Capella Education Company

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Capella Education Company
Type Public
Industry Education
Founders Stephen Shank
Headquarters Capella Tower
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Key people Kevin Gilligan, CEO
Services Online education
Employees 1,278 faculty[1]
Entrance to Capella Education Corporation headquarters at 225 South Sixth in Minneapolis

Capella Education Company is an education services holding company which owns for-profit, online Capella University and other assets.

What is now the Capella Education Company was founded in 1991 by Stephen Shank, former CEO of Tonka Corporation. In 1993, it opened The Graduate School of America (TGSA). In 1999, the company and university were renamed to their current, Capella Education Company and University. In 2003, the Company was named to Inc. magazine's Inc. 500 Hall of Fame after being named one of America's 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies for the fifth year in a row. Prior to going public the company raised more than $67 million from private investors, including Maveron.

On January 8, 2005, Capella Education Co. said it had two new investors following deals totaling more than $60 million.[2] The company announced its intentions to go public with an initial public offering in April 2005. It reported 2005 earnings of $10.2 million on sales of nearly $150 million. On November 9, 2006, it completed a public offering that raised $80 million.

In March 2008, Capella Education Co., longtime occupant the 225 South Sixth skyscraper in downtown Minneapolis, signed a new lease that will change the name of the building to Capella Tower. The expanded facility will house all of the company's 1,150 downtown Minneapolis employees Capella; as the online school does not have classrooms, the space houses administrative staff and faculty. The name change is scheduled to take place on March 2009.[3]

In July 2011, Capella Education Company acquired the UK based Resource Development International Ltd, gaining them access to the fast-growing international higher education market, with a significant presence in the UK and Commonwealth countries.[4][5]

Strategic Initiatives

Investing in actionable analytics capabilities to further leverage data, refine their models and accurately predict the likelihood of a prospective and new learner persisting to critical thresholds of success in the learner's first four quarters of enrollment;

Piloting programs to create personalized pathways for different learner groups which focus on transitioning learners into the online environment, creating a supportive community, and providing a proactive support structure;
Providing clear information near-real-time to learners, faculty, advisors and staff to help learners persist and successfully complete their programs;

Transitioning marketing approaches to increase emphasis on attracting learners who are more likely to persist in company programs;

Promoting affordability and encouraging learners to remain enrolled by offering learner success grants to new learners who meet admissions requirements, enroll, and apply within certain timeframes; and,

Diversifying outside of Capella University by creating innovative new learning technologies that have potential to increase affordability, and better serve the lifelong learning needs of working adult professionals and therefore increase learner success.[6]


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Capella Education Co (CPLA)". Retrieved 2008-10-22. 
  3. ^ Sam Black, Capella lease to rename 225 South Sixth, Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal, March 20, 2008.
  4. ^ Wall Street Journal Online Edition
  5. ^ Capella Education Company News Release
  6. ^ "10-Q SEC Edgar Filings". Retrieved 2012-11-27 CPLA.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]