Capella University prides itself on the high quality of its educational programs meant to provide an excellent door of opportunity to adult students looking to satisfy their urge for further education, for personal satisfaction or professional potential. Innovation is the name of the game with this unique school that offers degrees at the undergraduate, Master’s, Doctoral and Certificate levels. All the programs are designed in such a way that they provide a challenge to students in their pursuit of betterment of their careers.
Established in 1993 by Stephen Shank, former CEO of Tonka and Dr. Harold Abel, The Graduate School of America was created because it was felt that adults were the most underserved population and needed a place where they could fulfil their learning needs. They wanted to provide an environment where their past experience is acknowledged and they are given an opportunity to learn cutting edge skills through higher degrees. The name of the school later changed to Capella University and now has more than 20,000 students from across the United States and 56 different countries. The faculty are as diverse as the student body and hail from seven different countries and from every state of the United States. The school has several accreditations and certifications to its name.
The school is based in Minneapolis, MN and offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs with more than 950 online courses. The degrees are offered in K-12 Education, Business Management, Public Safety, Mental Health, Health Care Administration and Information Technology. Degrees can be customized at the Certificate, Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. levels. Although undergraduate degrees are available, the bulk of its student body is made up of students pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees. The school has received numerous awards for the online programs, including National University telecommunications Network 2006 Distance Education Innovation Award, the WebCT Exemplary Course Award and others.
Students, who join the online courses, may take most of their classes online but many of the higher level degrees require the students to enter into a residency that will help them better by providing the much needed hands-on experience in their field. This is done to make sure students are well prepared for the real-world after graduation. The online program is 10-weeks long, with breaks of two or three weeks between each quarter. Students enrolled in the online study can choose between Business Administration, Leadership, Public Safety and others.
Capella University’s online programs are easy to use and well-organized. There is a unique Blackboard Learning System where students log on to and then there are course rooms for each course. This makes it easier for students to find the specific course materials. To give these online courses the seriousness that is needed, students have to meet deadlines for submission of their completed assignments. However, during that time period, they are allowed to work whenever they please; during the day, during the night or when it is convenient for them. Some of these assignments may even have to be done offline.
This school stresses on forming relationships and students are encouraged to interact with each other, faculty and other staff to get the best out of this system. There is also interaction with the business community in the form of local conferences.
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