history
History
2014
Capella University expands its offerings of FlexPath direct assessment online degree programs (Bachelor of Science in Business and Master of Business Administration).
History
2010
Capella University is awarded the 2010 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
History
1993
The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE).

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.

As of December 31, 2015, Capella University offered over 1,800 online courses and 48 undergraduate and graduate degree programs with 166 specializations. Capella's approximately 36,900 learners include a diverse group of adults from all 50 states and 48 other countries.

Milestones

2014 RDI approved to offer degrees

  • Capella University re-designated National Approved Center of Play Therapy Education more
  • Capella University expands its offerings of FlexPath direct assessment online degree programs (Bachelor of Science in Business and Master of Business Administration) more
  • RDI approved to offer degrees more
  • Capella University expands its innovative FlexPath direct-assessment learning model to five additional business and psychology specializations more
  • The U.S. Department of Education approves four additional Capella University FlexPath direct assessment degree programs more
  • Capella University launches School of Nursing and Health Sciences more

2013 Dept. of Education approves Capella University’s FlexPath learning model, Capella University celebrates its 20th Anniversary

  • The Master of Science in Marriage and Family Counseling/Therapy earned accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy (COAMFTE). more
  • The Higher Learning Commission approved two direct assessment, competency-based program options for the Bachelor of Science in Business, Business Administration specialization and the Master of Business Administration (MBA), General Business Administration specialization. These options are called FlexPath. more

2012 Capella University graduates its 30,000th learner

  • Scott L. Kinney became president of Capella University more
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice earned accreditation from the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) more
  • The Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology received approval from the Arizona State Board of Education more
  • Graduated 30,000th learner

2011 Capella Education Company acquires RDI

  • Capella Education Company invests in innovative startup company Sophia.org – a social teaching and learning platform that integrates education with technology. more
  • Capella Education Company acquires Resource Development International Ltd. (RDI), an independent provider of United Kingdom (UK) university distance learning qualifications. more
  • Dr. Deborah Bushway became interim president of Capella University more
  • The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology program earned accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) more
  • The Master of Science in Education specialization in Early Childhood Education earned National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) National Recognition.
  • The Masters of Science (MS) in Education, Education Specialist (EdS) and Doctorate (PhD) in Education specialization in Leadership in Educational Administration earned Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) National Recognition (Building Level).
  • Capella University graduates its 25,000th learner

2010 Capella University graduates its 20,000th learner

  • Larry A. Isaak became president of Capella University more
  • Capella receives accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). more
  • Capella University graduates its 20,000th learner
  • Capella University is awarded the 2010 CHEA Award for Outstanding Institutional Practice in Student Learning Outcomes by The Council for Higher Education Accreditation. more
  • Capella University accepted invitation to join the President's Alliance of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning & Accountability more
  • Capella University is awarded the NUTN Distance Education Innovation Award by the National University Telecommunications Network more

2009 Capella University announces new School of Public Service Leadership

  • Dr. Christopher Cassirer became President of Capella University
  • Capella University launched Doctor of Education (EdD) degree
  • Kevin Gilligan became Chief Executive Officer of Capella Education Company
  • Capella University is granted full institutional approval by the Minnesota Board of Teaching
  • Capella University established the new School of Public Service Leadership
  • Capella University received the 2009 Learning Impact Award from IMS Global Learning Consortium
  • Capella University is a charter member of Transparency by Design, the initiative that developed and officially launched the College Choices for Adults website in August 2009
  • The Master of Science in School Counseling is accredited by the American Counseling Association’s Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • The Doctorate in Education specialization Special Education Leadership earned Council for Exceptional Children (CEC National Recognition.
  • Capella University enrollment exceeds 30,000 learners

2008 Capella University's accreditation is reaffirmed by The Higher Learning Commission

  • Capella University's accreditation is reaffirmed by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC); Capella’s next scheduled accreditation reaffirmation process will be during the 2014-2015 academic year
  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM™) acknowledged that three Capella HR specializations (in the BS, MS, and MBA programs) fully align with SHRM’s HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates
  • The Master of Science specialization in School Counseling received approval from the Arizona Department of Education
  • The Doctor of Philosophy in Education specialization in Special Education Leadership received approval from the Minnesota Board of School Administrators
  • The Bachelor and Master of Science in Information Technology specializations in Project Management were accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (PMI-GAC)

2007 Capella University graduates its 10,000th learner

  • The Master of Science specialization in Reading and Literacy received approval as a program leading to professional licensure by the Minnesota Board of Teaching. This is the first and only online Reading and Literacy program to be approved by this agency
  • Capella University is designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education for the academic years 2007-2012
  • Capella University enrollment exceeds 20,000 learners
  • Capella University launched Education Specialist (EdS) degree
  • Capella University graduates its 10,000th learner

2006 Capella University receives accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission

  • The first comprehensive AQIP check-up visit since our original accreditation visit in 1997 was highly successful: the visiting team recommended that all accreditation stipulations be removed, and complimented Capella University for achieving what has taken other institutions years to accomplish
  • The Higher Learning Commission removes the Statement of Affiliation Status stipulation and extends Capella University accreditation to develop and deliver new undergraduate programs and degree offerings
  • Capella Education Company, the parent company of Capella University, completed its initial public offering of common stock and started to trade under the ticker symbol CPLA on the Nasdaq stock market

2005 Capella University graduates its 5,000th learner

  • The marital, couple, and family counseling/therapy specialization in School of Human Services is accredited by American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Capella University graduates its 5,000th learner

2004 Capella University enrollment exceeds 10,000 learners

  • Capella enrollment exceeds 10,000 learners

2003 Education leadership specializations in School of Education

  • Approved by Minnesota Board of School Administrators to offer education leadership specializations in School of Education
  • The mental health counseling specialization in School of Human Services is accredited by American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
  • Approved by the North Central Association to launch four-year undergraduate programs in Business and in Information Technology
  • Approved by the North Central Association to offer PsyD in School of Psychology
  • Formed collaboration with Augsburg College to offer four-year baccalaureate degree starting in 2004

2002 Graduated 1,000th learner

  • Graduated 1,000th learner

2001 Upper-division Bachelor's degree in Business

  • Dr. Michael Offerman became president of Capella University; Stephen Shank became chancellor
  • Approved by NCA to offer upper-division Bachelor's degree in Business

2000 Charter Member of AQIP

  • Became charter member of the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) of the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission; accreditation extended to 2007-2008
  • Approved by Minnesota Higher Education Services Office to grant BS degree
  • Approved by NCA to offer upper-division Bachelor's degree in Information Technology

1999 Name changed to Capella University

  • Joined the US Department of Education's Distance Education Demonstration Program
  • TGSA became Capella University; School of Psychology founded
  • Stephen Shank became president of Capella University; Bruce Francis became chancellor
  • Enrollment exceeded 1,000 learners
  • Graduated 100th learner

1998

  • Approved by the North Central Association for MS and PhD degrees in Psychology
  • Approved by Minnesota Higher Education Services Office to grant MBA degree

1997 Graduated first learners

  • Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association (NCA)*; at that time, TGSA offered MS and PhD degrees in Organization and Management, Education, Human Services, and Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Graduated first learners (9 MS degrees, 5 PhD degrees)

1995

  • Dr. Bruce Francis became president of TGSA

1993

  • The Graduate School of America (TGSA) founded by Stephen Shank and Dr. Harold Abel
  • Dr. Harold Abel became first president of TGSA
  • Approved by Minnesota Higher Education Services Office to grant MS and PhD degrees in Organization and Management, Education, Human Services, and Interdisciplinary Studies

1991

  • Steve Shank founded Capella Education Company