Traditional universities often pose difficulties for career-oriented adults and parents. With daily obligations, such adults find it difficult to fit classes into their schedules. Most traditional universities do not provide all required coursework during evenings and weekends, especially not at the undergraduate level. Seeing the difficulties that scheduling posed, Stephen Shank, the former CEO of Tonka Corporation established Capella Education Company in 1991. In 1993, he teamed up with Dr. Harold Able and together they formed Capella University.
Today, Capella serves not only the United States, but also has a very diverse, multicultural student body that spans 59 countries. Capella offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programs, with over 135 specific areas of study from which to choose. The university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Among the programs available are degrees in business, information technology, organization and management, education, public service administration, psychology, behavior science, criminal justice, and other fields. Capella also offers certificates in addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Capella University is very open to transfer credit. Not only does it permit students to transfer prior university credit, but it also counts certain life, military, and work experience toward degree programs. Capella also offers an option for students to take a prior learning assessment, in order to get credit for the knowledge they already have. However, the transfer of credits is subject to review by the university and cannot be guaranteed.
The Student Experience
All of Capella’s coursework is accessed over the Internet. Resources are provided digitally, and students have the option of completing homework and assignments around their daily obligations. Capella has a residency requirement, where students attend a four-day visit to the physical campus and meet with faculty and other students.
Capella’s student body is truly a melting pot. With students hailing from 59 different countries, every class is diverse. Differing world views and experiences add to the lessons and projects, and give students the opportunity to interact with people to whom they normally would not have access. Despite the distance, students have the opportunity to interact via message boards, email, chat, and even Skype.
Capella University holds professional development opportunities and conferences for students to attend. With professional events spanning all fields, students have the opportunity to visit the physical campus and listen to some of the best minds in their major areas of interest.
Teaching At Capella
Capella gears their curriculum toward helping adults achieve a higher level of education that will benefit their careers. Despite the fact that the coursework is delivered via the Internet, professors manage the classes in a manner similar to traditional universities. They utilize PowerPoint, audio files, and message boards for discussion. Students fulfill attendance components by checking in through email, or by participating in activities and discussions.
Capella’s faculty consists of instructors dedicated to student achievement. They are very knowledgeable and experienced within their fields, and they use their expertise to aid their lessons and lectures. For instance, the school of psychology employs Dr. John Darland, a clinical psychologist and mental health policy analyst. The school of social work employs Edward Muldrow, a diplomat in his field. Such prominent instructors bring not only their knowledge, but also their practical experience to each lesson. This prepares Capella students for the working world, and gives them insight into what to expect from their future careers.
Capella Graduates in the Real World
Capella graduates transition from their coursework to careers with the help of career services. With counselors standing by to help ease that transition, students can find help locating jobs, preparing for interviews, and honing their resumes. By providing support, graduates do not need to feel alone as they leave the university behind.
Capella also offers numerous opportunities for alumni. The Capella University Alumni Association seeks to keep alumni in contact with each other and faculty. Alumni are given access to library materials, networking events, directories, and news. By providing an opportunity for graduates to stay connected, Capella does not leave graduates on their own after they walk across the stage. Rather, Capella remains a supportive figure in many graduates lives.
Capella graduates go on to be leaders in their fields. Linda Dawson, a graduate from technology management, found that she had the upper edge in her career as a result of her master’s degree. Dr. Dewain Lee received her doctorate degree in human resource management from Capella, and as a result, was promoted to the Dean of Student Affairs at Dillard university. With the help of Capella University, these alumni were able to achieve their dreams and advance their careers.