The CULA Process

Program Phase One:

CULA® is “a worldwide university for accomplished individuals,” and as such invites and encourages enrollment by talented applicants. CULA® knows and respects the value of independent learning and personal accomplishments, which are documented and also verified.

Program Phase Two

All available “life experience learning” is assessed by CULA® faculty, whether ‘old’ college credits, military or work experience, self-taught knowledge and skills, independent investigation and learning, directed research and focused inquiry, and even ‘experimental and hypothetical inquiry’ about various aspects of our lives. This analysis determines how many “equivalent credits” the applicant is awarded.

Program Phase Three

The number of credits awarded at enrollment is subtracted from the total number of “credits required for graduation” at whatever degree level. The resulting number defines the “number of credits to be completed” to earn the particular degree. Most courses are from 2 to 5 credits each. Thus, a person needing 40 credits to graduate may complete requirements in just eight modules. A student may receive credit for one course module per calendar month, including a required “thesis paper.”

Program Phase Four

Accomplished individuals’ are, by definition, “winners.” Consistent with that notion, CULA® does not give “failing grades.” A course that is “unsatisfactory” is simply returned to the student and with an assigned Faculty Reader, weaknesses are corrected and the course is re-evaluated. This usually happens in one re-submission. A product must be found “satisfactory to faculty in form and content,” and is graded either “Satisfactory” or “With Distinction.” Registered students move on to Phase Five.

Program Phase Five

Upon confirmation by the Office of the Registrar that all coursework in the Official Study Plan has been received and graded, the student is considered “Advanced to Candidacy Status” and is added to the list of pending graduates. For most “accomplished individuals,” programs are completed in one year or less, whether an associate, bachelor, master, law, or doctoral degree objective is being satisfied. The PADD Program offers only doctorates, but the Retirees Program offers all levels of degrees (and some Certificates).

Summary Overview

CULA® has pioneered “a unique model of alternative higher education.” Steeped in the Ivy League tradition of Yale University and the Innovative Adventure Experimentation of the University of California, Los Angeles (which gave the world “The Internet”), and employing the exact same number of ‘traditional degree credit requirements,’ CULA® pulls from accomplished individuals the definitive foci of suitable study courses for completing degree requirements. Learning becomes an act of sharing joy.

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