Capella University Reviews - Doctorate in Business Administration
With consideration to traditional doctoral programs and the format for progressing through the dissertation phase, my online experience was a little more complicated than I think it would have been if I had attended the brick and mater pathway. I feel really good learning experience with the coursework in the core courses (DBA) and business intelligence specialization. I wish I had more courses on predictive and descriptive analysis area that are offered now. I had experienced some irregular delays with the feedback from committee members that caused me to run out of financial aid but I realize that they had regular jobs too. I would be nice if the more research methods courses were offered like in the PhD program.
Capella University was the best choice for my doctoral goals and dreams. The curriculum was established with a foundation of sound business practices and learning objectives. The faculty are experienced and knowledgeable in their respective fields, and the learning goals are success oriented. The choices one has are immense, but the final decision is the key for your future. Capella University was mine and I have completed my doctoral journey and have pride in the choice I made. Capella University checked all the boxes I required for success!
First let me clarify that I did not graduate. I would have expected to graduate in December 2017 if things had progressed favorably. I finished my courses with honors (Delta Mu Delta), I got through approval of my research proposal, the study failed, I requested a change in methodology, my committee and I could not reach consensus so they kicked me out with extremely harsh language citing failure to complete my degree in 36 months. The peer interaction at Capella is fabulous. I made great friends who are very supportive and continued to be supportive both personally and professionally after I was kicked out. Many of my complaints are issues that upset them. I took the additional step of filing a complaint against Capella with the Minnesota Department of Education. The complaint focused on the lack of DBA faculty adherence to the grading rubric. Capella DBA faculty did make the required changes in record time and we as students were highly pleased with the changes (more improvements are needed). The skills gained from coursework have helped me professionally. Where I give Capella a failing review is in the way DBA faculty treat students with extensive professional experience. The DBA faculty style is command and control autocratic. Inquiries from students regarding subject matter are received by DBA faculty with contemptuous disdain and acidic feedback. In depth guidance that would enable an experienced professional to gain additional subject matter expertise is non-existent (at least on my topic which was an attempt to find small business applications for biosurfactant formulation). Instead, feedback focused on gramatic hypersensitivity with no guidance on the differences between US and foreign academic rhetorical styles. My attempts to solve the problem by assembling a support panel of faculty with foreign experience and subject matter expertise were received by Capella DBA faculty with hubris and disdain. Every attempt I made at creating resolution was received with contempt until there was nothing but acrimony left on both sides. Lesson learned: if you are the type of individual who can "follow orders" even if you don't agree then Capella is a good institution and will get you in and out expediently. On the other hand, if you are used to collegial professional environments and Socratic dialog with superiors, the Capella DBA is not at all the culture or environment in which this occurs and can be extremely toxic emotionally.
The doctoral coursework stage was challenging, but clear. Unfortunately, what matters at this level is the dissertation! They don't hit you with their dysfunctions until you get into the dissertation completion phase. We were encouraged to join groups during the first residency in 2014. Mine was a group of 3. We completed coursework in 2016 with close to 4.0 point GPA's and were admitted to the Honor Society. We finished our dissertations. I commenced! Still, two of us DID NOT GRADUATE! One was withdrawn because her dissertation was more appropriate for a PhD program as if they didnt know this in the beginning! I was withdrawn for the technicality of not completing a milestone approval for the second time (NS). The third member of the team is still trying to get her dissertation through milestones one and a half years after completion of coursework! Meanwhile, she is paying full fees each term. Capella's "hands off" policy meant no one could help me outside of my mentor, who didn't answer calls, forcing me into the 2nd NS. I wasted more than three years thinking that if I just worked hard enough in the program, I would end with the completion of the DBA. In our third residency, more than one instructor said, "every single one of these third year students is expected to graduate". The problems began after that! Don't be deceived...0-3 after four and a half years? THIS UNIVERSITY IS NOT WORTH THE RISK!!!
I would not recommend the DBA program through Capella they are more concerned about there money than the needs of the student. They refuse to change mentors and truly help guide the students to success. They brag about how many do not pass and act like there school is the only one with a rigorous program. When I withdrew from there program because they mentor as awful they tried to put all blame on me and did not try to fix any of the issues.
When deciding to pursue a degree, it is a serious commitment that must be given adequate time and attention. Capella offers the opportunity for students to use a guided process that lists all components of the education. They provide a layout of all courses required for graduation and even a manual for the dissertation. In addition to the manual, each student is provided with a mentor to help along the way. Some mentors are good and some are not so good. If you are assigned someone that isn't working in your best interest, it is best to request a different mentor. Be serious, use the resources, and you can graduate on time. I have taken my MBA and now DBA at Capella. I plan to complete the DBA in the Fall of 2017. Good luck to all of the future graduates!