Northcentral University

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Northcentral University
Northcentral uni.png
MottoUnus Ad Unum Doctrina Per Experientiam
Motto in English
One-to-One Education By Experience
TypePrivate, non-profit
Chancellor Michael R. Cunningham, PhD
President David Harpool [1]
Provost John LaNear [2]
Students10,093 [3]
(Administrative & Legal) San Diego, CA [4] / (Service Center) Scottsdale
, ,
United States
Colors Blue & Gold
Affiliations National University System

Northcentral University is a non-profit [5] online university with its headquarters in San Diego, California. It was established in 1996 and is classified [6] among "D/PU: Doctoral/Professional Universities." NCU was acquired by the National University System in 2019. [7]

San Diego City in California, United States

San Diego is a city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico. With an estimated population of 1,425,976 as of July 1, 2018, San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest in California. It is part of the San Diego–Tijuana conurbation, the second-largest transborder agglomeration between the U.S. and a bordering country after Detroit–Windsor, with a population of 4,922,723 people. The city is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center.

California U.S. state in the United States

California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents across a total area of about 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2), California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.

The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education, or simply the Carnegie Classification, is the framework for classifying colleges and universities in the United States. Created in 1970, it is named after and was originally created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, but responsibility for the Carnegie Classification was transferred to Indiana University's Center for Postsecondary Research, in 2014. The framework primarily serves educational and research purposes, where it is often important to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions. The classification includes all accredited, degree-granting colleges and universities in the United States that are represented in the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).


Northcentral offers bachelor's, master's (MA, MBA, and MEd), specialist (EdS), and doctoral (PhD, PhDOL, DBA, and EdD) degrees in Business and Technology Management, Education, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Psychology.

A bachelor's degree or baccalaureate is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to seven years. In some institutions and educational systems, some bachelor's degrees can only be taken as graduate or postgraduate degrees after a first degree has been completed. In countries with qualifications frameworks, bachelor's degrees are normally one of the major levels in the framework, although some qualifications titled bachelor's degrees may be at other levels and some qualifications with non-bachelor's titles may be classified as bachelor's degrees.

A master's degree is an academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice. A master's degree normally requires previous study at the bachelor's level, either as a separate degree or as part of an integrated course. Within the area studied, master's graduates are expected to possess advanced knowledge of a specialized body of theoretical and applied topics; high order skills in analysis, critical evaluation, or professional application; and the ability to solve complex problems and think rigorously and independently.

Family therapy, also referred to as couple and family therapy, marriage and family therapy, family systems therapy, and family counseling, is a branch of psychotherapy that works with families and couples in intimate relationships to nurture change and development. It tends to view change in terms of the systems of interaction between family members. It emphasizes family relationships as an important factor in psychological health.


Northcentral University was founded in 1996 by Donald Hecht as a private for-profit university. [8]

In 1978, Hecht had established California Southern University, formerly known as Southern California University for Professional Studies (SCUPS). [9]

California Southern University

California Southern University is a private, for-profit, university that began its operations in 1978. It offers associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs 100% online in psychology, business and management, risk management and regulatory compliance, criminal justice, nursing, and education. California Southern University is located in Costa Mesa, California. It is not to be confused with Southern California College in Costa Mesa, California, an independent comprehensive coed institution established in 1920 and affiliated with Assemblies of God.

In 2003 the university received regional accreditation from The Higher Learning Commission. [10] Four years later, the institution moved its headquarters to Prescott, Arizona. In that same year, the school received ACBSP accreditation. Shortly thereafter, on October 8, 2008, Northcentral announced the university was being purchased by Rockbridge Growth Equity, LLC. [11]

Regional accreditation aspect of university accreditation in the U.S.A.

Regional accreditation is the educational accreditation of schools, colleges, and universities in the United States by one of seven regional accrediting agencies. Accreditation is a voluntary process by which colleges demonstrate to each other, and sometimes to employers and licensing agencies, that their credits and degrees meet minimum standards. It is the self-regulation of the higher education industry.

Prescott, Arizona City in Arizona, United States

Prescott is a city in Yavapai County, Arizona, United States. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 39,843. The city is the county seat of Yavapai County. In 1864 Prescott was designated as the capital of the Arizona Territory, replacing the temporary capital at Fort Whipple. The Territorial Capital was moved to Tucson in 1867. Prescott again became the Territorial Capital in 1877, until Phoenix became the capital in 1889.

Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs organization

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), formerly the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, is a U.S. organization offering accreditation services to business programs focused on teaching and learning.

In 2011 the US Department of Education determined Northcentral was one of 75 US institutions failing its 2009-2010 financial responsibility test (a measure of the institution's financial solvency), and would be required to post a letter of credit in order for students to receive federal financial aid. [12] Northcentral also failed its 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 financial responsibility tests, scoring zero for 2010-2011 on a scale of -1 to 3, lower than the 0.2 it earned the prior term; 0.2 for 2011-2012; and 0.2 again for 2012-2013. [13] In 2015 the US Department of Education placed Northcentral on "HCM-Cash Monitoring 1" status because of its financial issues. [14]

Letter of credit document issued by a financial institution

A letter of credit (LC), also known as a documentary credit or bankers commercial credit, or letter of undertaking (LoU), is a payment mechanism used in international trade to provide an economic guarantee from a creditworthy bank to an exporter of goods. Letters of credit are used extensively in the financing of international trade, where the reliability of contracting parties cannot be readily and easily determined. Its economic effect is to introduce a bank as an underwriter, where it assumes the credit risk of the buyer paying the seller for goods.

In 2019, the National University System (California) acquired Northcentral University. [7]


Northcentral University consists of five schools:

Accreditation and certifications

Northcentral is regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges; the institution was previously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university's business school is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). The university's master's and PhD programs in Marriage & Family Therapy are accredited by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. [15]

Northcentral University is also recognized as a Registered Education Provider (REP) at the Global Provider Enrollment Level by Project Management Institute and offers project management degrees at the bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. [16]


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The specialist degree is an academic degree conferred by a college or university. The degree is formatted differently worldwide and may be either a five year program or a doctoral level graduate program that occurs after a master's degree but before a doctoral degree.

A Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS), also called an "Advanced Certificate" (AC), Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS), or a Certificate of Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS), is a post-Master's academic certificate designed for non-traditional students of the liberal arts, and practitioners who seek a continuing education program to enhance their professional development in areas such as education and library science. Some CAGS are connected to an existing doctoral program such as PhD in Organizational Leadership: for example, PhD students receive a CAGS in Leadership Studies after completing their 2 years of doctoral study at Eastern University.

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Kaplan University

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Texas A&M Health Science Center

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Antioch University New England campus of Antioch University in New Hampshire

Antioch University New England is a private graduate school located in Keene, New Hampshire, United States. It is part of the Antioch University system, a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 institution, that includes campuses in Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, California; Santa Barbara, California; and Yellow Springs, Ohio. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The most well-known campus was Antioch College, which is now independent of the Antioch University system.

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The University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences is a for-profit graduate institution that emphasizes health science education. It has campuses in San Marcos, California; St. Augustine, Florida; Miami, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Dallas, Texas, United States. The school is owned by the private equity firm Altas Partners.

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  1. . Northcentral University. Retrieved July 14, 2017]
  2. "Our People". Northcentral University.
  3. Contact. Northcentral University; 2488 Historic Decatur Rd., Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92106 NCU. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  4. "Education Dive". 8 January 2019. Retrieved 31 May 2019. Nonprofit National University System finalizes acquisition of for-profit college
  5. "Carnegie Foundation Classifications". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  6. 1 2 "National University System Purchases For-Profit University". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  7. "Northcentral sinking rich roots into Prescott Valley - The Prescott Daily Courier - Prescott, Arizona". Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  8. Our History, Northcentral University website, accessed November 1, 2011
  9. "Institutional Change". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  10. "NCU News Release". Archived from the original on 2008-10-20. Retrieved 2008-10-09.
  11. Degree-Granting Institutions With Low Financial-Responsibility Scores in 2009-10, Chronicle of Higher Education , October 12, 2011
  12. "Financial Responsibility Composite Scores". Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  13. "Schools on HCM1 or HCM2 as of 3/1/2015". Retrieved 4 April 2015.
  14. "Directory of MFT Training Programs". American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  15. "Project Management Institute Continuing Certification Requirements System Search Activities". Project Management Institute. 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  16. "2013 Best College Rankings" . Retrieved 20 April 2014.

Coordinates: 33°38′28″N111°53′35″W / 33.64123°N 111.8931°W / 33.64123; -111.8931