Capella University President Larry Isaak joins national initiative to improve student learning

November 05, 2010

The Presidents' Alliance is committed to gathering and reporting evidence of student learning and using it to improve outcomes

MINNEAPOLIS, November 5, 2010 – Capella University (www.capella.edu) President Larry Isaak has signed on as a founding member of the Presidents' Alliance, a national initiative to improve student learning on U.S. campuses. Isaak joins more than 70 college and university presidents who have agreed to expand their efforts in gathering and reporting evidence of student learning and using it to improve outcomes. Capella University is an accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing high quality online degree programs for working adults.

"As the United States sets a national goal to again lead the world in educational attainment, it is critical that undergraduate degrees and credentials reflect a high-quality education. This requires colleges and universities to develop evidence of students' skills and knowledge as they work toward and complete their undergraduate studies," said David Paris, executive director of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, which developed the initiative. "Quantity and quality both matter; higher rates of attainment need to be accompanied by higher levels of achievement."

The Presidents' Alliance members, which include two and four year, public and private colleges and universities nationwide, have also agreed to assist each other in this work, publicly report on their efforts and encourage other institutions to take similar steps.

"Capella University has earned a reputation for offering quality programs with a strong emphasis on measuring learner outcomes so it makes sense for Capella to be a founding member of the Alliance," Isaak said.

A description of the Presidents' Alliance, including an online searchable database that describes each institution's commitments, can be found on the Alliance's website (http://www.newleadershipalliance.org/what_we_do/presidents_alliance). The commitments indicate the willingness of schools to improve their efforts and to provide a shared resource for other institutions. Capella's commitments include:

  • Improving the gathering of evidence about student learning outcomes.
  • Expanding the use of evidence on student learning outcomes to improve programs and practices
  • Expanding the reporting on student learning outcomes to ensure transparency and accountability
  • Expanding noteworthy work to other institutions

"The Presidents' Alliance is an important step in assuring quality in undergraduate education and increasing public confidence in American colleges and universities," said Judith Eaton, president of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and chair of the board of directors of the Alliance. Eaton hopes that other institutions will join the Presidents' Alliance and help create a professional higher education community committed to evidence-based improvement.

The New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning and Accountability, established in 2009, is a non-profit, advocacy-focused organization that leads and supports voluntary and cooperative efforts to move the higher education community toward gathering, reporting on and using evidence to improve student learning in American undergraduate education. The Alliance envisions a self-directed, professional higher education community that produces an increasing number of college graduates with high-quality degrees in preparation for work, life and responsible citizenship.

About Capella University
Capella University (www.capella.edu) is an accredited*, fully online university that has built its reputation by providing quality education for working adults. Nearly 80 percent of Capella students are currently enrolled in master's, specialist, or doctoral degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services, nursing, psychology, public administration, public health, and public safety. Capella also offers bachelor's degree programs in business, information technology, public administration, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 136 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 17 certificate programs. More than 38,000 learners were enrolled as of September 30, 2010, from all 50 states and 52 other countries. Capella is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Founded in 1993, Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552).

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* Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org.
Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552), www.capella.edu.

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