Capella at 20: Changing Education, Changing Lives

January 28, 2013

In honor of Capella’s 20th anniversary this year, we have asked some of our past graduates to reflect on their experiences at Capella and share what they are doing now. The following is from Kathryn Calisto, a 2007 MS in Educational Psychology graduate and current Ph.D. learner.

Kathryn Calisto at the 2007 Minneapolis commencement with her husband

Kathryn Calisto at the 2007 Minneapolis commencement with her husband

When I first started Capella, it was much smaller. What I found interesting was how much Capella has evolved over the years, and how it really was ahead of its time in terms of the popularity of online education. When I first joined Capella, the public mindset was that online education was inferior to traditional brick-and-mortar education. Over the years, that has changed tremendously—now, people don’t even bat an eye when hearing the words “online education.”

Going to Capella was the most rewarding experience of my life in terms of how I became a much deeper thinker, a better writer, and I further refined my time management skills. On a personal level, what made it particularly special to me was meeting my husband at my first colloquia. We started our Capella journey the same year (2003), supported each other, and were able to graduate together, side-by-side. From there, we continued on the Ph.D. journey and hope to both graduate together again this year. I am currently a research assistant in higher education and also teach as an adjunct. I was able to switch careers as a result of my degree from Capella. Further, the courses challenged me to become a much more critical thinker in life.

We are pleased to introduce another accomplished Capella graduate. The following is from Dr. Craig Dossman, Sr., who shares his Capella experience in his own words:

Craig Dossman, PhD

Craig Dossman, PhD

“After completing my MSW, I had this driving passion to reach the pinnacle of my educational experience by pursuing a PhD. Working as a full-time mental health therapist for Santa Clara County, I found it both challenging and difficult to continue on my career path and attend school on a regular basis. I meticulously scrutinized every online educational program as well as their academic standing among the other traditional educational programs. My first concern was that the school must have an excellent academic program. I was concerned that the university be accredited by a well known educational organization.

On every requirement; Capella University not only met my expectations, but went beyond. I believe that in order to have a great university you must have an excellent curriculum and qualified professors who are committed to the goals and aspirations of the program. Capella University simply stood out as having the best program for my needs. My experience with Capella University has been life changing. I specialized in the area of Counseling Studies, which provided practical training and competencies when working with my clients. The program is rigorous, but the knowledge obtained was enormous. In my opinion, I have attended several major educational institutions in America, but Capella University is without rivals when it comes to their excellent curriculum and committed professors. Since I have completed my studies at Capella University, I have seen my annual salary go from $70,000 to $125,000. I would say to anyone who is considering an excellent educational program, Capella University is your choice.”

"2 Responses to "Capella at 20: Changing Education, Changing Lives"

  1. Irina says:

    Thank you. My family has been mlatiiry for years- My dad, my husband, brother friends we have lost some~To see the love, thought and care and the honor and respect you all showed to the fallen brought me to tears. Thank you again for sharing- and giving us a glimpse into what was a Moving day. Be safe.

  2. Steve Schneider, Ph.D. says:

    I know I am a bit late in joining this discussion. However, I was talking with another faculty member about the changes we have seen in our career’s with the university. Capella at 20 years-old has been a great benefit to our learners. I thought it was important that people know faculty have and continue to benefit as well. Being on the psychology faculty for almost 15 years, I remember when we were “The Graduate School of America.” The one constant over the years has been change.

    While some changes have been harder than others, they all led to positive outcomes. The changing economy, increasing competition, and simply having more experience as a university all led to an overall better experience for our learners. I feel the changes have been positive for faculty; not all, but overall.

    No matter where we work, we could complain about any number of things. However, Capella is not only the best university I have been with, it is the most customer and employee centered organization. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, but those are the times I focus on how fortunate we all are, and adapt to whatever changes are put into place.

    I would like to end with a message to administration; the people who made drastic changes that initially caused much anxiety and frustration: “Thank you.”

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