Oct 13 2017

The mission of Ashford University is to provide high-quality, accessible, affordable, innovative educational programs that

Purpose Statements

  • To offer online and campus-based educational programs that meet the needs of diverse learners and support student success and completion.
  • To integrate current technology that cultivates student-centered learning experiences led by dedicated and qualified faculty wherein students gain knowledge and build skills that support personal and professional development.
  • To provide learning opportunities that help students synthesize theory and practice, enabling them to respond ethically to contemporary issues and complex problems.
  • To foster a rich student learning environment focused on diverse social, ethnic, economic, and educational experiences and thereby prepare and empower graduates to be collaborative and inclusive within their communities.
  • To work closely with employers and workforce development experts to identify the workplace skills and competencies that will enhance our graduates’ abilities to contribute to their organizations, achieve greater professional and personal success, and strengthen their organizations.
  • To place priority on innovation, continuous assessment, and improvement of student learning, curriculum development, access to learning resources, and responsive students services.
  • To maintain operational, financial, and strategic strength that ensures the future of Ashford University.


The University, originally named Mount St. Clare College, was founded in 1918 by the Sisters of St. Francis in Clinton, Iowa, as a junior college for women. In 1950, the College was accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (now the Higher Learning Commission [HLC]) and has since maintained its regional accreditation. Its interest in adult learners began in 1962 when an evening program was introduced 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 2002, coinciding with the name change to The Franciscan University. In 2005, the University was acquired by Bridgepoint Education, Inc. and renamed Ashford University.

Also in 2005, HLC extended Ashford’s accreditation to offer adult degree-completion programs. Following a Comprehensive Visit in 2006, the University’s accreditation with HLC was reaffirmed for ten years. By 2009, three new Master’s programs were added to the University’s offerings. Today, the University has grown to the extent that students can choose from numerous programs at the undergraduate level and graduate level.

With the growth of the online student population, the University’s leadership decided to move its headquarters from Clinton, Iowa to San Diego, California and to apply for accreditation with the Western Association of Colleges and Schools (WASC). On December 6, 2013, the University received final approval from the U.S. Department of Education for the migration of its accreditation to the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).


Ashford University is accredited by WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100, Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001, . WSCUC is a regional accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

International Accreditation Council for Business Education

Ashford University has received specialized accreditation for its eligible business programs through the International Accreditation Council for 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 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 Finance
  • 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 Project Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration
  • Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Marketing
  • Bachelor of Arts in Service Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sports and Recreation Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Supply Chain Management

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

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 Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Laura Palmer Noone, at (800) 798-0584.


  • 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 (AAC U)
  • Association of College and University Housing Officers International (ACUHO-I)
  • Association of Governing Boards (AGB)
  • Association of International Educators
  • Association for Institutional Research (AIR)
  • Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)
  • Association of Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA)
  • Association of Title IX Administrators (ITIXA)
  • California Association on Postsecondary Education and Disability (CAPED)
  • Central Association of College and University Business Officers (CACUBO)
  • The College Board
  • Commission for Accelerated Programs (CAP)
  • Commission on Sport Management Accreditation (COSMA)
  • The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
  • 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
  • League for Innovation in the Community College
  • Marine Corps Academic Explorer (MCAeX)
  • Mountain Pacific Association of Colleges and Employers (MPACE)
  • 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 Career Development Association
  • 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
  • Quality Matters Consortium
  • Servicemembers Opportunity College Degree Network School (SOCDNS)
  • 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.
8620 Spectrum Center Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92123

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