Columbia Southern University has always maintained a student-first philosophy. By establishing a family-oriented culture among faculty and staff, founder Robert Mayes, Sr., began his higher education career providing educational opportunities through distance learning to nontraditional students.

His experience in developing and presenting training programs in environmental compliance and occupational safety for small businesses led to the establishment of two certificate programs in the field, and later, the founding of CSU in 1993.

To fill the void of formal online degree programs for safety and environmental managers, two bachelor’s degree programs were developed in the areas of occupational safety and health and environmental management. In 1996, online programs beyond the safety and environmental career fields were developed and included business administration, computer science, criminal justice administration and health care administration.

The university has been awarded several Quality Matters™ and Blackboard, Inc., awards for its outstanding course design, community engagement and excellent course content. CSU boasts a faculty and staff who diligently focus on continuous improvement of CSU’s academic programs, services and operations while maintaining an exceptional standard of customer service.

Today, CSU continues to focus on building long-term relationships while providing an exceptional student experience, affordable tuition and a flexible learning format to more than 22,000 students.