Capella University: an honest review
Posted: Saturday, November 19, 2005
by Jean Chortillion
Online universities are a
boon for adults who wish to continue their education despite working. Capella
is amongst those names that come to mind foremost when one is considering
earning a degree online. Formed in 1993,
There are several
upsides and some down sides of studying at Capella. Consider these points for
Capella has a personalized
portal for e-learning called iGuide. After enrolling students are given secure
access to courses and transcripts which will enable you to join the interactive
learning community. On joining the online classroom, which they refer to as
‘Courseroom’ the student has access to online assignments and discussion
forums. Most students find this alternative far superior to the cumbersome online
chats and perpetually non-functioning webcams of their competitors. Similarly, the assignment submission protocol
through Capella is quite convenient.
Under the system, students have to submit their assignments in zip files
or Microsoft Word documents.
The University also offers a
number of opportunities that extend beyond graduation. One, for example is the alumni center located
on the online portal. This service offers recent graduates and students access
to networking opportunities, professional employment information, and
developmental grants. Students are generally pleased with this feature although
some have criticized the alumni center as being much more fluff than actual job
While on the subject of
employment, it is important to consider that many students in online
universities choose that option for the chance to work at the same time. Unfortunately, however, students are
frequently finding that the University does not do much by way of providing
employment for students. Students find
the opportunity for work-study rather dismal. The University does not offer
much assistance for this except for students who live in the vicinity of the
While this type of
limitation might be expected from an online university, the school does offer
some rather extensive assistance when it comes to special needs for
Regarding other services,
however, Capella comes up short. Capella
does have a bookstore, which offers a wide variety of books and software. But
it is generally felt that the books can definitely be bought a lot cheaper from
other places instead of the university bookstore. While some students claim that the use of a
University book store is merely a means for Capella to generate revenue at the
expense of the school, it is rather simple to opt out of this trap by
purchasing books online. And in other
respects, the school, regarding cost, is quite competitive with other online
universities, and a real bargain compared to its brick and mortar counterparts.
While many of the individual
schools within Capella carry quite a strong reputation, the psychology school
is regarded as quite unsatisfactory. The
But as stated previously,
the condition of this particular school should not be taken as an indication of
the collective university. With a
faculty numbering 650, many students find the quality and variety of professors
a major asset to the university. Some
students have argued, however, that contrary to this, existing students often
complain of these very instructors as being part time contractors and as such
not dedicated enough to adequately serve their students as teachers and
mentors. In fact professors at Capella are often labeled as ‘incapable of
online teaching’, a criticism pointing to many professors non-familiarity with
the online environment. An argument in favor of this thought comes
from the experience of some students who loved the experience of pursuing an
online masters degree with Capella and after coming back for more by enrolling
for their doctoral program, were disappointed. They claim an obvious degradation
of quality of mentoring at the higher levels.
This may be because the vast majority of students enrolled at Capella do
not seek to extend their education that far.
Overall Capella provides
students with a bit of a mixed bag. The
format of class teaching and the ease of assignment submissions is a very
tangible benefit of this school over its competitors. In addition, the University faculty has some
very able-minded and talented teachers.
But with these positives, come some very serious drawbacks. The teaching quality at Capella is
inconsistent at times, leaving some students with the impression that the qualifications
required for teaching are too low. Additionally,
the failure of the school to attain accreditation in some areas, despite its
age, can only leave the impression that the quality of the administration has
some serious flaws.
Jean Chortillion enjoys writing about online education. See http://www.universityreviewsonline.com/2005/10/review_of_capel.html for another review of Capella University.
» left by Anonymous 6 years 336 days ago.
» left by Anonymous 6 years 58 days ago.
An excellent source of information about Capella University may be found at: www dot capellauniversity dot org Caveat Emptor - Buyer Beware!
» left by Carol from Pennsylvania 5 years 277 days ago.
I attended Capella University and I have to say it was the best online school I attended. I completed my Masters degree there, completed my BS degree at Kaplan University. Capella was definately the better of the two. I would recommend it. The article was very forward and to my knowledge correct.
» left by Patricia from Dallas 5 years 134 days ago.
My question is: Is it difficult to find a job after graduating from Capella? How do employers react to Capella online degreed applicants?» left by Anonymous 3 years 349 days ago.
I received my bachelor's degree from Capella University and I was able to get job offers within the first 2 weeks of graduating and that was during the fall of the economy (November 2008). A degree is a degree, paper is paper and personality and perserverance is key, but confidence will show brighter then any of these and that is what you may need to make it. Capella was a learning experience just like any other "commuter" university/college.If you are self-driven you can make it, but only if your are willing to commit yourself, just because this University is online doesn't mean it's a cake-walk.....there are many I know who failed at this type of course work. It takes a certain type of person to push themselves and be willing to interact primarily through emails and online communications.CU '08» left by Ann from New York 3 years 280 days ago.
I think it depends in what area you are looking for employment. I work in academia, and where you received your degree certainly does matter and is looked at. Currently , distance learning does not have a strong enough reputation to compete in this arena with many brick and mortar schools. As far as other types of work, I agree with the above individual that a degree is a degree.
» left by John Smith from NY 4 years 233 days ago.
I was promoted due to my Capella Ph.D. at a major and accredited college. The online degrees are gaining recognition as it attracts adults who already have the skills and qualities but need the education to move up. Keep in mind regional accreditation from the US dept of ed prreceeds any other type of accreditation.
» left by Anonymous 4 years 173 days ago.
I don't think my experience is the norm, but I will say I felt scammed since I am not (nor will I ever be, due to my experience) a student of Capella University. I called Capella University in my efforts to do some school comparisons.I had a pleasant conversation with the representative. She collected some information about me, and we talked about what Capella had to offer, program options and how the program works. When I hung up I thought it was over.About a month and a half later I get a bill for $75. I called and let them know I'm not a student of Capella, but I did have a conversation with a representative. They told me it was a non-refundable application fee, and to "go to your student site and click the option to pay it". Since I'm not a student I don't have a student site. When I asked how to appeal the fee, the representative told me I should e-mail the appeal to her, and she would direct it to where it needs to be, "but you'll get the same answer."I say this to those considering calling Capella as a warning. Do not give your personal information to them unless you are sure you are planning to attend. Even if they ask for it up front DON'T DO IT. Get your information from them with out giving yours to them until you are absolutely sure you want to attend.» left by Anonymous 3 years 349 days ago.
If you decide to apply to any College or University you will always have to fill out an application. And yes, there is a application fee no matter where you go. I personally applied to University of New Mexico, Cal St. Fullerton and Capella University and all three schools charged me a app fee. Of course, I was able to opt out paying for two of the three since I was accepted by two of the three.» left by Anonymous 2 years 316 days ago.
Yes, IF you complete the application packet AND submit that packet for enrollment. I talked with several department chairs and universities without completing packets. I received excellent information and detailed brochures. Had I received a bill? No, because I didn't complete the application.
» left by Anonymous 4 years 152 days ago.
You have not experienced the horrible customer service myself and countless others have. They have you on the phone for hours on end to talk to someone. I am now back at the University of phoenix where I should have stayed in the first place. Let the truth be told they are the first and the best.
» left by Assholio from Tyone County 3 years 330 days ago.
You could not pay me enough to attend this school. Online degrees are garbage and should not be trusted. When I see an online degree in the pile of resumes in front of me...I toss it.» left by Anonymous 3 years 324 days ago.
I am interested in the reason why you toss the resumes? Do you think that they do not get the same education? If someone gave you a resume that stated they graduated from Penn State University, would you toss it? If you hired them and later found out they earned their degree online would you fire them? Just interested as to what the hangup is about online schools. I myself am shopping for an online school. The reason, I work night shift and have 2 kids to raise. So, there is not much opportunity for me to attend night school somewhere. If I want to make a better life for me and my family online is the way to go.» left by Anonymous 2 years 351 days ago.
I would agree with the person below who commented you really good! I am close to finish off masters degree online, and to be honest...it's not a piece of cake. I have attended "brick & mortar," and found online environment similar to what you experience in traditional university. You do REAL assignments...tests, quizzes, papers... and if some online professor is crazy... it's more than real work. The only difference between the two type of school is that with online you save money on "gas," plus the convenience of sitting at home interacting with your classmates. In real, there is no distinction in the type of degree in both types of schools, even online you do real work!!!
» left by Anne from New York 3 years 280 days ago.
I attend Capella University and agree with the statements made in this article. I am finishing a a PhD in the school of psychology and am frustrated with the administration. I find the instructors to be a mix between very high quality and almost non existant and this is almost always depoendant upon the difference between full time and adjunct faculty. I have had no response for 5 months from repeated attempts to discuss important issues with administration that would help in furthering my education and career and also assist the school's reputation. They seem uninterested in guiding and mentoring the student at the individual level and I am feeling like the minimal education is provided to allow for a profit to be made off the tuition. There is definitely a better quality to be expected at a brick and mortar school if you are pursuing a doctoral degree in psychology.» left by Anonymous 3 years 210 days ago.
I have never found this to be he case. Perhaps it is you!! I graduated in 07 and had a great experience.Don't all of you who complain on forums like this realize that you are devaluing your degrees. Take it up with the powers that be and stop ruining it for the rest of us. I got a great degree/education at Capella, I publish in tier one journals, and I still face discrimination in academia largely because of whiners like you. I bet students at b&m schools don't whine this much in public. They know better.» left by Anonymous 2 years 316 days ago.
You do not face discrimination because of people who disagree with the profit corp, but because you attended the profit corp. Other students from universities do complain, but they're not taken to court. Hence, you will note many "anonymous" responders here. I'm glad that you had a good experience; I did not.
» left by Dregan from Texas 3 years 264 days ago.
personally the A____ from Tyone county probally never saw a resume in front of him in his life. That was a very unproffesional response. While degrees earned online may not have the 'respect' of some in academia, In the business world, what matters is wheter or not your university is acredited. I have 2 employees with Master's earned at Capella and they have been excellent employees. I am glad I hired them. ( They can write very clearly due to the overwhleming number of papers they wrote in their coursework )» left by Anonymous 3 years 195 days ago.
Judging by the number of misspelled words and grammar errors in your response, I'm not sure you'd know clear writing if you saw it, Dregan. If you got your degree online, I'm not sure you're the best representative of such institutions.» left by Sue C from New Jersey 3 years 86 days ago.
Hmmm such you're taking his comment to assholio so personal, I assume this is assholio?LOL pretty obvious.