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    TCS Education System
  Feb 21, 2024
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Spring Addendum

Institution and Accreditation

2.1 Institutional Identity and Degrees Offered

  1. The School is incorporated in California as The Colleges of Law, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation recognized as tax-exempt by the Internal Revenue Service and California Franchise Tax Board. Its website URL is:; its password-protected Student Gateway (“Gateway”) URL is: It operates two campuses:
  Santa Barbara campus Ventura campus
  20 E. Victoria St. 4475 Market St.
  Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Ventura, CA 93003
  (805) 979-9860 (805) 765-9300


  1. The School offers three educational degree programs, as described in this Catalog:

Juris Doctor (JD) , an evening program with onsite classes, offered at both campuses

Hybrid Juris Doctor (HJD) , an online program with onsite residences at the Ventura campus; and a

Master of Business, Law and Technology (MBLT)  [Formely known as Master of Arts in Law (MA Law) prior to Spring 2024] an online program.

  1. The School is an affiliate of The Community Solution Education System, a charitable, tax-exempt entity identified under IRS regulations as a Type II supporting organization because it supports its affiliates, including the School, in the advancement and achievement of their missions. The Community Solution maintains its offices at 203 N. LaSalle Drive, Ste 1900, Chicago, IL 60601; its telephone number is (312) 379-1699.

2.2 Mission and Vision Statements

  1. Mission
    The mission of The Colleges of Law is to provide access to law and law-related professions, through emphasizing opportunity, academic excellence, and community engagement. (Adopted by Board of Trustees, April 27, 2018.)
  2. Vision
    To be a pioneer in modernizing legal education. (Adopted by Board of Trustees, April 27, 2018.)

2.3 Accreditation and Bar Eligibility

  1. Accreditation and State Authorization
    The School is accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California as a single institution with two campuses. In keeping with our mission to offer excellent yet accessible legal education, the School has neither sought, nor presently expects to obtain, accreditation from the American Bar Association.

    The School is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), 985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100 Alameda, CA 94501, (510) 748-9001. WSCUC is a regional accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and serves higher education institutions primarily in the western United States.
  2. State Authorization
    For information on where The Colleges of Law is currently authorized, licensed, registered, exempt or not subject to authorization, please visit
  3. JD Program Information
    Students who enroll in a Juris Doctor program, other than students admitted as “special students,” are not required by the State Bar to sit for the First Year Law Students’ Examination. JD graduates are eligible to sit for the California Bar Exam and, upon passing the exam and meeting the State Bar’s other admission requirements, eligible to practice law in California. The following language is provided by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California:

    Study at, or graduation from The Colleges of Law may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or be admitted to practice law in jurisdictions other than California. A student who intends to seek admission to practice outside of California should contact the admitting authority in that jurisdiction for information regarding its education and admission requirements.
  4. MBLT Program Information
    The MBLT program does not qualify graduates to sit for California’s Bar Examination, nor does it satisfy requirements for admission to practice law in California. Prospective students who wish to practice law should consider the JD program after carefully reviewing the JD program information in this section. Please read the following statement, which is provided in compliance with State Bar requirements:
  5. Except as provided in rule 4.30 of the Admissions Rules (Legal Education in a foreign state or country), completion of a professional law degree program at this law school other than for the Juris Doctor degree does not qualify a student to take the California Bar Examination or satisfy the requirements for admission to practice law in California. It may not qualify a student to take the bar examination or to satisfy requirements for admission to the practice of law in any other jurisdiction. A student intending to seek admission to practice law should contact the admitting authority in the jurisdictions where the student intends to qualify to sit for the bar examination or to be admitted to practice for information regarding their legal education requirements.

2.4 Governing Boards, Administration, and Faculty

  1. General Provisions
    The School is governed by the Board of Trustees and the Fiduciary Council, which approves strategic goals and final budgets set by the Board. The Board has delegated authority for daily operations of the School to the President/Chief Executive Officer (CEO); the Dean serves as Chief Academic Officer.

  2. Board of Trustees members for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year include:
  Jana Johnston, JD (Chair) Lauren Nicholson, JD
  Farfalla Borah, JD (Vice-Chair) Charlita Shelton, PhD
  Von Deroian, JD Julius Sokenu, EdD
  Art Hernandez, BA Casey Summar, JD
  Michael Horowitz, PhD Catharine Swysen, JD
  Betty Jeppesen, JD Lori Trofemuk, JD
  Bernie Luskin, EdD Richard Winn, EdD
  Matthew Nehmer, PhD  
  1. Administrative Staff includes:
  Desiree Aldeis, PhD Program Manager of Onsite JD
  Alexis Burdick, MA Director of Operations and Special Assistant to the President
  Jeannette Eicks, JD Associate Dean of Graduate and Lifelong Learning Programs
  Andrea Funk, JD Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning/Professor of Law
  Jennifer Gantz, MS CFO 
  Jackie Gardina, JD Dean/Chief Academic Office/Professor of Law
  Oscar Herrera Student Services Coordinator and Assistant Registrar
  Jessica King Student Services Coordinator, Hybrid JD
  Jen Louie Program Manager of Student Success and Bar Preparation
  Jennifer Mackie Student Services Manager, Ventura
  Matthew Nehmer, PhD President
  Brandy Price, JD Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning/Professor of Law
  Rosalie Robles Program Manager of Hybrid and Online Programs
  Shannon Stark Senior Enrollment Manager
  Shawn Taylor, MA Associate Vice President, Admissions
  April Vincent, JD Associate Dean of Student Success and Bar Preparation/Professor of Law
  Christian Winnewisser, MA Registrar/Disabilities Coordinator
  1. Faculty members committed to teach at The Colleges of Law can be found on the School’s website HERE

1. Full-time Faculty (law degrees/school/graduation years)

Jackie Gardina, JD, Boston College Law School ‘99 (Dean)
Jeannette Eicks, JD, Vermont Law School ‘96 (Associate Dean of Graduate and Lifelong Learning Programs)
Andrea Funk, JD, UCLA ‘90, (Associate Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning)
JiAe Moon, JD, Loyola School of Law ‘98, (Faculty)
Brandy Price, JD, Univ. of Pennsylvania Law School ‘06 (Assistant Dean of Hybrid and Online Learning)
April Vincent, JD, Whittier Law School ‘99 (Associate Dean of Student Success and Bar Preparation)

2. Adjunct Faculty - Academic Advisors (law degrees/school/graduation years)

Kata Kim, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘10
Virginia Fuentes, JD, The Colleges of Law, ‘14
Nicole Rommero, JD, Drake Law School, ‘13

2.5 Administration Office

  1. General Provisions
    Unless the context otherwise makes clear, the term Administration Office denotes the Administration Office at the campus where the student is principally enrolled (onsite JD students at the campus they attend, hybrid JD students at the Ventura campus, and MBLT students at the Santa Barbara campus). Students should contact the Administration Office for information about the School’s curriculum and policies, to make appointments with the Dean, to inquire about Veterans’ benefits, and to attend to other matters referred to in this Catalog.
  2. Administration Office Hours During Terms (Closed on Holidays.)

      Ventura Campus: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 10 a.m - 6:30 p.m; Tuesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday by appointment only

      Santa Barbara Campus: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Wednesday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday by appointment only

      Emergency messages cannot be relayed after 6:30 p.m. on class nights or on weekends and holidays, as the Office is closed.

Administration Office Hours Intercession at Both Campuses: By appointment only.

  1. Transcripts and Student File Reviews

    A student’s request to review their student file must be made in writing to the Registrar. Hard copies of the student’s digital file will be made available to the student at the Administration Office within 45 business days. A student who believes that information in their education record is inaccurate, or misleading may submit a written request to the Registrar to amend the information. See Section 3.7  for details on file review and amendment requests.  Requests for official copies of transcripts must be in writing. A charge of $15.00 will be made for each transcript requested. Students who are not in good financial standing with The Colleges of Law will not be eligible to receive a transcript.
  2. Requests for Administrative or Faculty Action

    All requests for action by the Administration or Faculty must be made in writing, dated and signed by the student, and submitted to the Administration Office. Submissions must clearly state what action the student requests. Submissions must fulfill any applicable requirements set forth elsewhere in this Catalog (for example, as applicable to requests for disability accommodation, petitions for change of grade or probation, etc.). Where a form is available for the purpose sought by the student, the form should be used. Forms are found on the Gateway. Inquiries not set forth in writing will be treated as casual inquiries; students should assume that casual inquiries will not be acted upon by the School, administrative staff, or faculty.

2.6 Facilities

  1. Description of Facilities

    The Colleges of Law has two physical campuses where instruction for the onsite Juris Doctor degree program is held.  The Santa Barbara campus consists of a single-story building of approximately 8,000 square feet, with four classrooms, a library, a student lounge, and faculty and administrative office space.  The Ventura campus consists of a two-story building of approximately 20,000 square feet, with six classrooms, a library, a student lounge/common room, and faculty and administrative office space.
  2. Parking Regulations
    1. At the Ventura campus, the parking lot is for use by students only while attending classes or otherwise participating in campus activity. Under no circumstances is overnight parking allowed.
    2. At the Santa Barbara campus, the parking lot is always restricted to staff ONLY. On-street parking and a city parking lot are available for students. The Santa Barbara campus can be reached by a variety of alternative means including bicycle, bus, shuttle, or by foot. A student intending to take Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District transportation to and from campus for class may submit a bus pass reimbursement request to the Administration Office.
  3. Facilities Regulations
    Smoking is prohibited by law in the School’s buildings and within 25 feet of them. Eating in the classrooms is prohibited except by express permission during special school activities. Drinking from non-spillable containers is allowed during class sessions but is prohibited during examinations. Outside doors at the Santa Barbara campus may not be propped open.
  4. Campus Visitors
    Campus facilities are open for use only by enrolled students and invited guests of the School. With prior permission of the administration, an adult guest may accompany an enrolled student to a class session. However, to enhance the educational experience of all students and to promote safety, the facilities are not open to minor children and pets.

2.7 Transcripts

COL maintains a permanent record of any student who was or is enrolled in a course.  The transcript may be changed only upon a showing of cause, in writing, authorized by the Academic Standards and Admissions Committee.  Requests for a change to a student’s transcript must be made in accordance with Sections 10.6 (JD) and 16.3 (MBLT) of this Catalog.