National University (California)
National University (NU) is a private university with its headquarters in La Jolla, California. Founded in 1971, National University offers academic degree programs at campuses located throughout the state of California, one campus in Nevada, and online.
|Motto||Discendo Vivimus |
Motto in English
|We live through learning|
|Chancellor||Michael R. Cunningham, Ph.D.|
|President||David W. Andrews, Ph.D.|
|2,721 (full & part-time)|
|Campus||Urban, 28 campuses|
|Affiliations||National University System|
Programs at National University are designed for adult learners. On-campus classes are typically concentrated to four weeks, scheduled on weeknights with an occasional Saturday. Online classes may include streaming video, interactive multimedia, and real-time online classrooms.
National University founder David Chigos, a retired United States Navy lieutenant commander and a director of employee training for General Dynamics Corporation in San Diego, saw a need for a non-traditional university education format with relevant and high-demand degree programs to serve working adults. In November 1971, National University was organized as a private, non-profit institution with 27 students attending classes in 1972. National's first commencement ceremony included 143 graduates.
In 1975, National purchased two properties on Camino del Rio South in Mission Valley.
Two years later, in 1977, National opened up facilities in Kearny Mesa and then expanded in San Diego County. At that time, National had some 1,000 alumni. It also received accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
By 1979, National had a 15-acre (6.1 ha) campus with 110,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of classroom and library space and some 3,500 alumni. Also in 1979, National acquired the Cabrillo Pacific College of Law, becoming National's School of Law.
During the 1980s, National expanded with campuses in California's largest cities. National's School of Education was established in 1980. In 1988, Chigos retired as president, with approximately 7,000 students enrolled at 35 established campuses in California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Costa Rica.
Jerry C. Lee was National University's second president from 1989 until 2007. During his tenure, the number and locations of the university's campuses were restructured, the university's finances were stabilized and strengthened, National's academic programs were further enhanced and reviewed by outside specialized accrediting bodies for quality and rigor, and affiliate educational institutions were added to the university.
In 1991, a tiered faculty structure model was developed. National University's School of Law was dissolved.
In 1996, the academic and administrative headquarters was moved from Mission Valley to La Jolla. Online classes and academic degree programs became available.
In 2000, over 17,000 students were enrolled at National.
In 2001, the Board of Trustees established the National University System and Lee was appointed Chancellor. The National University System is a multi-tiered alliance of individual educational and research institutions with each of its respective leaders (including the National University president) reporting to the chancellor.
In 2007, Dana Gibson was appointed as National's third president, and Lee became President Emeritus. Two years later, Gibson left National and Patricia E. Potter served as Interim President. Michael R. Cunningham became President on July 1, 2013.
As of 2014, National had over 24,000 enrolled students with over 130 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs and 23 teacher credential programs at 28 campuses in California and one in Henderson, Nevada, with over 100 academic programs offered online.
In 2019, T. Denny Sanford donated $350 million to National University. Upon receipt of the funds, the University will be renamed Sanford National University. In addition to the name change of the University, Dr. Michael Cunningham, chancellor of National University Systems, announced funds will decrease student tuition.
Accreditation and approvals
National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). In addition to being accredited by WASC, National University also is:
- Accredited by the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE)
- Accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), and the Nevada State Board of Education
- Accredited by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)Approved by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for the offering of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program
- Accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Accredited by the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH)
National University has four professional schools and two colleges:
- College of Letters and Sciences
- Sanford College of Education;
- School of Business and Management
- School of Engineering and Computing
- School of Health and Human Services
- School of Professional Studies
The university has a Division of Extended Learning, which houses its continuing education and professional development programs. The university offers 23 teacher credential/certificate programs. Participating in online education since 1996, National University offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and over 1,500 courses online.
College of Letters and Sciences
National University's College of Letters and Sciences provides the undergraduate general education courses to the students enrolled in all of the schools of National and the college itself offers liberal arts programs from bachelor's degrees in biological science, history, and psychology to master's degrees in creative writing, English, film studies, gerontology, and strategic communications.
The College of Letters and Sciences has four departments and offers an Associate of Arts degree and various bachelor's degree majors and master's degree fields of study, as well as bachelor's degree minors.
School of Business and Management
The School of Business and Management offers business degree programs on campuses and via online in an interactive learning environment. The school is composed of three departments and offers various bachelor's and master's degrees. Examples of programs offered by the school include Bachelors in Business Administration, Master of Business Administration (MBA), Master of Accountancy, and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership.
Sanford College of Education
National University's Sanford College of Education offers bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, certificates, and education credentials in areas including teaching, school counseling, school psychology, special education, early childhood education, and school administration. National holds teaching contracts with 643 California school districts and approximately 70% of the 26,000 teachers in San Diego County earned their credentials at National University. Programs are offered on campus and online.
At the Henderson, Nevada campus, the Sanford College of Education offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree teacher licensure programs in elementary education, secondary math, and secondary English.
In 2015, National University renamed the School of Education to the Sanford College of Education in honor of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.
School of Engineering and Computing
The School of Engineering and Computing offers degree programs in engineering, technology, computer science, and related fields. Students can focus on management information systems, construction engineering, electrical engineering, and information technology management.
School of Health and Human Services
Healthcare undergraduate and graduate degree academic programs offered to students include clinical health sciences careers, healthcare administration programs, nursing degrees, public health, allied health, clinical laboratory science, radiation therapy, clinical regulatory affairs, and more.
National University is geographically dispersed, with its academic and administrative centers located in La Jolla, California. These centers include all administrative offices of the president, vice presidents, school deans and department chairs, financial aid, registrar, and admissions. From its administrative center, the university maintains more than 28 academic campuses throughout urban areas in California and one in Nevada. Campus locations include:
The Board of Trustees of the National University System is the governing body and consists of 25 voting members. Two ex-officio members, the president of the university and the chancellor of the system, also have voting privileges. The Board meets three times a year in San Diego.
National University System
- City University of Seattle, Seattle, Washington (affiliated since 2013)
- John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, California (affiliated since 2009)
- National University Academy, Vista, California (established 2008)
- National University Virtual High School, Chula Vista, California (established 2003)
- Northcentral University, San Diego, California (affiliated since 2019)
Other entities in the National University System include:
- the Center for Performance Psychology
- the National University System Institute for Policy Research
National University has an enrollment size that represents the second-largest private, non-profit institution of higher education in California. The average age of a NU student age is 32 and roughly 23,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students are currently enrolled. Nine percent of the student body are in the military. National University ranks as one of the largest graduate student institutions of higher education in the United States with 23,909 students officially enrolled.
There are approximately 150,000 National University alumni in all 50 states and around the world.
Sanford Education Center
National University is the home of Sanford Education Center.
The Sanford Harmony program promotes respect and understanding of differences among children. The goal is to expand understanding and acceptance of gender differences at an early age with a result of positively affecting adult relationships.
- Lloyd Bryan Molander Adams, co-founder of Extreme Sports Channel
- Chris Brown, Mayor of Hawthorne, California
- Ocky Clark, runner
- Thomas S. Crow, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy from 1979–1982
- Duke Cunningham, US Navy fighter pilot ace and 7 term US Congressman.
- Gerry Czarnecki, business executive and author of books on leadership principles
- Marti Emerald, local television journalist and city council member from San Diego, California
- Brian Graham, major league baseball coach
- Otto Guevara, Costa Rican legislator and presidential candidate
- Isadore Hall III, California state senator
- Waad Hirmez, US professional soccer player
- Lin Junq-tzer, Governor of Taiwan Province
- Chief Phil Lane, Jr., a leader of American indigenous peoples
- Steven Paul Logan, United States District Judge, who being a Marine Corps Colonel (now reserve) concurrently serves on the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals
- Weston Ochse, author
- Frank Pastore, major league pitcher and radio host
- Jerry Sanders, former mayor and earlier chief of police of San Diego, California
- Erick Thohir, majority owner of two professional soccer teams
- Billy Pat Wright, multi-term member of the Missouri House of Representatives
- Ryan Zinke, US Secretary of the Interior, Navy SEAL, US Navy Commander, Special Operations commander during Iraq War, later elected the US Representative from Montana
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