(PODCAST) Discussing competency-based education with Amy Laitinen

June 2, 2015

Today’s podcast is with Amy Laitinen, Deputy Director at the New America Foundation. Those in the competency-based education space are probably familiar with Amy as she has spent a lot of time working on CBE at the Department of Education and New America.  A few years ago, she wrote a paper called, “Cracking the Credit Hour,” which helped set the stage for regulatory momentum surrounding competency-based education and innovative education models, like FlexPath.

Amy Laitinen, New America Foundation Deputy Director

In the podcast, Amy and I talk about her upbringing, her time at Teach for America, her progression into working on policy aimed to help alleviate poverty, and ultimately, her work in higher education. We discuss the opportunities and challenges with competency-based education and federal regulation surrounding those programs. Amy also shares her insights on the importance and difficulty in obtaining hard data for student outcomes in higher ed and her advocacy for student-unit records.

I hope you find the conversation as interesting as I did. We had to end the call after about 20 minutes, but I plan to have her back again in the fall. Take a listen here.


Post/View Comments (no responses) ››

Are You a Game Changer?

May 29, 2015

Today’s guest post is by Julie Smolich, vice president and general manager of the College of Business, Technology, and Undergraduate Studies.

Yesterday, I was honored to attend the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 18th Annual Women in Business Awards. The event, held in downtown Minneapolis, celebrated the contributions and successes of 50 influential businesswomen and featured Capella University’s Executive Dean of External Relations and Partnerships and Dean Emeritus, Barbara Butts Williams, Ph.D. as the keynote speaker.

Barbara Butts Williams, Ph.D. speaking at the Women in Business Awards.

Barbara Butts Williams, Ph.D. speaking at the Women in Business Awards.

Barbara’s speech was inspiring—she shared her personal journey growing up in a working class family and the impact it has had on her life and career. She challenged women to be “game changers” and encouraged the honorees to continue to support each other to create a community where women can succeed. She reminded women to speak up in the workplace and take charge of their career path, “Don’t let others define your value; they’ll always underestimate your worth.”

Knowing Barbara professionally and personally for many years, I was delighted to celebrate her extraordinary talents—her many contributions to the Minneapolis/St. Paul community are unwavering.

Capella leaders at the Awards lunch.

Capella leaders at the Awards lunch.

Several colleagues also attended to support and cheer on Barbara during the event, including:

  • Capella President, Scott Kinney
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Mary Miller
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Pete Ramstad
  • Vice President and General Manager, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Jennifer Hoff
  • Vice President and General Counsel, Renee Jackson
  • Vice President of Learner Services and Operations, Tonia Teasley
  • Dean, School of Undergraduate Studies, Genevieve Feliu
  • Dean of Technology, School of Business and Technology, Sue Talley
  • Director of Employer Solutions, Rebecca Miller


The social media conversation taking place during the event was quite inspiring. Take a peek at the celebratory #MSPBJwomen stories here.

Tweet. Share. Connect.

Post/View Comments (no responses) ››

(PODCAST) Kati Kleber, BSN, on how she became “nursey”

May 26, 2015

I recently spoke with Kati Kleber, BSN, a critical care nurse who is very active on social media, has a blog http://www.nurseeyeroll.com/ and recently wrote a book called Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Your Patients and Yourself. This month, Kati also teamed up with Capella to promote nurse education and leadership at the National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition in San Diego.

Kati Kleber, BSN

On today’s podcast, Kati and I had a thoughtful conversation about her background, the challenges that nurses face, and the role of social media in nursing. She also gives her advice for new nurses and nurses who are thinking about earning or working toward completing their BSN. Check it out here.


Post/View Comments (no responses) ››

President Scott Kinney interviews recent FlexPath graduates

May 21, 2015

One of the best parts of my job is hearing learners’ stories and educational journeys. Capella’s mission is to extend access to high quality programs to adults who seek to maximize their personal and professional potential. Hearing from learners about the impact that their education has had on their careers and lives is inspirational and it’s why we go to work every day.

March 2015, FlexPath Graduates

March 2015, FlexPath Graduates

Recently, Capella University President Scott Kinney sat down with four FlexPath graduates, Tapitha, John, Tracy and Jacob, to learn more about them and to get their take on our competency-based, direct-assessment program. Their stories and insight about the program are compelling. In this video series, the graduates talk about why they chose FlexPath, the support they received, how that has affected their career and their advice for students considering the program. Check out the video series here.

Learn more about Tapitha, John, Tracy and Jacob on the Education Matters Podcast.

Post/View Comments (no responses) ››

(PODCAST) Presidential Management Fellow Mike Horgen

May 18, 2015

I have some motivation lined up for you in today’s podcast. I had the chance to speak with Capella MPA graduate (and current DPA learner) Mike Horgen. Just last year, Mike was accepted into the competitive Presidential Management Fellows Program.

Mike Horgen_Podcast

For those of you who might not be familiar, the Presidential Management Fellows program is a flagship leadership development program at the entry level for advanced degree candidates. It was created more than three decades ago by Executive Order and is designed to develop a cadre of potential government leaders.

Mike is from Minnesota originally, and is currently working at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C. We spoke about his experience at Capella, the process of applying for and being selected as a Presidential Management Fellow, and his time at the Treasury. Mike also shares some motivational advice for Capella learners and gives a few tips on how to achieve the next step in your career. I hope you enjoy the conversation.


Post/View Comments (no responses) ››
← Older posts Newer posts →