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Capella University, an accredited online university, exceeds the national average among colleges in the level of academic challenge provided, according to the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE)

The online degree provider also exceeds the national average in providing a supportive campus environment

MINNEAPOLIS, January 6, 2011 – According to the 2010 National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Capella University, an accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing high quality online degree programs for working adults, exceeds the national average among colleges and universities in the level of academic challenge offered to its students, and in providing a supportive campus environment.

Each year, NSSE collects information at hundreds of four-year colleges and universities about student participation in programs and activities that institutions provide for their learning and personal development. The results provide an estimate of how undergraduates spend their time, and what they gain from attending college. More specifically, NSSE evaluates the extent to which first-year and senior students engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development.

To represent the multi-dimensional nature of student engagement, NSSE developed five indicators of effective educational practice, which are: Level of Academic Challenge, Active and Collaborative Learning, Student-Faculty Interaction, Enriching Educational Experiences, and Supportive Campus Environment. In the category of "Level of Academic Challenge," Capella University first-year students scored a 59 as compared to the mean score of 54 for all the schools that participated in NSSE for 2010. Senior-year students at Capella scored a 64, as compared to the overall NSSE mean score of 58. In the category of "Supportive Campus Environment," Capella first-year students scored a 67, as compared to the NSSE mean of 62. Senior-year students at Capella scored a 64, as compared to the NSSE mean of 60.

"The NSSE results certainly back up what we hear from our students about the quality and rigor of Capella's programs, and we are pleased to see this confirmation that Capella is continuing to lead the way among other highly respected colleges and universities across the country," said Capella University President Larry Isaak. "Capella's focus on outcomes-based curriculum is key to providing high quality and rigorous programs."

More than 600 colleges and universities participated in NSSE 2010, with more than 363,000 individual students completing the survey. The survey is web-based and is administered to first-year and senior-year undergraduate students during winter and spring terms.

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), http://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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