About National University System

Micaela R. National University Class of 2014

NUS Affiliate Pathway Programs

National University System (NUS) is committed to providing innovative ways for adult learners to earn their degrees faster and develop marketable career skills along the way.

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Innovative and Relevant Education Programs for the 21st Century

National University System (NUS), established in 2001, is a progressive model in higher education – a network of four accredited nonprofit universities dedicated to offering innovative and relevant education programs to a diverse population of students. Our universities include National University, Northcentral University, City University of Seattle, and John F. Kennedy University.

The System also includes Workforce Education Solutions, which is advancing partnerships between the universities and industry groups to align degree programs with employer-defined professional competencies, offering students more affordable degree pathways to advance their careers.

Additionally, the System administers the nationwide expansion of the three Sanford Programs, inspired by philanthropist T. Denny Sanford: Sanford Harmony, Sanford Inspire, and Sanford Institute of Philanthropy, which address critical needs in the Pre-K-12 education and nonprofit sectors.

NUS Mission, Vision, and Values

National University System is a mission-driven organization, committed to student success for adult learners nationwide. There is a growing mandate for educational institutions that are more flexible, responsive, and dynamic than traditional schools. In the rapidly changing landscape of education, NUS endeavors to serve students looking for alternative learning environments that better align with their educational needs and personal life obligations.


Our mission is to create a student-centered, world-class educational system that focuses on offering quality, market-relevant programs to lifelong learners.


Our vision for NUS is to be an educational system that positively transforms and impacts students, enterprises, and communities. Our vision will be realized through:

  • The creation of cross-institutional pathways, delivery options, and degree choices; provide “Any Time, Any Place, Any Pace” access to education
  • A national network of physical campuses, complemented by a dominant online presence
  • The integration of next-generation learning technologies into all programs and courses
  • Sophisticated application of big data and predictive analytics to improve the student experience


Our nonprofit institutions share a set of values that honor their commitment to deliver an exceptional student experience. These drive our daily contributions and outline the guiding principles for all we do.

  • Quality: Provide an exceptional student experience, from initial contact to degree completion and engagement as alumni
  • Innovation: Invest in the cultivation of innovation internally and remain abreast of the latest developments that impact our students
  • Collaboration: Create cooperative work relationships, enabling us to develop the best services, learning solutions, and academic pathways for our students
  • Diversity: Embrace differences in race, gender, age, ability, and geography into our academic fabric and appreciate those differences as drivers of change
  • Access: Offer flexible, convenient, and affordable courses and programs for any qualified and motivated lifelong learner



April 2019 – National University System launches Workforce Education Solutions initiative
January 2019 – Northcentral University Joins National University System
November 2018 – $500,000 awarded to teachers nationwide in first annual National University System – Sanford Teacher Awards
September 2018 – National University System acquires UniversityNow and integrates FlexCourse℠ online learning platform
June 2018 — $100 million is donated to the National University System from T. Denny Sanford for expansion of Sanford Programs — the largest donation in NUS history.
April 2017 — $28 million is donated to the National University System from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.
2017 — The Precision Institute at National University is launched to transform higher education through personalized learning approaches.
October 2016 — Randy Frisch named President of City University of Seattle.
July 2016 – Dr. Gangaram Singh is named Provost of National University.
June 2016 – National University partners with CETYS University in Mexico.
April 2016 – Dr. David W. Andrews is named President of National University.
April 2016 — National University System hosts global media leader Oprah Winfrey for an inspiring and exclusive special lecture for students and the System community.
February 2016 — Debra Bean is named President at John F. Kennedy University.
December 2015 — National University’s School of Education is renamed the Sanford College of Education in honor of philanthropist T. Denny Sanford.
September 2014 — National University System leads the national dissemination of Sanford Programs, inspired by T. Denny Sanford, beginning with opening the Sanford Education Center at National University.
June 2014 – Debra Bean is named Provost of National University, and Dr. Gangaram Singh joins National University as Associate Provost.
October 2013 – Dr. Michael R. Cunningham is named Chancellor of National University System.
September 2013 — Dr. Jerry C. Lee retires as Chancellor of National University System, effective September 15, 2013.
August 2013 — Dr. Michael Cunningham is named Chief Operating Officer of National University System, effective September 1, 2013.
May 2013 — Dr. Michael R. Cunningham is named President of National University, effective July 1, 2013. City University of Seattle officially becomes the latest affiliate of National University System.


May 2011 — The Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) reaffirms National University’s accreditation through 2021.
July 2010 — National University is named to 2010 Honor Roll in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” program.


April 2009 — John F. Kennedy University becomes an affiliate of National University System.
May 2008 — National University Academy receives approval from California State Board of Education.
December 2007 — Division of Pre-College Programs is launched, and NUVHS moves under the Division.
May 2007 — NUVHS accredited by Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, CITA.


March 2004 — Established National University Nevada.
June 2003 — National University Virtual High School (NUVHS) is established.
October 2001 – Expanding on the vision of National University to serve working adults, the National University System is established.