National University (California)

National University
Motto Discendo Vivimus
Motto in English We live through learning
Established 1971
Type Private, non-profit
Endowment $320.8 million[1]
President Patricia E. Potter, Interim
Provost Eileen D. Heveron, Ph.D.
Academic staff 2,721 (full & part-time)[2]
Students 27,195[3]
Undergraduates 9,898[3]
Postgraduates 17,297[3]
Location San Diego, California, United States
Campus Urban, 28 campuses
Alumni 127,500[4]

Blue and Light Gray

Affiliations National University System

National University (NU), founded in 1971, is a comprehensive, nonsectarian, independent, accredited, non-profit private university headquartered in La Jolla, California, United States, with academic degree programs offered at campuses located throughout the state, one in Henderson, Nevada, and through an online learning environment. National University is organized into five schools and one college; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering, Technology and Media; the School of Health and Human Services; the School of Professional Studies; and the College of Letters and Sciences. National University’s online academic programs are interactive with streaming videos, real-time discussions, multimedia learning material, and class chat rooms. Programs at National University are concentrated for adult learners with five or more years of work experience and on-campus classes are scheduled during evenings and on weekends.



National University's academic programs include associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, teaching credentials, and certificate programs.

National University is organized into five schools and one college; the College of Letters and Sciences; the School of Business and Management; the School of Education; the School of Engineering, Technology and Media; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies. Students can earn associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees and the university offers over 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as 22 teacher credential and certificate programs. A leader in online education since 1996, National University offers more than 60 graduate and undergraduate degree programs and over 1,300 courses online.[5]

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 school's of National and the college itself offers liberal arts programs from bachelor’s degrees in Arabic studies, history, and pre-law to master’s degrees in applied linguistics, creative writing, English, film studies, rhetoric and composition, forensic sciences, history, and public administration.

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 (listed below), as well as bachelor degree minors:

Arts and Humanities Department: Associate of Arts, applied linguistics, Arabic studies, Chinese studies, English literature, film studies, English with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), Persian studies, rhetoric and composition, Spanish, Spanish with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), strategic communication, and creative writing.

Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department: Associate of Science, health science and pre-nursing, biological science with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), biology, mathematics with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), environmental science and policy, mathematics, natural sciences concentration, and forensic sciences.

Psychology Department: Associate of Science, psychology, sport psychology, applied gerontology, organizational behavior, counseling psychology, social transformation and community development, and human behavior.

Social Sciences Department: General studies, global studies, history, interdisciplinary studies, interdisciplinary studies with a Preliminary Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential (California), political science, social science with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), and sociology.

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. The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program features a curriculum delivered exclusively through distance-learning technologies.

Accounting and Finance Department: Associate of Science, business administration, financial management, accountancy, and economics.

Leadership and Human Resource Management Department: Hospitality and customer service, organizational leadership, and human resource management.

Marketing and Management Department: Integrated marketing, management, business administration in Spanish, global management, and management information systems. Certificates can be earned in basic sales and marketing.

School of Education

National University’s School 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[6] and approximately 70% of the 26,000 teachers in San Diego County earned their credentials at National University.[7] Programs are offered on campus and online.

At the Henderson, Nevada campus, the School of Education offers Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degree teacher licensure programs in elementary education, secondary math, and secondary English.

School of Engineering, Technology and Media

The School of Engineering, Technology and Media offers degree programs in engineering, technology, computer science, digital media, and related fields. Students can focus on management information systems, environmental or construction engineering, project management, wireless communication, and information technology management.

Applied Engineering Department: Construction engineering technology, construction management, manufacturing design engineering, engineering management, environmental engineering, homeland security and safety engineering, sustainability management, and wireless communication.

Computer Science, Information and Media Systems Department: Associate of Arts, digital entertainment and interactive arts, computer science, information systems, information technology management, cyber security and information assurance, and management information systems.

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.

Community Health Department: Associate of Science, health sciences with a Preliminary Single Subject Teaching Credential (California), healthcare administration, public health, and health informatics.

Health Sciences Department: Allied health, clinical laboratory science, radiation therapy, and clinical regulatory affairs.

Nursing Department: Associate of Science, nursing (RN completion), and nurse anesthesia.

School of Professional Studies

The School of Professional Studies offers several graduate and undergraduate academic degree programs. Degrees and programs available in this department include pre-law studies, criminal justice administration, alternative dispute resolution, domestic security management, and paralegal studies. The School of Professional Studies also offers bachelor's and master's degrees in public administration.


There are three tiers of faculty at National University—full-time and part-time, which includes associate and adjunct.[8]

Full-time faculty are members of the University whose primary responsibilities include teaching, scholarship, service, intellectual coordination with the part-time faculty, professional development, student advising and participation in the University’s governance.[8]

Associate faculty are teachers who make a half-time commitment to the University faculty over the course of the year. They are contracted to teach a designated number of courses per year, advise students on course, program, or career-related issues, participate in departmental, school and University activities and engage in scholarship relevant to their teaching.[8]

Adjunct faculty are teachers whose principal professional commitments are elsewhere in their fields, but who are contracted to teach a designated number of courses per year, advise students on course-related topics, and maintain currency in their professional and disciplinary fields. Adjunct faculty serve initially as adjunct and may be promoted over time to Core Adjunct and Certified Core Adjunct.[8]

All faculty hold advanced degrees in their areas of expertise and are respected professionals with many years of career experience and over eighty percent have doctorate degrees. When hired, they receive an orientation to the University as well as training in the various learning modalities used at National University. Ongoing professional development occurs throughout the academic year.[8]

Campus locations

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: San Diego County, Camarillo, Costa Mesa, Sacramento, Redding, San Jose, Stockton, Fresno, Bakersfield, Ontario, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Twentynine Palms, and Henderson, Nevada.

Military community

National University offers reduced tuition for classes on base for qualified military students[9] and their dependents. Admission offices and Learning Centers are located on many U.S. military bases in the San Diego area and in Twentynine Palms which include:

  • Naval Air Station North Island Learning Center, San Diego
  • Naval Base Coronado Learning Center, San Diego
  • Naval Base San Diego Learning Center, San Diego
  • Naval Hospital Learning Center, San Diego
  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Learning Center, San Diego
  • Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Learning Center, Camp Pendleton, California
  • Marine Corps Recruit Depot Learning Center, San Diego
  • Twentynine Palms Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Center Learning Center, Twentynine Palms, California
  • Fleet AntiSubmarine Warfare Training Center Learning Center, San Diego

Mission statement

National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging and relevant to a diverse student population. Its aim is to facilitate educational access and academic excellence through exceptional management of University operations and resources, innovative delivery systems and student services, and relevant programs that are learner-centered, success-oriented and responsive to technology.[10]

National University's central purpose is to promote continuous learning by offering a diversity of instructional approaches, by encouraging scholarship, by engaging in collaborative community service, and by empowering its constituents to become responsible citizens in an interdependent, pluralistic, global community.[10]


The Board of Trustees of the National University System is the governing body vested with "supreme control" over National University. Trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to the university as a whole. Among other responsibilities, the board elects the president, adopts an annual plan of financial operation, and establishes degrees to be awarded. Board oversight is also provided through its committee structure consisting of an Advisory Executive Committee, a Nominating Committee, an Investment Committee, an Audit Committee, the Committee on Academics, the Committee on Advancement, and the Committee on Resources. Day-to-day responsibility for administration of the university is delegated by the trustees to the president.

The Board of Trustees 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 founder Dr. 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 the first 27 students attending classes in 1972. National's earliest courses were held in rented space from various churches, small storefronts, and hotel meeting rooms in San Diego. Chigos lead the university to gain recognition and accreditation when, in the early years, the university did not have a formal physical campus. In 1988, Chigos retired from National with approximately 7,000 students enrolled at 35 established campuses in California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and in Costa Rica.

Dr. Jerry C. Lee was National University’s second president in 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.

A tiered faculty structure model was developed to balance and to fully integrate the faculty in 1991. A Graduate Council and a Faculty Senate were established with a system of governance implemented which provided the faculty a voice in developing academic policies and bylaws. Also in 1991, National University's School of Law was dissolved.

In 1996, the academic and administrative headquarters was moved from San Diego’s Mission Valley to La Jolla. Also in 1996, online classes and academic degree programs became available. In 2000, there were over 17,000 students enrolled.

In 2001, the Board of Trustees established the National University System[11] 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. Dr. Dana Gibson, was appointed as National's third president in 2007 and Lee became President Emeritus. In 2009, Gibson left National and accepted another position and Patricia E. Potter began serving as Interim President of National University.

Today, National has over 26,000 enrolled students[12] with over 100 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs and 22 teacher credential programs at 28 campuses throughout California and one in Henderson, Nevada, with over 60 academic programs offered online. National University is the second-largest private, non-profit institution of higher education in California and the 16th largest private, non-profit in the United States.[13] National University, in 2011, will have its 40th anniversary with an endowment of over $300 million and real estate property valued at over $145 million.[14] The majority of National University students continue to be full-time professionals while attending classes.

Student body

National University has an enrollment size that represents the second-largest private, non-profit institution of higher education in California.[5] The average age of a NU student age is 34[15] and roughly 26,000 full-time undergraduate and graduate students are currently enrolled.[16] Nine percent of the student body are in the military.[17] National University ranks as one of the largest graduate student institutions of higher education in the United States with 18,946 students officially enrolled.

There are approximately 127,500[4] National University alumni in all 50 states and around the world.


  • National University is one of the "great colleges to work for" (Honor Roll) according to a 2010 survey of university professors and instructors in the United States by The Chronicle of Higher Education.[18] The results in The Chronicle’s third annual report on The Academic Workplace, are based on a survey of more than 42,000 employees at 277 colleges and universities.
  • National University is listed as a “Military Friendly School for 2011” by G.I. Jobs website.[19][20]
  • According to an annual report by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) released October 11, 2011, National University has prepared more candidates for teaching credentials than any other university in California for the school year 2009-20010.[21] Between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, 1,653 teachers earned their single-subject, multiple-subject, and education specialist teaching credentials through National University, accounting for ten percent of the statewide total. National University has led California in preparing credentialed teachers every year since 2000.
  • According to data from the tenth annual report, Assessment for Improvement: Tracking Student Engagement Over Time, from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) released in November, 2009, National University has surpassed nationwide benchmarks measuring the level of academic educational standards at four-year colleges and universities eight years in a row.[22]

  • During the 2008-2009 academic year, National University conferred more master’s degrees in education to minority students – including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans – than any other college or university in California.[23]

  • National University's endowment ranks among the top 200 largest in the nation, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers' 2008 survey of the leading 796 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.[24]
  • In 2008, the National University boasted three alumni as having received recognition as California Teacher of the Year by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.[25]
  • In 2006, National University earned an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Pacific Southwest Chapter, for its "One University" commercial.[26]
  • In 2002 and again in 2003, National University was the only university that was recognized from the California Council for Excellence in education with the "Baby Baldrige" Eureka Award.[27]
  • Since 1994, U.S. News & World Report has listed National University among America's Best Colleges and Universities in the western U.S.[28]

Accreditation and approvals

National University is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).[29] WASC is one of six official regional accreditation bodies responsible for the accreditation of public and private senior colleges, universities, community colleges, and elementary and secondary and schools in the United States .

In addition to being accredited by WASC, National University also is:

Online Information Centers

Due to the growing number of online students, National University has been opening Online Information Centers to enable current and future students to update study schedules and receive other services normally available at a National campus. The centers are designed for online students with flexibility of online learning, but also prefer a personal student advisory service close to home.

Currently, National University Online Information Centers are located in:

National University System

National University is the flagship institution of the National University System, which was established in 2001.[11] In addition to National University, the affiliates of the non-profit National University System are:

Entities also in the National University System include the Center for Integrative Health, Center for Performance Psychology, and the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The System is governed by a Board of Trustees and is headquartered in La Jolla, California.[41] Dr. Jerry C. Lee is chancellor of the National University System.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2010. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2010 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2009 to FY 2010" (PDF). 2010 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved June 27, 2011. 
  2. ^ Faculty count information on faculty number at website of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved on September 5, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Student enrollment information on Student Enrollment at the College Board website. Retrieved on September 4, 2011.
  4. ^ a b NU alumni information from NU alumni website. Retrieved on March 20, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Information on National University, San Diego: website. Retrieved on January 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Teacher contracts information on teaching credentials: NU website. Retrieved on September 19, 2010.
  7. ^ S.D. teacher credentials information on teaching credentials: NU System video. Retrieved on October 7, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e NU faculty type Information from NU Bulletin, page 21. Retrieved on August 31, 2011.
  9. ^ Military tuition Information from NU website. Retrieved on September 2, 2011.
  10. ^ a b NU mission information from NU mission website. Retrieved on June 28, 2010.
  11. ^ a b NU System: Natioinal University System website. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  12. ^ NU 2007 enrollment: U.S. Dept. of Ed. statistics website. Retrieved on November 4, 2010.
  13. ^ college database information on colleges. Retrieved on October 15, 2010.
  14. ^ NU property: Natioinal University System website. Retrieved on June 22, 2010.
  15. ^ Average age: NU website. Retrieved on January 12, 2008.
  16. ^ Statistical information and history of NU San Diego: Global Wireless Education Consortium website. Retrieved on January 2, 2008.
  17. ^ Military: NU website. Retrieved on September 20, 2010.
  18. ^ Great Colleges to Work For (Honor Roll) information on Great Colleges To Work For, 2010 at the The Chronicle of Higher Education website. Retrieved on September 4, 2010.
  19. ^ Military Friendly List information on Military Friendly Schools for 2011 at Military Friendly Schools the website. Retrieved on March 20, 2011.
  20. ^ Military Friendly Schools National University listing
  21. ^ Highest Number of Teachers Credentialed information on teaching credentials issued by colleges and universities: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website. Retrieved on November 14, 2011.
  22. ^ National Survey of Student Engagement - benchmarks: NSSE website. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  23. ^ Minority Master's information conferred degrees to minority groups from Diverse Education Magazine website. Retrieved on December 13, 2009.
  24. ^ endowment rankings Association of College and University Business Officers' website. Retrieved on April 9, 2009.
  25. ^ 2008 California Teachers Of The Year, National University alumni Lewis Chappelear, Gregory McFall, and Tamara Reina: announced by Jack O'Connell at the California Department of Education website. Retrieved on January 2, 2008.
  26. ^ Emmy Award 2007 (Commercial, "One University"): National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences website. Retrieved on January 2, 2008.
  27. ^ CAPE Award Winner Lookup Information from California Council for Excellence website. Retrieved on December 31, 2010.
  28. ^ US Best Colleges information from U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges website. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  29. ^ WASC Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges website. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
  30. ^ IACBE Business School Accreditation: International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education website. Retrieved on November 12, 2010.
  31. ^ CCNE Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education website. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  32. ^ BRN Approvals: California Board of Registered Nursing website. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  33. ^ CCTC approval: California Commission on Teacher Credentialing website. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  34. ^ Nevada Nursing: Nevada State Board of Nursing website. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  35. ^ NDE approval: Nevada Department of Education website. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  36. ^ NBOE approval: Nevada Board of Education website. Retrieved on June 3, 2010.
  37. ^ [1]: GI Bill-VA website. Retrieved on November 12, 2010.
  38. ^ AACTE Membership: American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education website. Retrieved on September 3, 2010.
  39. ^ CCAS membership: Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences website. Retrieved on April 13, 2009.
  40. ^ AAIEP accreditation: American Association of Intensive English Programs website. Retrieved on November 12, 2010.
  41. ^ NU System Governance: National University System website. Retrieved on August 28, 2010.

External links

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