Capella University was established by Stephen Shank, who formerly served as the CEO for the Tonka Corporation, with the intention of providing an educational outlet for a diverse group of students who could attend courses from anywhere in the world. After laying down the financial groundwork in 1991, Shank and Dr. Harold Abel formed the Graduate School of America in 1993. The school initially operated as an online university, providing only master's and doctoral degrees in management, education and human services. However, that initial number has expanded in recent years to include a diverse range of academic courses. Today, the school also goes by the name Capella University.
According to its mission statement, Capella University exists "to extend access to high quality bachelor's, master's, doctoral and certificate programs for adults who seek to maximize their personal and professional potential. This mission is fulfilled through innovative programs that are responsive to the needs of adult learners and involve active, engaging, challenging and relevant learning experiences offered in a variety of delivery modes."
Those living in student housing or an off campus apartment at Capella University have access to the school's versatile academic programs and fields of study. Students may pursue degrees through the schools of Business and Technology, Education, Undergraduate Studies, Public Service Leadership and Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
Student living and university living at Capella University revolve around online-based learning experiences, informative sessions and community events. The student body and faculty is scattered throughout the U.S. and in several countries around the world. The school is also heavily involved with many philanthropic and community-building events in affiliation with groups like Habitat for Humanity, the Red Cross and Meals on Wheels.
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