August 2, 2012
In response to the Star Tribune’s article on Senator Harkin’s recent report on private sector education, Capella University’s President Scott Kinney sent the following letter to the Star Tribune. The letter ran in today’s Star Tribune.
After report, putting Capella in context
The July 31 article “For-profit colleges blasted for dropouts” highlighted some aspects of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s report on private-sector education, but it also left out some important details as it relates to Capella University. As the president of Minneapolis-based Capella, I think it’s important to add some context.
Harkin’s report said that students attending Capella’s graduate programs fared well in key metrics such as completion rates and loan repayment. What the article did not point out is that more than 80 percent of the students we serve are in our graduate programs. The report also praised our recruiting practices and student support. Additionally, the data from the report are several years old and do not reflect the innovative advances we have made over the last two years.
The recent release of Gainful Employment data by the Department of Education also showed that Capella had some of the best, and in many cases the absolute best, ratings for earnings of graduates by program and loan-repayment rates. Clearly, our graduates are able to realize a strong return on their investment.
The employees and faculty at Capella deliver extremely well on our mission of providing high-quality, fully credentialed education to working adults who otherwise may lack adequate access. Evidence of this dedication was displayed in Minneapolis last weekend when more than 800 graduates and their families from around the country celebrated their accomplishment at our summer commencement.
SCOTT KINNEY; PRESIDENT, CAPELLA UNIVERSITY