National University System Expands with Acquisition of Northcentral University

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National University System headquarters in Torrey Pines. Courtesy of the university system

San Diego-based National University System announced Tuesday an agreement to acquire Northcentral University, another local institution known for its innovative online masters and doctoral programs.

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Northcentral, which was founded in 1996, offers 19 doctoral programs and 20 master’s degree programs serving 10,000 students. It will be converted to a nonprofit and independent affiliate of the National University System.

The system’s three other accredited universities — National University, John F. Kennedy University, and City University of Seattle — share a similar focus of serving adult and lifelong learners.

“The National University System is pleased to welcome Northcentral University as our newest affiliate as we expand our reach nationally to offer lifelong learners new opportunities to pursue a quality education through the doctoral level,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, chancellor of the National University System.

“The programs offered by Northcentral University allow us to enhance and strengthen our academic pathways while offering personalized approaches to online education that align with the system’s direction as a nonprofit network dedicated to re-investing in our students and lowering the cost of a college degree,” he added.

Northcentral has developed a unique online approach under which courses are taught one-to-one by a professor with a doctoral degree.

George Burnett, president of Northcentral, said that as an affiliate his institution “will have a terrific opportunity to grow, diversify degree offerings, and deliver superior student outcomes in the coming years.”

The acquisition will expand the National University System’s size to more than 45,000 students in the U.S. and overseas.

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