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College Profile: Capella University

Logo for Capella University
Capella University cannot guarantee licensure, endorsement, certification, authorization, other professional credentials, or salary advancement. State regulations and professional credential standards vary. It is the learner’s responsibility to understand and comply with requirements for their states and professional associations.

For more information on licensure, see the Licensure section on the School’s website. Enrollment restrictions and/or other restrictions may apply to certain programs. Contact Capella University for more information.
Learn about completion rates, affordability, and more at www.capellaresults.com

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs. Speak with an enrollment counselor at 1.866.679.9687.

ABET Accreditation - IT program
Capella’s BS in IT program is accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

* The FlexPath option for the BS in Information Technology program specializations is not accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET.
ACBSP Accreditation - Business programs
The Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs (ACBSP) has accredited Capella University business programs and select specializations. For full accreditation statement and the list of accredited programs and specializations, go to www.capella.edu/university-accreditation.

CACREP Accreditation - PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision, MS in Mental Health Counseling, MS in School Counseling, MS in Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy
Capella University’s PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, MS in Mental Health Counseling, MS in School Counseling, and MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy programs are accredited by the American Counseling Association’s Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) through March 31, 2020.

COAMFTE Accreditation - MS in Marriage & Family Counseling/Therapy
The MS in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy program at Capella University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE), 112 South Alfred Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314; 703.838.9808, coa@aamft.org.

NCATE Accreditation - Professional Eduation Unit Programs
The Professional Education Unit (PEU) at Capella University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), www.ncate.org. This accreditation covers advanced educator preparation programs at Capella University. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses that the institution offers to P–12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

PMI-GAC Accreditation - BS in IT – Project Management, BS in Business – Project Management, MS in Information Systems and Technology Management – Project Management, MBA – Project Management

The following program specializations are accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (PMI-GAC):
• BS in Information Technology – Project Management
• BS in Business – Project Management
• MS in Information Systems and Technology Management – Project Management
• MBA – Project Management

* The FlexPath options for the project management specializations are not accredited by PMI-GAC.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Higher Learning Commission: https://www.hlcommission.org, 800.621.7440
Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552), www.capella.edu
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor
Minneapolis, MN
888-227-3552 (general)
888-227-3552 (financial aid)
888-227-3552 (admissions)


Capella University was the inspiration of Stephen Shank, former CEO of Tonka Corporation, who felt that many adults were underserved by traditional universities. He envisioned a high-quality university that people could attend from any location.

In 1991, Shank established the corporate entity that would become Capella Education Company. In 1993, Dr. Harold Abel, an experienced leader in higher education and former president of three universities, joined Shank to found The Graduate School of America, now called Capella University. Originally, the university offered online master's and doctoral degrees in management, education, and human services.

Today, Capella University offers more than 1,250 online courses and 39 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in 129 specialized areas of study. Capella's nearly 34,000 learners include a diverse group of adults from all 50 states and 52 countries.

Leading the Way for Quality Online Education

In 2000, Capella University became the first online academic institution to become a charter participant of the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the NCA. AQIP participants commit to a program of continuous quality improvement (CQI) similar to initiatives practiced in other industries.

AQIP provides an alternative model of accreditation maintenance with The Higher Learning Commission. Instead of the traditional 10-year review cycle, AQIP participants adhere to an ongoing annual review regimen. By participating in AQIP, Capella is required to analyze its operational processes and measure outcomes within each of nine different quality criteria, and to set ambitious performance goals, such as converting all its courses to an outcomes/competency-based model.

National recognition for excellence

Capella courses and programs have gained national recognition and awards for excellence from a variety of organizations.

* WebCT Exemplary Course Award

* National University Telecommunications Network (NUTN) 2006 Distance Education Innovation Award

* WebCT Exemplary Practice Award

* National Center of Academic Excellence designation from the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Capella History

What is now Capella University was established in 1991 by Dr. Harold Abel and Stephen Shank, former CEO of Tonka, who believed adults were an academically underserved population by traditional universities.

In 1993, Dr. Harold Abel, a former president of three universities, became the first president of the Graduate School of America. This school was later renamed Capella University.

In 1997, Capella University received regional accreditation.

In 1999, the parent company and university were renamed to Capella Education Company and Capella University, respectively.

In 2000, the Capella University began to offer bachelor's degree programs for the first time.

In 2006, Capella Education Company became a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: CPLA).

In 2007, Capella was named one of 86 higher education institutions in the United States to have received the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) designation by the National Security Agency (NSA). The designation is valid for the academic years 2007 through 2012.

In March 2008, Capella Education Co., longtime occupant of the 225 South Sixth skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, signed a new lease that expanded its office and renamed the building Capella Tower effective March 2009. The building houses all of the company's 1,150 downtown Minneapolis administrative staff.

In 2009, The Project Management Institute (PMI) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (GAC)accredited two Capella University online degree programs: the MS in Information Technology with a specialization in Project Management; and the BS in Information Technology with a specialization in Project Management.

In 2009, Capella University launched its School of Public Service Leadership.

In 2010, Capella University, along with three other schools, was awarded the CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

More info

Capella University Website

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