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7 Shot Dead on California Campus

April 3, 2012

At least seven people died Monday and three others were injured in a shooting at Oikos University, a small Christian college in Northern California, according to news reports. Police have a former student in custody, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The pastor who helped found the college about 10 years ago told the Mercury News that the alleged shooter, 43-year-old One Goh of Oakland, had taken classes at Oikos in the past. Goh was detained at a grocery store in neighboring Alameda. The pastor didn't know whether the former student had been expelled or had withdrawn.

Before the shooting, the Internet was virtually devoid of information about Oikos, which offers programs in theology, music, nursing and Asian medicine. No pre-shooting online news accounts about Oikos were readily available.

The college’s website crashed after the shooting, and was operating sporadically by Monday evening. It included a welcome letter from the university president saying Oikos “students are given the opportunity to obtain a Christian education that is based on solid Christian doctrine and ideology.”

According to an ABC News account, the shooting happened around 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Names of the victims hadn’t been released Monday evening.

A California Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education spokesman confirmed that the college was licensed last year. The licensure runs through 2016, though the college is slightly overdue in providing the bureau its latest annual report. Oikos’s licensed vocational nursing program is accredited by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians in Sacramento. That seems to be the college’s only accredited program. A spokesman for the California Nurses Association said his organization knew little about Oikos except that it is certified to train licensed vocational nurses.

Oikos is authorized by the state to grant seven degrees: an associate degree in nursing; bachelor’s degrees in Biblical studies and music; master’s programs in music, divinity and Asian medicine, and a doctoral program in Biblical studies. Oikos is not accredited by the Western Association of Schools & Colleges, nor is it a candidate for that accreditation.

A Google Maps street view of the college shows an older building in an industrial park and what appears to be a piece of temporary signage reading “OIKOS UNIVERSITY.” There were also signs in the windows touting training in Asian medicine and programs to become a vocational nurse or nursing assistant.

Online letters from an Oikos board member and the college president touted the ambitions of the growing religious institution that they said was designed to provide faith-filled education to Oakland and Northern California.

“We actively seek out, educate and train students, ministers, teachers and church leaders to become more qualified leaders,” wrote President Jongin Kim. “Oikos University has rapidly grown in its quality and size to become an institution that contributes to and positively changes their surrounding environment -- and the world in general.”

 

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