Educating Professionals in Seattle and Around the World

Since 1973, City University of Seattle has been relentlessly reimagining higher education in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. As an accredited, private, nonprofit university, our mission is to provide career-relevant education to busy professionals who want to advance their careers and compete in the global marketplace.

Today, CityU is recognized as a Top 10 educator of adults nationwide1, offering over 60 degree and certificate programs in business, leadership, education, project management, health and human services, and computer and information systems. Whether students study on-site or online, they learn from practitioner faculty and network with alumni employed at Seattle’s top companies.

CityU is truly a global community. Each year, the institution serves over 500 international students at our Seattle campus who come to CityU to complete their bachelor’s degree or earn a graduate degree. We continue our mission of offering access to a high quality, relevant U.S.-style degree to those in other countries. There are now partnerships with institutions in Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Slovakia, and Vietnam. No matter which program students choose, they gain global perspectives from their peers while expanding their professional expertise.

From the day they enroll, students have an entire team of support that’s committed to helping them finish their degree and achieve their goals. In fact, students complete their degrees at twice the average national rate2.

Contact us today at to learn more about CityU.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

At CityU, we strive to change our students’ lives for good by offering high-quality and relevant lifelong education. Our vision is educational access worldwide through a network of partners and programs offered on-site and online.

At CityU, we value:

  • Flexibility — Design and deliver programs and services to be convenient to students
  • Accessibility — Provide educational opportunities to anyone, anywhere
  • Innovation — Continually create new educational opportunities
  • Relevance — What we teach today can be applied tomorrow
  • Global — Act local but think global

Core Themes and Strategic Plan

The Board of Trustees approves an institutional five-year strategic plan to guide CityU. The strategic plan is a living document that will guide the University for the next five years. It is updated annually, serving as a road map to help the University fulfill its mission and achieve its vision. The University’s strategic plan guides operational activities, including the determination of annual goals and objectives for its performance.

City University of Seattle’s Core Themes:

  • Theme One: Deliver High-Quality, Relevant Education
  • Theme Two: Ensure Student Access
  • Theme Three: Strengthen Global Connections
  • Theme Four: Foster Lifelong Learning

View CityU’s strategic plan, CityU 2020, which builds upon the university’s mission and provides direction for future progress.

CityU Completion Rate

According to data from the Chronicle of Higher Education, City University of Seattle’s Completion Rate is 55.1 while the national average is 22.5.

Completion rate is defined as the total number of undergraduate-level completions (degrees and certificate programs of at least one year in length) per 100 full-time equivalent undergraduates, based on total credit hours taken.

“Awards per 100 full-time undergraduate students” include all undergraduate-level completions reported by the institution to the National Center for Education Statistics: bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, and certificate programs of less than four years in length.

Full-time-equivalent undergraduates are estimated from the number of credit hours taken at the institution in an academic year. To account for changes in enrollment, the resulting metric is a three-year average of data from 2011, 2012, and 2013.

How are “Completion Rates” different from “Graduation Rates?”

Graduation rates are designed to measure completions for groups of first-time, full-time degree-seeking students at the undergraduate level.

For universities like CityU that serve the needs of adult college students and transfer students, the standard “graduation rate” metric lacks relevance. The “completion rate” metric was developed to provide more meaningful information regarding the efficiency of institutions that primarily serve students who are not first-time, full-time freshmen.

Academic Model

CityU offers an education that is accessible to the working adult and transfer student. Its curriculum is taught by practicing professionals and is results-oriented, hands-on, and informed by what industry demands now.

The learning model is focused on helping professionals earn a degree that will later earn them a better job, salary, title or life after they graduate.

A Focus on Student Learning

CityU learning experiences are designed to support clearly articulated outcomes at the course, program, and institutional levels. Educational experiences are carefully designed by faculty to encourage self-directed learning within an appropriately defined structure of expectations. With the focus on applying theory to practical experience, learning activities form explicit links among the crucial abilities of an educated professional: critical thinking, self-exploration, and ethical practice. Multiple paths to demonstrating competency are available to students when appropriate. Students are actively encouraged to define and take responsibility for their own contributions to the learning process, with the understanding that their engagement is critical for substantive learning to take place.

Reflective Practitioner Faculty

CityU faculty are highly regarded practitioners who bring real-life experience to the learning environment. We consider students to be collaborative partners in the creation of learning opportunities. To support practitioner faculty in their teaching roles, the institution provides orientation, training, mentoring, and coaching, all designed to foster a respectful and empowering learning environment. Faculty are rewarded for quality teaching, and encouraged to continue their development as facilitators of learning.

Relevance to the Workplace

A CityU education is founded on carefully selected goals that are intended to provide our graduates with up-to-date knowledge and practical skills required in the workplace, as well as a framework for continued development. Institution-wide learning goals that emphasize personal and professional growth are embedded in all programs offered at the University. Our current goals include professional competence and technical expertise, communication and interpersonal skills, critical thinking, ethical practice and community involvement, development of a diverse and global perspective, and lifelong learning. The overarching goals of a CityU education enhance the professional skills and knowledge of individuals who in turn add value to their organizations.

Service to Students

CityU strives to provide a respectful atmosphere in which all students are valued for their contribution and individual needs are honored. A diverse and international student body requires a variety of services to support the learning endeavor. We strive to be sensitive to your needs, to respond in a timely and professional manner to your questions or concerns, and to uphold high standards.

Accessibility and Responsiveness

CityU is committed to making high-quality learning opportunities as accessible and responsive to the needs of our diverse student population as possible. This includes maintaining affordability, removing unnecessary barriers to entry, providing support for students with differing levels of educational background and preparation, and offering a variety of class schedules and modes of delivery.

City University Learning Goals (CULGs) represent the critical competencies necessary to be successful in today’s workforce. In addition to program learning outcomes that demonstrate knowledge and skills for an area of study, CityU students are expected to demonstrate mastery of the City University Learning Goals upon graduation. These learning goals are practiced extensively across the curriculum and within the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards.CityU graduates exhibit professional competency and a sense of professional identity.
Our graduates bring to the workplace the knowledge and skills intrinsic to success in their professions. They understand the basic values and mission of the fields in which they are working. They are able to use the appropriate tools to facilitate their work and are able to demonstrate understanding through practical application.CityU graduates have strong communication and interpersonal skills.
CityU graduates are able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing. They are able to interact and work with others in a collaborative manner as well as to negotiate difficult interpersonal situations to bring about solutions to problems that benefit all involved.CityU graduates demonstrate critical thinking and information literacy.
CityU graduates are able to think critically and to reflect upon their own work and the larger context in which it takes place. They are able to find, access, evaluate, and use information in order to solve problems. They consider the complex implications of actions they take and decisions they make.CityU graduates demonstrate a strong commitment to ethical practice and service in their professions and communities.
CityU graduates take responsibility for their own actions and exhibit high standards of conduct in their professional lives. They are aware of the ethical expectations of their profession and hold themselves accountable to those standards.CityU graduates demonstrate diverse and global perspectives.
CityU graduates embrace the opportunity to work collaboratively with individuals from a variety of backgrounds, and to learn from the beliefs, values, and cultures of others. They realize that varied viewpoints bring strength and richness to the workplace. CityU graduates demonstrate an awareness of the interrelation of diverse components of a project or situation.CityU graduates are lifelong learners.
In a world where knowledge and skills must be constantly updated, CityU graduates are inquisitive and self-directed in seeking out ways to continue learning throughout their lifetimes.

U.S. Accreditation

CityU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the regional accrediting body approved by the U.S. Department of Education for Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Regional accreditation serves as the most important means of assuring the quality of higher education through rigorous peer-review and evaluation. CityU has maintained continuous accreditation with the Commission since 1978, earning reaffirmation of accreditation in its last seven-year review in 2018.

Download a copy of the 2018 Comprehensive Self-Study Report.
Download a copy of the 2018 Comprehensive Self-Study Report Appendices.

As part of the NWCCU comprehensive accreditation review, CityU invites students; alumni; employers of alumni; community leaders, and members of the general public to comment directly to the Commission about their experience with CityU. As a result subsequent reviews were sent about all of CityU’s certificate, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Each is regionally accredited through the NWCCU. All comments were mailed to the Commission at the following address:Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
8060 165th Avenue N.E.
Suite 100
Redmond, Washington 98052-3981
United States of America

Canadian Accreditation

Alberta, Canada 
CityU programs in Alberta are offered pursuant to the written approval of the Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education effective September 1, 2009 having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the Minister on an ongoing basis. The Master Counselling and Master of Education programs are offered with the written approval of the Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education effective November, 2013 for the Master Counselling and January, 2014 for the Master of Education – Education leadership. Nevertheless, prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (for example, acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies, or other educational institutions).

British Columbia, Canada 
The term “university” is used under the written consent of the Minister of Advanced Education and technology effective April 11, 2007 and CityU academic programs in BC are offered pursuant to the written approval of the Minister of Advanced Education and Technology having undergone a quality assessment process and been found to meet the criteria established by the minister on an ongoing basis. Nevertheless, prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (for example, acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies, or other educational institutions).


The Administration at City University of Seattle is made up of the Board of Trustees, President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Chief Financial Officer/Vice President of Finance and Administration, Faculty and the Students.

Chancellor of the National University SystemThe Chancellor of the National University System oversees all affiliates and sits on the Board of Trustees. To read about the Chancellor and CEO of National University System, you can go here.

Board of Trustees

City University of Seattle is a not for profit corporation created under the laws of the State of Washington. It is governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of up to 19 members. The Board of Trustees has legal and fiduciary responsibility for the quality and integrity of the institution. The Board selects a Chief Executive Officer (President), approves and monitors the implementation of the mission of the institution, establishes institutional policies, approves all new academic programs, adopts the University budget, and exercises oversight to ensure compliance with policies.

The Board delegates to the President the responsibility to implement and administer institutional policies as well as to carry out the mission of the institution. The President reports directly to the Board of Trustees.

City University of Seattle is a constituent University of the National University System, along with National University and JFK University, among others. The President is responsible for System collaboration, working with National University System Chancellor, and is evaluated by the Chancellor and the Board annually. The President works collaboratively with the Board and the University community to articulate a vision for the University, and to provide strategic leadership through defining institutional goals, establishing priorities, and developing strategic and operational plans. The President represents the University to the local and regional publics.

View the President’s page here.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
The Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs reports directly to the President. Duties include defining and maintaining academic quality and rigor in accordance with accreditation standards for domestic and international programs. The Provost is responsible for oversight of the quality and operations of all Academic Affairs. Reporting to the Provost are the Deans of the School of Management, School of Applied Leadership, Albright School of Education, and School of Arts and Sciences. Academic operational units reporting to the Provost include the Dr. Vi Tasler Library & Learning Resource Center, the Division of E-Learning, the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, the University Registrar, the Office of International Affairs, and the Division of Academic Operations. The Academic Deans and VP of Canadian Programs supervise experienced Administrative Faculty who in turn identify, recommend for appointment, and supervise more than 650 Teaching Faculty worldwide. Programs offered in Europe and Asia are supervised by appropriate Regional Deans or Directors who ensure academic quality and provide daily operational oversight.

Chief Financial Officer / Vice President of Finance and Administration
The Chief Financial Officer/Vice President of Finance and Administration reports directly to the President. This position recommends appropriate annual operating budgets and ensures the efficient management of business affairs and the physical plant and property. Areas reporting to this position are the Business Office, Facilities, and Information Technology.

City University of Seattle’s faculty are vital to the University’s educational mission. Faculty oversee curricula through participation in school curriculum committees which review and recommend all new or revised programs and courses. In addition, Faculty participate in an inclusive academic governance structure through representation on cross-departmental committees and councils. The Academic Affairs Council, chaired by the Provost, is the primary academic governance body for Academic Affairs. It reviews and recommends new programs, substantial program revisions, new partnerships, and academic policies. An Associate Faculty Advisory Board meets periodically with the Provost and President to discuss matters relevant to the Teaching Faculty. All Faculty are encouraged to participate in policy or governance discussions and decisions by providing written and/or oral input through Administrative faculty, Deans, and the Provost.

Faculty members at City University of Seattle are hired for their combination of advanced academic preparation and distinguished professional experience in the fields they teach. This combination of academic strength and practical expertise assures the relevance, currency, and credibility of the programs offered in education, business, communications, and the behavioral sciences. The University’s faculty develop and revise programs in accord with recent scholarship and best practices in the professions, and assure instructional quality across the programs. Faculty also collaborate on academic policies and standards for the University.

City University of Seattle is a student-centered institution of higher education. Every effort is made to actively solicit student input into the University’s planning and decision-making. Student input is collected through regular surveys and evaluations of instruction and course quality. Professional Education Advisory Boards (PEAB’s) in the Albright School of Education and other academic program advisory committees, which provide industry feedback to the programs, include students in their membership. Students may at any time provide feedback and suggestions through their advisors, and suggestion boxes that are available at every site, online, or by taking advantage of an open-door policy of all faculty and administrators, including the Provost and the President.


The City University of Seattle Board of Trustees oversees City University of Seattle and plays an integral role in shaping the quality and character of its programs. As an affiliate of the National University System these trustees also serve on the board of the National University System and contribute to its future course.

Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees, by Charter and By-laws, has legal and fiduciary responsibilities for the quality and integrity of the institution. It selects a Chief Executive Officer (President), approves and monitors the implementation of the mission of the institution, oversees the establishment of broad institutional policies, and exercises oversight to ensure compliance with policies. The Board delegates to the President the responsibility to implement and administer these policies as well as the responsibility to carry out the mission of the institution.

Planning for tomorrow, today.The City University of Seattle Board of Trustees oversees City University of Seattle and plays an integral role in shaping the quality and character of the institution as well as steering its future course.

Trustees are recognized leaders in their communities and individually respected in the fields of business, education, the law, and the arts. The Board meets three times a year to assess University goals and the progress toward achieving them.

Leaders and members of the Board of Trustees include:

Ms. Stacy Allison – Professional Speaker, Author
Mr. Richard Chisholm, Treasurer – Managing Director, Higher Education & Nonprofit Group, Wells Fargo Securities
Mr. Tom Clevinger, Chairman – Executive, Retired
Ms. Jeanne Connelly, Secretary – President, Connelly Consulting
Dr. Michael R. Cunningham (Ex Officio) – Chancellor, The National University System
Mr. Gerald Czarnecki – Chairman & CEO, Deltennium Group, Inc.
Ms. Kim Folsom – Serial High Tech, Venture Backed Entrepreneur
Mr. Robert Freelen – Vice President Public Affairs, Emeritus Stanford University
Ms. Ruthann Heinrich – Executive, Retired
Ms. Rebecca Henderson – Group President, Randstad Talent Solutions Group
Mr. W. H. Knight, Jr. (Joe) – Distinguished Academic in Residence Seattle University School of Law
Dr. Donald Kripke, Vice Chairman – Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of California San Diego
Ms. Jean Leonard – Trustee Emeritus
Dr. Erlinda J. Martinez – Higher Education President, Retired
Mr. Michael R. McGill, P.E. – President, MMS Design Associates
Mr. Herbert Meistrich – President, Meistrich Capital Resources, Inc.
Ms. Joanne M. Pastula – Executive, Retired
Mr. Dan Pittard – Chairman and CEO, Pittard Partners LLC
Mr. Hiep Quach – Executive, Retired
Dr. E. Lee Rice – CEO and Medical Director, Lifewellness Institute
Mr. Carlos Rodriguez – Public Affairs and Communications Consultant, Rodriguez & Company
Mr. Jay Stone – Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates, Inc.
Mr. Thomas Topuzes – President and CEO, Thomas Topuzes & Associates, LLC

Institutional Data

City University of Seattle serves thousands of students around the world in Asia, Europe and North America. To learn more about CityU view this fast facts page.

1“Never Too Late: The Adult Student’s Guide to College,” 2The Chronicle of Higher Education


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