About the Ashford University Catalog
In the Ashford University Academic Catalog you'll find important disclosures and information for Ashford University applicants and students. Information includes, but is not limited to, admission, enrollment, state specific requirements, academic and graduation requirements, course descriptions, financial aid, financial responsibilities, student life, student rights and responsibilities, and general policies and procedures. Ashford University applicants and students are responsible for reviewing, understanding, and abiding by the contents of the Catalog.
Section One: Introduction
Mission Statement of the University
The mission of Ashford University is to provide accessible, affordable, innovative, high-quality learning opportunities and degree programs that meet the diverse needs of individuals pursuing integrity in their lives, professions, and communities.
Statement of Purpose
To foster a vigorous, diverse learning environment shaped by contemporary awareness, intellectual inquiry, and a shared search for truth in which students gain knowledge and build skills and values useful in their personal and career development.
To cultivate student-centered learning at all levels, supported by technological resources and led by qualified faculty and staff who are guided by contemporary scholarship and professional practice.
To promote the development of foundational values relevant to leadership in the 21st century: self-worth, creativity, interdependence, service, integrity, and effectiveness.
To foster intellectual and personal growth, sensitivity to diversity and human dignity, effective and responsible leadership, environmental responsibility, and lifelong learning.
To offer online and campus-based degree programs with foundational perspective, breadth and professional relevance for undergraduate and graduate students.
To place priority upon institutional effectiveness, excellent value, affordability, responsive student services, accountable administrative processes, continuous assessment of student learning, and curriculum improvement to assure quality in a rapidly changing culture and demonstrate innovative leadership in higher education.
To maintain operational, financial, and strategic strength to ensure the future of the University.
The University, originally named Mount St. Clare College, was founded in 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis, Clinton, Iowa, as a junior college for women. In 1950, the College was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and has since maintained its accreditation. Its interest in adult learners began in 1962 when an evening program was begun to serve the needs of students with career and family responsibilities. In 1967, the College became coeducational. Baccalaureate degree programs began in 1979 and graduate degrees in 2003, coinciding with the name change to The Franciscan University. In 2005, the University was acquired by Bridgepoint Education and renamed Ashford University.
Ashford University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.
Ashford University has been placed on notice by the Higher Learning Commission. Notice is a Commission sanction indicating that an institution is pursuing a course of action that, if continued, could lead it to be out of compliance with one or more Criteria for Accreditation. An institution on Notice remains accredited. At the end of the notice period, the Board of Trustees may remove the sanction, place the institution on Probation if the identified concerns have not been addressed, or take other action.
For additional information about the University’s accreditation, see the Ashford University page on the Higher Learning Commission website or contact:
The Higher Learning Commission
North Central Association
International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education
Ashford University has received specialized accreditation for its business programs through the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE), located in Lenexa, Kansas, USA. The business programs in the following degrees are accredited by the IACBE:
- Master of Arts in Organizational Management
- Master of Business Administration
- Master of Public Administration
- Bachelor of Applied Science in Accounting
- Bachelor of Applied Science in Management
- Bachelor of Arts in Accounting
- Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration
- Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics
- Bachelor of Arts in Business Information Systems
- Bachelor of Arts in Entrepreneurship
- Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources Management
- Bachelor of Arts in International Business
- Bachelor of Arts in Operations Management and Analysis
- Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management
- Bachelor of Arts in Professional Accounting
- Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
- Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing
- Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management
- Associate of Arts in Business
Information pertaining to student learning and achievement in the business programs accredited by the IACBE can be obtained by visiting the Ashford University website at https://assessment.ashford.edu or by contacting the University Director of Assessment and Academic Quality at 400 North Bluff Blvd., Clinton, Iowa 52732, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at (866) 475-0317.
A copy of the documentation describing the University’s accreditation will be made available to any enrolled or prospective student upon request. Please contact the University Provost.
- Alpha Sigma Lambda
- American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
- American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
- American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)
- American Council on Education (ACE)
- American Society for Training & Development (ASTD)Association for General and Liberal Studies (AGLS)
- Association of American Colleges and Universities
- Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I)
- Association of Governing Boards
- Association of International Educators
- Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
- Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
- Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA)
- California Association on Post Secondary Education and Disability (CAPED)
- Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO)
- Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce
- Clinton Regional Development Corporation
- The College Board
- Commission for Accelerated Programs (CAP)
- The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). Recognized by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning as an Adult Learning Focused Institution
- Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
- Council of College and Military Educators (CCME)
- Golden Key International Honour Society
- Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling
- International Association of University Presidents
- Iowa Association for College Admission Counseling
- Iowa Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
- Iowa Network of Women in Higher Education (IWHE)
- Iowa State Education Association
- League for Innovation in the Community College
- Marine Corps Academic Explorer (MCAeX)
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators
- National ACademic ADvising Association (NACADA)
- National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
- National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)
- National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC)
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
- National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS)
- National Institute for Staff & Organizational Development (NISOD)
- National University Telecommunications Network
- The Observatory on Borderless Higher Education
- President’s Alliance for Excellence in Student Learning and Accountability
- President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
- Quality Matters Consortium
- Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC)
- The Sloan Consortium, Inc.
- Society for Applied Learning Technology (SALT)
- Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
- Society for Human Resource Management (National and San Diego)
- Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Ed (formerly National Association of Student Personnel Administrators [NASPA])
- Upper Midwest Association of International Educators
Ashford University, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
13500 Evening Creek Dr. North, Suite 600
San Diego, CA 92128
The Board of Trustees is responsible for the governance of Ashford University. The strategic priorities of the Board include mission, organizational structure, academic integrity, operational responsibility, and planning. Trustees meet regularly to ensure accountability of the University to its students and constituencies. The Board of Trustees appoints a University President to provide overall leadership and to administer the day-to-day operations for Ashford University.
Right to Change Requirements
The 2013-2014 Ashford University Academic Catalog presents the policies and procedures for all undergraduate and graduate programs offered by the University. The University reserves the right to make alterations to this Catalog and the policies and procedures therein as deemed necessary by the University. Changes may also be necessitated by federal, state, or local law, other regulatory requirements, accreditation, or licensure. Changes may include but are not limited to curriculum, academic policies, administrative policies, procedures, and costs. Notice is not required for a new policy to take effect; however, Ashford University will make reasonable attempts to notify students promptly of any policy changes through communication methods deemed appropriate by the University administration. In the event that the University plans to change a program such that it will impact a student’s graduation requirements, information will be posted at www.ashford.edu/catalog. Please refer to the General Academic Information and Policies section of this Catalog for more information on program revisions.
Ashford University is authorized by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. This authorization must be renewed each year and is based on an evaluation by minimum standards concerning quality of education, ethical business practices, health and safety, and fiscal responsibility.
Commitment to Diversity
Ashford University prepares students to serve populations with diverse social, ethnic, economic, and educational experiences. Both the academic and training curricula are designed to provide an environment in which students can develop the skills and attitudes essential to working with people from diverse backgrounds.
Statement on Scholarship
Scholarship at the University refers to the in-depth investigation and shared search for knowledge and truth embodied in the University mission statement. Faculty and students learn to identify relationships and to make connections, both within their own academic areas of study as well as across disciplinary lines with other programs. They have the opportunity to work collaboratively on scholarly projects within an atmosphere of the highest academic integrity and to share knowledge gained with the University community and beyond.
Examples of scholarship at the University include the following:
- Scholarly research in more specialized areas that is used to enhance regular course offerings or is presented to the campus and local communities in open forums, seminars, and other venues;
- Published works such as papers, articles, essays, editorials, book reviews, books, short stories, poetry, plays, or music;
- Performances in the fine arts, both on and off campus such as concerts, recitals, plays, art exhibits, and computer graphics designs; and
- Presentations made at professional conferences, seminars, meetings, or conventions.
In addition to joining in scholarly research, faculty and students also share certain responsibilities toward scholarship. These responsibilities include the following:
- Establishing and cultivating a broad general knowledge base across academic programs and acquiring knowledge in one’s own discipline;
- Accepting responsibility for one’s own learning and seeking opportunities for scholarly dialogue; and
- Making the commitment to pursue learning throughout one’s entire life and to assist others in the pursuit of knowledge.
Above all, the faculty continually strives to convey a sense of excitement to their students in the shared search for knowledge and truth.
Academic and Professional Standards
Central to the University’s mission is a commitment to high-quality learning opportunities and degree programs that are accessible, affordable, and innovative. Seeking to serve diverse needs, the University embraces the liberal arts as a perspective for learning in its undergraduate programs and offers graduate studies within a framework of professional competence. Through this learning environment, available in classroom and online modalities, the institution encourages and engages students in the pursuit of intellectual growth, social responsibility, and lives characterized by service and personal integrity.
To achieve organizational effectiveness, Ashford University is committed to developing and improving student learning through continuous assessment of course objectives, faculty contributions, learning environments, student performance, and program outcomes.
Graduates of Ashford University will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to read and think critically and creatively;
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively in speech and in writing;
- Demonstrate the ability to communicate effectively through the use of technology;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the various forms of diversity;
- Demonstrate an understanding of the interdependence among living beings, the environment and humanly-created systems;
- Demonstrate competence in their major fields of study;
- Demonstrate an understanding of service directed at meeting the needs of others;
- Demonstrate the ability to draw information from different fields of study to make informed decisions; and
- Develop skills and abilities that provide for lifelong learning.
Assessment at Ashford University
As active learners at Ashford University, students share the responsibility for their learning. It is only through cooperative participation in the assessment process that Ashford can better understand itself and better serve its students. Each Ashford student is expected to participate in outcomes assessment. We believe in using assessment to provide students the feedback they need to monitor progress toward their goals. We also use assessment as a vehicle for educational improvement and as a source of measuring the success of our students over the course of their academic career at Ashford. Assessment helps us identify where and how our programs are succeeding and where changes need to be made. We also believe in sharing publicly the aggregated results of student assessments in a transparent manner to inform all audiences about the quality of education at Ashford. Since assessment results are a direct reflection of institutional quality, it is important for everyone to take their participation in assessment activities seriously.
Assessment at Ashford takes place at the institutional, general education, program and course levels. At the institutional level, assessment is conducted primarily via surveys. General education, program and course-level assessment may include examples of student work, a paper, some test questions, a presentation, or other work that may be selected for assessment. The information obtained from assessment activities is essential for improving the learning opportunities and environments provided by the University, and we consider assessment of student achievement, learning, and satisfaction fundamental for Ashford University to accomplish its mission and purposes.