where academic investigation +
christian faith +
service to others unite

 The Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) is specifically designed for adult students (at least 22 years of age) returning to college. If you would like to complete your degree but feel you do not have enough time or money, we have the solutions that may make the difference.

La Sierra University's Division of Continuing Studies offers ACCESS, a flexible degree completion program in which you can move through the required courses as slowly or as quickly as your personal schedule allows, and you can modify your class schedule quarter to quarter. Each class typically meets one night a week, 6:30 p.m. - 9:50 p.m., for ten weeks. Classes only meet Monday through Thursday, leaving your weekends free to study or spend time with your family. 

I decided to attend La Sierra University because of the diversity of students, the integrity it provides to the education of students, and the overall commitment to make sure the student succeeds. I decided on a Social Work major because of the services it provides to people. I want to be able to make a difference in someone's life. I also want to be able to give them a sense of hope when they appear lost.

Edith Gonzalez, current student

Degree Programs Offered Bachelor of Arts

Liberal Studies

  • Combines all the major areas of curriculum
  • Can be individualized to meet student interests and needs
  • Prepares students to earn a California teaching credential with the inclusion of required professional education courses
  • Prepares students for a wide variety of career options and helps employees position themselves for promotion within their current profession or as a basis for admission into a variety of master-level programs

When I first came to La Sierra University I was still attending another college in the area. I enjoyed the atmosphere the Christian school provided. La Sierra offered the best adult-learning social work degree in Southern California. The DCS staff is very helpful and accommodating to working adult students. They are excellent at following up with me and keeping me on track.

Stephanie Thompson, current student

Social Work

  • Combines all the major areas of curriculum
  • Can be individualized to meet student interests and needs
  • Prepares students to earn a California teaching credential with the inclusion of required professional education courses
  • Prepares students for a wide variety of career options and helps employees position themselves for promotion within their current profession or as a basis for admission into a variety of master-level programs

When I first came to La Sierra University I was still attending another college in the area. I enjoyed the atmosphere the Christian school provided. La Sierra offered the best adult-learning social work degree in Southern California. The DCS staff is very helpful and accommodating to working adult students. They are excellent at following up with me and keeping me on track.

Stephanie Thompson, current student

Seven Barriers

Seven Barriers That Keep People from Returning to School

For most people, returning to college after years of accomplishment in the workplace or staying at home is coupled with fear -- fear of the competition and the ability to adjust to the demands of higher education. Yet the desire for advancement or the baggage of an unfinished degree beg you to consider the possibility.

But you wonder what it would be like being back in the classroom with students who might be half your age. Then you hear about an adult program -- the Division of Continuing Studies ACCESS Program at La Sierra University -- and you think to yourself . . . maybe.

We find that there are seven common barriers to returning to college as an adult student -- seven barriers, seven challenges, seven opportunities.

  1. It takes too long to complete a degree . . . You may be closer to completing your degree than you realize. The Division of Continuing Studies (DCS) accepts most college academic credit. Credit can also be earned for academic courses taken while in the military or by passing exams such as CLEP, DANTES, or by LSU departmental equivalency exams.
  2. College costs too much . . . Like other things of great value, a college education is expensive. However, many employers help pay tuition; ask yours. Grants and loans are available to adult students who meet standard eligibility requirements. Because La Sierra University believes in educating adult students, DCS students enjoy a unique tuition rate, which puts a college education within reach for many adult students. Your expenses will consist of tuition, books, and a few modest fees. Finally, remember that your earning capacity will grow following graduation and remain higher for the rest of your life!
  3. I don't know how I will fit in . . . By enrolling through the Division of Continuing Studies' ACCESS program, you will take most of your classes with other students who are also over the age of 22, have jobs and families, and whose lives are busy much like your own. Our teachers enjoy adult students because they bring a strong sense of determination and direction with them. The faculty especially enjoy having you share your experiences with other students in the classroom.
  4. I'm too old . . . Not if you are younger than Edna Williams who graduated from the ACCESS program at the age of 85! The average age of our students is about 39. In fact, most of our students do better now than when they were previously in college.
  5. But I've got a full-time job . . . Congratulations! Other students in class also have a busy schedule, but we find that returning to school actually invigorates many students, which makes it easier to work and go to school than imagined. Our classes are in the evening, usually starting at 6:30 p.m., to accommodate your daytime responsibilities.
  6. I'm afraid . . . You're not alone. Most adults who return to the classroom have feelings of apprehension. You were afraid the day you started school, the day you took your first driving test, the day you reported to your first job, and you succeeded in all of those things. The Division of Continuing Studies was established for the specific purpose of aiding adult students in the transition back into the classroom. We are friendly! We have developed procedures to spare you nearly all registration hassles.
  7. I still have a lot of questions . . . Give us a call, or better yet make an appointment and talk with one of our staff members. Call us at 951-785-2300 or toll free at 800-874-5587, ext. 2300.

(These concepts were adapted from a publication of The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota.)