We Are Acacia University
Acacia University’s name reflects our belief of life-long learning. The symbol and name of the acacia as the “tree of knowledge”, as it is known in many cultures, embodies our ongoing commitment to provide unparalleled standards and vehicles for learning. Our mission is to deliver degree programs of the highest quality through innovative forms of distance learning. To this end, the Acacia University offers outstanding distance education in programs that extend extraordinary and interactive opportunities for students to reach personal and career goals.
Acacia University believes that innovative, relevant, and rigorous educational programs offered in a responsible distance learning format throughout the world will not only enhance individual personal and career goals, but will contribute to business, social, economic, and educational needs of our society. Acacia University will be recognized as a premier program for those who desire to earn a certificate or degree while expanding and deepening their understanding of a profession and/or applying their skills in the workforce.
Our values include:
- Excellence in teaching/learning by offering a high-quality and student-focused education
- Organizational integrity by operating with the highest ethical standards
- Diversity and civility by supporting multicultural understanding and maintaining respect for all learners and staff
Our goals include:
- Build undergraduate and post graduate programs by offering valuable certificate programs and extending to doctoral programs
- Increase enrollment by partnering with businesses, agencies, and programs
- Strengthen our national reputation for excellence by providing the workforce with outstanding employees
- Ensure financial stability and growth
Our objectives include:
- Provide educational opportunities at the lowest cost feasible
- Provide courses that challenge, but do not frustrate
- Maintain high academic standards
- Establish an energizing learning environment by engaging students in worthwhile learning tasks
- Build and foster a “learning community” culture that fosters questioning, stretching, and understanding
- Measure student, staff, and employer satisfaction regularly
At Acacia University we understand that affordability, convenience, flexibility, support, and learning communities are key elements that should never be compromised. Our graduates claim that we are unlike other universities in our care and support for the student. Our instructors, Learning Coaches, and mentors are all trained to provide an environment that promotes an energetic and thoughtful learning culture.
Acacia University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, gender identity, or other legally or policy protected status, in the university's services, educational programs, and activities, including but not limited to, admission to and employment by the university. As a federal contractor, the university is committed to affirmative action in employment for women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and covered veterans.
Acacia University is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and is authorized to provide distance education to students in any SARA member state.
The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offering of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA membership makes it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state. Full information about the benefits of SARA to students is available online at http://www.nc-sara.org/what-are-student-benefits.
The following states are not members of SARA as of December 2017: California and Massachusetts.
Who do I contact if I have a grievance with Acacia University?
While Acacia University endeavors to maintain a congenial and responsive atmosphere for its students conducive with its educational purposes, it recognizes that from time to time, misunderstandings and disagreements may arise during the course of a student’s enrollment.
In response to this situation, Acacia University has established procedures to resolve problems and ensure fair adjudication of student rights.
Students who have completed the Acacia University grievance process and the applicable state grievance process may appeal non-instructional complaints to the AZ SARA Council. For additional information on the complaint process, please visit the AZ SARA Complaint page.
7665 S. Research Drive
Tempe, AZ 85284
Phone: 1 (480) 428-6034
Fax: 1 (480) 428-6033
Office hours: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (MST) Monday-Friday (excluding holidays)
Year Founded: 1998
First Accredited: 2010
Next Scheduled Review: 2019
President: Tim Moman
Accreditation and Agency Contact Information:
Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202 234-5100
State License and Contact Information:
State Board of Arizona for Private Postsecondary Education
1740 W. Adams, Ste. 3008
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-5769
Fax: (602) 542-1253
State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement:
National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements
Arizona State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement Council
Participation in Funding Programs:
Acacia University is eligible to participate and is otherwise qualified, in a number of financial student assistance programs, which include: Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES - www.dantes.doded.mil) and Department of Veterans Affairs GI Bill Program (www.va.gov and www.gibill.va.gov).
Acacia University offers an interest-free per course tuition payment plan.
Acacia University offers numerous scholarships.
Acacia University’s name reflects our belief of life-long learning. The symbol and name of the acacia as the “tree of knowledge”, or the “tree of life”, as it is known in many cultures, embodies our ongoing commitment to provide unparalleled standards and vehicles for learning. To this end, Acacia University aspires to offer outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs that extend extraordinary and interactive opportunities for students to reach personal and career goals.
Master of Arts in Elementary Education
Master of Arts in Secondary Education
Master of Education in English as a Second Language
Master of Education in Special Education
Master of Education in Educational Administration
Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership
Graduate: $225 per credit
Doctoral: $330 per credit
Average Course Completion Rates for Students: 96%
Average Program Completion Rates for Students: 93%
Percentage of Students Surveyed Who Responded that they:
- Achieved their learning goals: 98%
- Would recommend the university to a friend: 95%
- Were satisfied with their studies: 98%
Acacia University filed with Arizona’s Secretary of State and applied for a degree-granting license in the State of Arizona in September 2007. Approval was granted on February 28, 2008.
Our Accreditation Assures You a Quality Academic Program
Acacia University holds accreditation through the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a recognized accrediting agency. Founded in 1926, it has become the agency that sets the standard for all distance education institutions.
Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: (202) 234-5100
An agency seeking recognition by the Secretary must meet the Secretary's procedures and criteria for the recognition of accrediting agencies. First recognized by the Department of Education in 1959, the DEAC was most recently reviewed in 2001 as part of the normal evaluation process.
The Distance Education Accrediting Commission is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). CHEA is a private nonprofit national organization that coordinates accreditation activity in the United States. It carries forward a long tradition that recognition of accrediting organizations should be a key strategy to ensure quality, accountability, and improvement in higher education. Recognition by CHEA affirms that standards and processes of accrediting organizations are consistent with quality, improvement, and accountability expectations that CHEA has established. CHEA web site.
What Is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a process to assure and improve higher education quality by giving public recognition to an institution that meets established standards of academic and administrative quality.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation assures you, the student, that the institution operates on a sound financial basis, has approved programs of study, qualified instructors, adequate facilities, and approved policies. Additionally, accreditation is often required by employer sponsored tuition reimbursement programs and by other institutions when evaluating transfer credits.
Here are three quick steps to quickly "search" for accredited schools on the US Department of Education web site. Follow the steps below and enter out name and accreditation information will be displayed.
On the U S Department of Education web site they state that the Secretary of Education recognizes only one agency dedicated solely to accrediting distance education institutions, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).
- Go to http://www.ope.ed.gov/accreditation/Search
- Enter Acacia University and our name and address will appear.
Exploding the Myths about DEAC Accreditation is a guide written to help the prospective online student make sound choices that are well suited to their interests and needs.
Dr. David Alexander
Dr. Alexander holds a Doctorate of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Catholic University, Washington, D.C. His MA in School Administration is from University of South Florida and his BA in Education is from East Carolina University. His experience includes the following:
- Lumen Incorporated – Executive Director
- Cisco Learning Institute – Executive Director
- Arizona School Services for Educational Technology – Assistant Director
- Cave Creek Unified School District – Superintendent
- San Luis Coastal Unified School District – Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Services
- Adjunct Professor, and instructor for various universities
- Teacher in Special Education in various schools and school districts
David also has philanthropic, educational, business, and technology experience in various national and international projects. Part of his current mission is “finding new ways of influencing the way people learn by empowering their schools and businesses to use Internet-based tools that enable the rate and retention of learning to increase.”
C. Diane Bishop, Headmaster, Scottsdale Preparatory Academy
Ms. Bishop holds Masters Degrees in Mathematics and Secondary Education, and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Arizona. Her experience also includes the following:
- Maricopa Health Foundation – Executive Director
- Arizona Department of Commerce – Assistant Deputy Director
- Governors Education Policy Advisor
- Workforce Development Policy – Director
- University High School, Tucson Unified School District – Department Chair and Mathematics teacher
Diane Bishop is the former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction. Her tenure as the State Superintendent spanned two terms and was characterized by the development of comprehensive curriculum frameworks and a performance-based assessment system to improve teacher, learning, and student achievement. She is an active supporter of charter schools and a member of the Leadership Team of Great hearts Academies.
Dr. David Hurst
Dr. Hurst holds a Doctorate of Education degree in Administrative Leadership from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. His Masters degree is in Music Education from Arkansas State University and his BS degree is in Education from the University of Tennessee. His experience includes the following:
- AdvancED – Vice President
- Capella University – Adjunct Professor
- Arizona State University – Adjunct Professor
- Wichita State University – Assistant Professor
- University of Memphis – Adjunct Professor
- AdvancEd – Associate Executive Director
- Kansas North Central Association – Assistant State Director
- McNairy County Board of Education – Principal, Director of Music Programs
David has taught master and doctoral level courses in several universities and has more than 15 professional publications and has made more than 20 professional presentations during the past decade. He has chaired accreditation teams internationally for many countries and school systems as well as the Department of Defense. His educational interests include leadership, systems improvement, continuous improvement, standards-based accreditation, and quality management.
Dr. Pamelee T. Santesteban, former Assistant Superintendent, Madison Elementary School District
Dr. Santesteban holds a Doctorate of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. She earned two masters’ degrees: one in Special Education from Arizona State University and one from Northern Arizona University in Educational Administration. Her dual BS degree in Early Childhood Education / Special Education was earned from Northern Arizona University. Career experiences, all in Arizona, include 24 years of services as Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services in Washington, Glendale and Madison School Districts as well as 13 years as Principal, Director of Special Education and Federal Projects, Teacher Trainer and Teacher. Related experiences and honors include:
- Leader of systemic initiatives recognized at state and national levels:
- National School Boards Association – Magna Award Grand Prize Winner for Technology Incentive Program for Teachers
- Arizona School Boards Association – 7 Golden Bell Awards for Program Excellence and District Wide Programs
- City of Glendale Mayor’s Award – Show Them a Better Way district / city partnership to build strong families and neighborhoods
- National PTA – Lifetime Membership Award for community service
- Arizona Leadership Academy – Co-Leader / Developer for Arizona School Leadership Summer Training -- team shared decision making / governance framework (10 years)
- Adjunct Faculty – Northern Arizona University • Presenter at local / state / national conferences; facilitator for short and long term planning in public and private sectors
- Recipient of intensive training in: collaborative processes; change processes as a catalyst for growth and development; building organizational capacity
Dr. David Alexander
C. Diane Bishop
Dr. David Hurst
Dr. Pamelee T. Santesteban
Dr. Don Enz
Dr. Meridee Haskell
Dr. Sandra Nagy
Dr. Christine Wilkenson
Dr. Gary Nine
Dr. Randi Sinisi
Acacia University is the result of two companies merging and the culmination of twelve years of pioneering ways to improve instruction and learning. It began with the vision of our founders (with over 100 combined years of experience at all levels) who were convinced that implementing research-based instructional strategies, learning communities within the classroom, and state of the art technology would result in enhancing teacher effectiveness and improving student learning.
In 2003, Educational Cyberconnections, Inc. began a partnership with the Commission on International and Trans-Regional Accreditation (CITA) to provide onsite training to CITA schools in Egypt, Pakistan, United Emirates, and China. This training created a demand for additional and continuing training that resulted in the establishment of an onsite and online program under the title of CITA Teacher Certification Program.
The need for quality technology support for design and hosting of the program resulted in the merger with EdgePoint Technology. The name of the company was changed to Power-Ed, Inc. during the merger. 7 In 2005, Power-Ed and CITA developed and delivered a web-based curriculum (24 credits) that could be delivered via the internet throughout the world. For over four years we have delivered classes, mentored teachers, and improved education in countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Syria, China, and the United States.
Our learners felt the online program was so valuable that they expressed an interest in obtaining a master’s degree for the courses they had taken. Our response to their request was to seek state licensing and then accreditation from an approved US Department of Education institution.
Acacia University set a goal that the program would be convenient, affordable, provide mentoring, and teacher dialogue; thereby improving the teaching process.
A Superior Education at an Affordable Price.
Acacia University is an exciting place. A place full of big ideas, with all kinds of people who find a home here:
- Already licensed Teachers of every age and background who come here for a master’s or doctoral degree – whatever it takes to move them forward in their career,
- Faculty whose love of teaching matches their scholarly appetite for research,
- Schools and government agencies who look to us and our certificate programs to build more skilled teachers,
- Alumni who found their love for learning at Acacia University and just keep coming back for continuing education.
Welcome from the President
Welcome to the DEAC accredited program that specializes in education! We offer programs for teachers and administrators to build strength and skills to lead students into the future! We are delighted that you are considering Acacia University to start or continue your higher education journey. At Acacia, we are committed to assisting you in achieving your advanced degree and improving your professional practice. We take pride in knowing that our program is Affordable, Accredited, Convenient, Supportive, and Relevant.
Please read our University Catalog and Student Handbook carefully to understand your responsibilities and realize the benefits of our distance education program. Online communication with our instructors and your peers will engage you and help you discover powerful and effective ways to improve education and the teaching/learning connection.
The Acacia Learning Community is here to help you realize your full potential and propel you into excellence. On behalf of the Acacia University community, I welcome you to the Acacia family and wish you the absolute best in your educational and personal growth.
Tim R. Moman