Capella University Reviews
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This school gives you false hope. After 3 years of my husband working towards his dissertation, I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and his work load with his school, full time job and taking care of our family was too much and he had 2 not satisfactory grades for classes that do not even count towards his degree. Amazingly he was withdrawn from the program, regardless of the fact that my medical condition had a major impact on him. This school does NOT care about the real world, the personnel and lawyers are oblivious to REAL life. Guess the lawyers and faculty involved has someone that is diagnosed with a terminal illness they will consider how they treat others. I have an MBA from this school and it is worthless, no pay raise, no great award winning anything except a lot of debt. At this point my husband will move forward to a school that wants him to attend and said how amazing his dissertation is thus far. DO NOT let CAPELLA trap you into promises of nothing, they are liars. They are not worth the time, effort or consideration when considering an education. They are the poster child of bait and switch as far as I am concerned and if they have a problem with my saying that.....whatever!
Now that I have my transcripts and my diploma has been mailed out my honest review of Capella University is going to be 2.5 stars out of 5. The reason for this being that they failed to take great care in explaining the differences between class formats as well as the academic and financial impacts of both. I was kicked out of classes multiple times due to their failure to explain billing sessions is fine detail. This process was explained in general terms and rushed. In addition, the school fails to provide a host of learning modalities such as video, interactive, group, java etc for those who are visual/audio learners as opposed to just reading/writing text which is largely the basis since it is a research based design. Knowing that a new subject is not imbedded into the mind until it has been seen, heard, written and recited it is curious then as to why these methodologies werent utilized to their full extent especially for online learners to ensure the content is grasped. Many times I felt that the redundancy of the curriculum caused me bordem and that flexpath could use some definite improvements in the syllabus. Perhaps their regular online format is much different but this pertains to flexpath learning. These factors caused me to be removed from eligibility to graduate with honors including summa cum laude, the highest honor, which I recently found out is awarded to all eligible students OTHER THAN flexpath format students. In the long run it may not determine desirability in professional aspects however it was a goal I kept in mind and I wanted badly. I feel I have been cheated out of that honor even though I meet all requirements other than my chosen class format and finished with a 3.93 GPA. I should be recognised for that accomplishment despite format. I had some great and challenging teachers who pushed me more than I ever thought possible but because of this failure in communication and the negative repercussions on my goals, I will not be attending the school again.
I started in 2016, and was told that if I enrolled in Flexpath, taking more than one course at a time, that I would have enough monies to finish the program. Last year, 2017, I was told that financial aid made a mistake. Okay, I accepted that. Then for the entire quarter that I just finished, my financial aid dashboard showed another scholarship plus $12,000, and I was told by financial aid that they would split my remaining monies into 2 quarters, not 4. The very next day, that the quarter ended, the $12k was removed from the dashboard, and now they refuse to contact me. So, without me knowing, last quarter was my last, unbeknownst to me. Horrible!
Capella University overall was a good experience for me. Two former employers and my current employer seemed pleased with the level of knowledge I had gained from the degree. The courses were challenging and time consuming, however you get out of it what put into it. Given I was a PhD student the self-motivated learning of the online experience and actually the mediocre feedback and conversations with my professors, made it more independent which I believe you need for a dissertation. When performing all of the research needed for the dissertation the mentor provides limited "guidance" and not "direction", which is something you need to do because the whole point of the dissertation is for you to learn how to be an independent researcher. Now for the issues I encountered, is when they did change the Scientific Merit Review form multiple times, but that might have only caused 1-2 months in delays because of the number of times they changed them, but they are a cross between a document with instructions and rubric type of information provided as to the information needed in each area. The 1-2 months in delays due to the SMR was solely Capella. My topic changed three times and my methodology three times, one of the topic changes was my fault, because I did not read a handout given to us that stated the the target areas your topic was supposed to be on. The second topic was going to be mixed methods based, and I had for the most part fleshed out most or it, but then Capella changed the rules where you had to do either qualitative or quantitative and education majors could no longer do mixed methods, which didn't cause me a huge delay, I only spent about a month or so getting everything switched over to do qualitative. So as far as Capella admin is concerned they might have cost me a quarter worth of time. Now for the other problems which is not Capella's fault in my book, is that my original mentor would not allow me to do my research in qualitative and wanted me to switch the methodology to quantitative, which wound up veering way from my second topic. After a quarter and half in the dissertation phase, I was getting prepared to finally submit my topic to the school, when my mentor quit in mid term of the second quarter and I was given a new mentor. The new mentor thought that my second topic was way to broad and needed further honing. So, I spent about 2 more months and finally after 2.5 quarters received topic approval from the school (Milestone 2). Then I fleshed out the rest of the SMR and received approval from the mentor one week later for the study (Milestone 3). Then it only took me about one quarter to get committee approval for the study (Milestone 4). After that my milestones sped up really quickly in 4 months I went from Milestone 4 being completed to Milestone 8 being completed (Milestone 8 - First two Chapters of the dissertation). Then I conducted the data gathering, analysis and wrote the last 3 chapters in about a 3 month time frame, and received Milestone 9 and then 10 two weeks after receiving 9, and it is then submitted to the school for review at Milestone 11. It took just shy of 5 months to get Milestone 11 approval, because the reviewer was 1) only checking 1 chapter at a time kicking it back with feedback and then having resubmit. 2) The next issue i had with Milestone 11 reviewer was that I felt she was having me add useless paragraphs that an English professor that was reviewing my dissertation prior to submission felt the same way. The school reviewer also kicked it back citing grammar and punctuation issues that again the English professor reviewing my dissertation for me did not agree with. Finally, she had me submit the markup of the English professor, and a week later the school reviewer was gone from the school, someone else reviewed my dissertation then I achieved milestone 11. After that Milestones 12-16 were attained in 5 weeks and I graduated. I do not hold Capella responsible for the original mentor that jumped ship or the school reviewer for my dissertation at milestone 11 who wanted to fight an English professor with over 30 years experience, as both of these individuals are no longer at Capella. Their PhD programs are not easy, you put into it what you get out of it, but you have to stay motivated you can't be spoon fed during the dissertation phase as you are supposed to be an independent researcher when you finish. .
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 have TWO Masters degrees from Capella. Both of my Masters are in Education with specializations in Enrollment Management and Training and Performance Improvement. The classes are twice as hard as a traditional brick and mortar college and I was highly pleased with how much research is required and how much I learned from every single class. Expect to write about 10 pages or so per week (between class discussions/responses and assignments). You will end up writing almost a full thesis in each class. It's obviously a lot more difficult than a traditional brick and mortar college, but you will learn a lot more and be more prepared. If you are looking for an easy degree, this is not it. If you do not participate then you are not going to do well. Unfortunately there are quite a few negative reviews, but I have not had a negative experience at all with this school. Everyone was friendly and all of the enrollment advisers and academic advisers provided the best of the best service. I have nothing negative to say about this college. If you do not want to work hard and expect an easy degree than you may not do well...but if you are willing to do the work, contact your adviser, contact the faculty, and actually take the degree seriously, then you shouldn't have a problem. My degrees are highly regarded and in line with traditional brick and mortar colleges of equal status. If you are not getting a job in your area I wouldn't be blaming the school since there are graduates from states schools in the same position. Some professions and areas are just overly crowded and you may need to move to get a job in the area that you want. I was happy with my experience here and would definitely recommend this school to others. I am considering doing a doctorate, but have not decided at this time since in my area openings for Faculty are few and far between and unless I move, I most likely will not be able to secure a job as a full time faculty (even if I graduated from an Ivy League college) simply because there are no openings. That's why it's important to be open to relocating since you may not be able to get your dream job in your city if there are no openings and too many applicants applying. At my local city college they typically hire PhDs and people with Harvard MBAs because there are so many applicants that they can take the cream of the crop. That means that people from state colleges and other colleges tend to get overlooked simply because there are no openings, not because their degree is bad. I have had a good experience here in the classes I've taken and definitely hope that others will as well.
I did NOT graduate. I was a PhD student. The dissertation phase is broken up into milestones. I negotiated the first few milestones with what I consider appropriate amount of time devoted. Then came the actual writing of my dissertation. After the second deferral I told my advisor that I felt the committee memeber who was deferring my paper would never pass me through the milestone. Two years later and milestone approvals from other committee members and the one obstructionist committee member never approved my paper. $100k in debt and an offer of a masters degree. I absolutely do not recommend this school. In fact, Ive actively steered people away from the school. It was a good learning experience until the dissertation phase. I found the committee member to be bullying and obstructionist. Their advisor(s) kept minimizing my concerns with each deferral. The dissertation phase was just a Capella created hole that you fill with money. If a PhD is what you want, go to a school that also has a brick and mortar program.
I am currently enrolled with this school and have been attending since January 2017. Since starting at Capella I have many stumbling blocks that have caused me to drop or fail a few classes. Each and every time I have stumbled, Capella has picked me up, dusted me off and sent me right back down the right path. As a working nurse with 40+ hours spent at my office weekly, I would not have been able to attend a local school. Capella make it so easy to continue working and spending time with my family, while still being able to attend classes to further my degree. This is a wonderful school with amazing academic counselors, knowledgeable instructors, a user friendly online format and many choices of academic programs. Thanks Capella for making my career goals achievable!
Beyond accessibility and the conveniences for working students, the program challenged my boundaries of intellectual output. I learned to be more objective in responding to life and business by first learning to accept and then developing an instructors eye for knowledge. This aspect forced me to determine whether to conform to get the grade or to develop. I chose to allow the training to develop me for the future. This is a great program for the innovative rising professional.