpful tools and resources. It’s also staffed with what is certainly the library’s best resource: a dedicated, talented and responsive American Library Association-certified librarian. If you are struggling with APA style, research or need supplemental material on a difficult topic, we have tools to help you and a responsive, dedicated professional to help you locate and use them.

Dr. Gregory Mabry PsyD (Psychology) Recipient, 2016 CalSouthern Difference Award



The CalSouthern Learning Center

The Master Lecture Series

CalSouthern utilizes a proprietary, state-of-the-art online learning platform that’s robust, yet extremely intuitive and user friendly. The Learning Center makes it easy for you to select your courses, access your assignments, interact with your faculty mentors, academic advisors and fellow learners, as well as track your success as you progress through your degree plan. It also places CalSouthern’s library services, videos, course catalog, account information, support services and other tools at your fingertips.

Each month, as part of CalSouthern’s acclaimed Master Lecture Series, internationally recognized scholars, authors and practitioners come to the university’s Costa Mesa, California campus to deliver informative, compelling and often inspirational lectures on topics of interest to all learners. Although all lectures are recorded and archived on CalSouthern’s website, you will want to attend live—in person or via streaming video webinar—to take advantage of the invaluable opportunity to ask questions of and interact with these recognized thought leaders.

To learn more about these and the many other features of the CalSouthern Learning Center, be sure to watch the tutorial at html. And if you have any questions, please contact your academic advisor who will be happy to provide you with all the information and support you need.

The CalSouthern Online Library The CalSouthern Online Library is filled with all the resources you need to succeed—whether you are pursuing your doctorate or just embarking upon your collegiate studies. The CalSouthern Library—led by a skilled and responsive American Library Association-certified librarian— clearly reflects the university’s dedication to scholarship and student support.

In addition, you’ll find a comprehensive writing center, which includes research guides and useful academic writing tips. There are even study tips and test-taking advice. For learners pursuing their law degree, there’s a separate CalSouthern Law Library, which contains the most widely used legal databases, online tutorials covering an array of courses, and even a law school survival guide.

The CalSouthern Library is distinguished by the wealth of resources and services it provides. For example, its subscription databases—providing access to the most current and robust collections of research and academic publications available in their fields—are on par with those you’ll find at any public or private brick-and-mortar institution. It also contains access to a vast collection of eBooks, videos, newspapers, corporate data and case studies, dissertations and doctoral projects.

However, even the most comprehensive collection of resources is of little use if you can’t find what you’re looking for. That’s why the library services department has carefully designed and refined the library so that researching your particular topic is a user-friendly and intuitive process. Also, the library is replete with multimedia tutorials, easy-to-follow guides, and categorized tips to make your research even more effective and efficient. And the CalSouthern librarian has created a culture of support that makes it easy and stress-free to get all the personalized, one-on-one help you need; she’s readily available to help you with your research or answer any questions you may have.


GRADUATION A CE L E BRAT I O N O F SC H OL ARS H I P CalSouthern’s commencement ceremony marks the high point of the university’s academic calendar. It’s truly a joyous, momentous, and inspirational event.

On graduation day, graduates have ample opportunity to spend time with CalSouthern faculty and to visit with their fellow learners whom they have come to know over the course of their academic journey. The ceremony itself is always a moving event, with inspirational and celebratory speeches from University President Dr. Steven Beazley, student representatives from the graduating class, as well as respected and acclaimed keynote speakers.

Graduates travel to Southern California from across the country and around the world. Many linger for several days, taking the opportunity to enjoy the local beaches and attractions or to visit nearby Los Angeles or San Diego.

The highlight, however, is the opportunity for graduates to walk across the stage individually—as their family and friends are publically acknowledged—and shake the hands of their deans and President Beazley, with a commemorative medal and/or doctoral hood presented to them in honor of this tremendous academic achievement.

In the days leading up to the ceremony, many graduates and their families stop by CalSouthern’s Costa Mesa campus, visiting with their academic advisors and support staff they have worked with so closely throughout their academic program.

It is a moment that you will never forget, and a fitting culmination of a challenging yet supremely rewarding academic journey. It’s a journey that begins…now.


GET CONNECTED ON L INE C O M M UN I T I E S Join our Facebook page and interact with alumni, learners and fans. View photos, watch videos and participate in discussions. Watch videos on a variety of topics from faculty introductions and course descriptions to graduate interviews and event summaries. Follow CalSouthern on Twitter and be the first to know the very latest news, events and happenings. Follow CalSouthern on LinkedIn to meet and network with other CalSouthern learners, faculty, staff and alumni.

GET STARTED NEW L E A R N E R C H E C KLI ST Getting started at CalSouthern is easy, but there are a few simple steps you should take to make sure your academic career begins seamlessly and hassle-free. Just follow this short checklist. Also, to set yourself up for online learning success, please read the article On the Right Foot on page 4. In it, you’ll find a dozen time-proven tips and strategies—collected from CalSouthern faculty mentors, deans, academic advisors, and even a few national experts on online education—to help you realize your academic potential in the online environment.

Be sure to view the CalSouthern Learning Center tutorial video at then contact your academic advisor for a brief discussion about the material and to ask any questions you may have. You’ll learn useful tips on requesting courses, uploading assignments, participating in the forums, and much more. Use your email account. Just click on the appropriate tab in the Learning Center. Not only will it streamline your university communications, having a “.edu” email address can also qualify you for student discounts at online retailers for books, software, and other useful products. Confirm that your first course(s) have been requested by clicking on the “Degree Plan” tab in the Learning Center. Contact your academic advisor if you have any questions about the courses. To receive your CalSouthern learner identification card, you need to submit a digital photo of yourself by clicking “Your Account,” “Photos” and “Edit” in the Learning Center. After you submit the photo, your ID card will be created and mailed to you. Order the books and materials for your first course(s). Contact your academic advisor who can guide you through this process. Learners in the Juris Doctor program must complete the JD Entrance Questionnaire. Military learners should review their Military Learner Fact Sheet and Checklist and contact the Military Programs Administrator and School Certifying Official at (800) 477-2254, ext. 4254 to learn how your military benefits can be affected if you make changes to your term by adjusting your start or end dates.


CALSOUTHERN COMMUNITY VIS IT YOUR C A M P US We invite you to visit your campus, meet in person with your dean and academic advisors and get to know the rest of the CalSouthern staff. Or, stop by to attend one of our regular Master Lecture Series events. It would be our great pleasure to spend time with you and to show you around the university’s facilities. The CalSouthern campus is located in beautiful Costa Mesa, California, just minutes away from Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. Located in coastal Orange County, it’s an easy drive from both the Los Angeles and San Diego areas. Please call in advance to set up an appointment Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. We hope to see you soon!

California Southern University 3330 Harbor Boulevard Costa Mesa, California 92626 (800) 477 2254 (714) 882 7800 local (714) 480 0834 fax

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Key Contacts CalSouthern is entirely dedicated to your satisfaction and success, and offers a community of support. It’s the CalSouthern Difference. It’s what distinguishes us from other universities and it’s what we’re most proud of. Here is your contact information for your university support systems. Use it and you’ll find a dedicated, responsive professional eager to answer any questions you might have. School of Business Office of the Dean (800) 477-2254, ext. 4248 School of Law Office of the Dean (800) 477-2254, ext. 4215 School of Behavioral Sciences Office of the Dean (800) 477-2254, ext. 4222 School of Nursing Office of the Dean (800) 477-2254, ext 4268 School of Education Office of the Dean (800) 477-2254, ext. 4282

Office of the Registrar (800) 477-2254, ext. 4206 CalSouthern Library Office of the Librarian (800) 477-4023 Learner Accounts (800) 477-2254, ext. 4202 Military Program Administrator/ School Certifying Official (800) 477-2254, ext. 4254 Technical Support (800) 477-2254, ext. 4256

© 2017 California Southern University. All rights reserved. CalSouthern is a service mark of California Southern University.

Welcome to CalSouthern - New Learner Packet  
Welcome to CalSouthern - New Learner Packet  

An orientation packet for new learners at California Southern University. An accredited, online university, based in Irvine, California. Vis...