A Review of an Accredited Online Degree From Capella University
The possibility of taking Online degree programs
have been one of the biggest direct changes in education due to
It is easy and convenient for working adults
to be able to take courses without having to fit classes around
their busy schedules or commute to campus.
One of the more popular accredited online
degree programs is offered by Capella University. This school was
founded in 1993 and got its accreditation in 1997.
After it was accredited, it changed its name
and established five schools: Human Sciences, Technology, Education,
Psychology and Business. The school's headquarter is located in
Minneapolis, Minnesota. Within these five schools, there are about
70 different areas of study with more than 650 classes offered.
The Capella school has 650 faculty members,
more than 550 employed staff and 13,000 students enrolled in courses.
As you can see, this is a real college for higher education with
The school has its good points as well as its
bad points. In order to draw as balanced picture as possible of
this school, let's consider both. It has a special individualized
portal for each student, called the iGuide.
After you enroll, you're granted secure access
through this portal to all the academic information you need. This
makes it easy to look at and get an overview of courses and transcripts.
Through the portal, you have access to your internet classroom,
which they refer to as the 'courseroom', where you can get your
assignments and post messages. Most other schools on the internet
have online chats and webcams which often don't work very well.
At this school however, the technology is all
together and in working order. It has a special system for turning
in assignments which is very efficient but still easy to use. Just
submit all your assignments as zip files or Microsoft Word documents.
That's all you have to do. The school portal offers access to the
alumni center which you can use for networking and looking for employment
There are many other services available, like
access to grants and other public money. Some of the graduates have
criticized the alumni center as not being so useful, and being mostly
just for show. However, most graduates are very happy with it. Because
this school is targeted to students who are already in jobs, its
opportunities for on campus employment are pretty bare. The thought
is that the reason you've chosen to study there rather than at a
more traditional college is that you are already in a jobs . If
you live outside Minneapolis, the school does not offer much in
the way of employment for its students.
The school does offer a wide range of services
to students with various handicaps. There is a variety of software
available, and the staff makes an extra effort to accommodate students
with disabilities. The school is consistently ranked high among
higher educational institutions for its services for disabled students.
There is mobility assistance, sign language interpreter service
as well and additional time given to those who need it. Except from
those mentioned about, most other services are somewhat lacking,
There is a campus bookstore where you can buy
various kinds of materials including software, as well as books.
Like most college bookstores, you can easily find the same books
more cheaply other places if you look around a little. Like most
schools, the bookstore is used to make some extra money for the
school. But, the easy way out of this, for you, is to buy the books
you need on the web somewhere. There are lots of services available
for buying textbooks online. In spite of this, the Capella school
is quite affordable.
There are more and more schools coming on the
web every year, and those that want to stay must be competitive.
At Capella, there are five schools within the college. They should
be considered or reviewed separately in terms of quality. While
the Human Sciences, Business, Education and Technology schools are
quite good, the Psychology school has been undergoing some issues.
There have been some problems with the management,
and this has affected the overall quality of the program negatively.
Because of these issues or problems, the Psychology school has had
to keep changing its Dean, and this has also added to their problems.
At the time of this writing, the psychology school is still not
accredited by the American Psychological Association, even though
it has been running this program for so long. This shouldn't reflect
too badly on school as a whole. Remember, there are 650 faculty
members, so there is a load of variety. As a matter of fact, the
quality of the instructors has always been commented on by the students
who have graduated here.
One thing criticised by many is that so many
of the faculty are part time contractors, and thus do not have the
interests of their students in mind as a highest priority. It is
also charged that many of the teachers here are new to teaching
on the web, and in being unaccustomed to it are unable to give the
best instruction to their students. This charge comes particularly
from students who have attended masters or Ph.D. programs here and
found the quality of instruction at that level to be lacking. It
could be that the strength of this school is in its undergraduate
program. This is what most students attend the school for, so it
may be that the instructors are better able to teach at the undergraduate
level. There aren't many complaints from undergraduate students
about instructor or teacher quality, so this may be the case.
At the Capella university you certainly get
a bit of everything. Whether this school is for you depends on a
number of different factors. Retrieving and submitting coursework
On the negative side, the quality of the teaching
or instruction has consistently been lauded, if at times inconsistent.
The fact that every education program is not yet accredited probably
reflects badly on the school. Nevertheless, as internet programs
go, it is rated high in all areas.
So, if you are looking into pursuing a higher
education online, weigh your options well.
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