Behind The Numbers

Going back to school is one of the biggest investments of your life, and you need to know that your time, money, and effort will be worth it. At Capella, we use outcomes to show the direct impact our programs have on the professional lives of our graduates. We're proud to bring this level of quality and accountability to higher education.

Aligning our programs with learning outcomes

Using learning outcomes ensures that Capella delivers an engaging, relevant learning experience to adults like you. A Capella program's expected learning outcomes form the foundation of all our courses, which are constructed by a team of specialists:

  • Faculty with real-world professional experience in their fields
  • Instructors who specialize in adult learning
  • Specialists in competency-based curriculum design
  • Instructional design experts
  • Experts in analytics and educational measurement

Courses are designed to deliver each program's expected learning outcomes; each course assignment aims to measure each student's proficiency in demonstrating those outcomes. This builds a rich context for interpreting data that we use to continuously improve the learning experience.

Reporting learning outcomes

The reports we publish reflect the collective results of Capella students in capstone courses, typically the final course of the program. During these courses, instructors assess each student's proficiency level using specific criteria; we capture detailed records that we use to create outcomes reports.

Reporting career and alumni outcomes

We conduct regular alumni surveys to collect up-to-date information about our graduates' professional achievements, what they learned in their programs, and their overall satisfaction with their experience at Capella. We publish the results so that you can see how our graduates advance after graduation.

Reporting student satisfaction

Our students participate in 2 standardized surveys that include students from online universities nation-wide: The Noel-Levitz Priorities Survey for Online Learners (PSOL) and the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). These surveys—and the published results—help evaluate Capella's performance and compare it to other, similar institutions.

The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

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NILOA helps educational institutions develop and use learning outcomes data to improve higher education; and share that data with policy makers, students, and others interested in higher education.

New Leadership Alliance

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Capella is a member of the Presidents' Alliance for Excellence in Student Learning and Accountability which leads and supports voluntary and cooperative efforts to move the higher education community towards gathering, reporting on, and using evidence to improve student learning in American undergraduate education.