• Report: #159988

Complaint Review: Capella University

  • Submitted: Sat, October 08, 2005
  • Updated: Thu, June 12, 2008

  • Reported By:92688 California
Capella University
225 South 6th Street, 9th Floor Minneapolis, Minnesota U.S.A.

Capella University ripoff discrimination scam incompetent instructors bogus degrees lawsuit diploma mill. these goons and thugs are all participants in retaliating against a student for speaking out about their incompetence Minneapolis Minnesota

*Consumer Comment: Kurt Linberg, Capella University "Dean" Caught Lying

*Consumer Comment: Mr. LaMarca Found NOT Disabled by Court

*Consumer Comment: Capella Lawsuit DISMISSED!!!

*Consumer Comment: Lawsuit Dismissed

*Consumer Comment: Lawsuit Dismissed

*Consumer Suggestion: Anyone else notice that only the for-profit school's graduates have a need to defend their degree?

*Consumer Suggestion: STOP ATTENDING ALL THESE JUNK ON LINE SCHOOLS AND YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED

*Consumer Comment: Accreditation--what counts

*Consumer Comment: Capella University lacks AACSB Accreditation

*Consumer Comment: Capella University Remains a Scam

*Consumer Comment: Universities with Online Programs

*Consumer Comment: Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

*Consumer Comment: Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

*Consumer Comment: Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

*Consumer Comment: Capella University

*Consumer Comment: Capella Rip-off

*Consumer Comment: Comment

*Consumer Suggestion: Assistive Technology

*Consumer Comment: No Problems Here

*Consumer Comment: No Problems Here

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A lawsuit has been filed in United States District Court against Capella University on charges of:

* Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act failure to accommodate (due to the incompetent design of WebCT)

* Violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act retaliation

* Unruh Civil Rights Act

* Violation of California Education Code, Section 94367

Some of the officials mentioned in this lawsuit include Capella's:

* Provost (Karen Viechnicki)

* Vice President, Chief Counsel, Shyster, and Secretary (Greg Thom)

* Dean for the School of Technology (Kurt Linberg)

* Disabilities Service Coordinator (Lisa Bromenshenkel)

* TS5150 Instructor (Diane Stottlemyer)

Stories about other Capella other jerks and liars from Capella (such as their President, Michael Offerman, has been sued before he was quoted in that case as having threatened a teacher with the following:

"Offerman told her that in order to avoid dismissal she needed to either write out and sign a statement outlining what she knew about the new business or resign."

have been posted at:

http://www.capellauniversity.org.

Besides the fact that these goons and thugs are all participants in retaliating against a student for speaking out about their incompetence, it needs to be noted that the instructor at the heart of the matter is the illustrious Diane Stottlemyer a charlatan who bought her graduate degrees from another diploma mill Lacrosse University. Not only has Capella been aware of this fact for several years, and allowed her to continue teaching, but Capella jerks and liars continue to refer to her as Dr. Diane Stottlemyer. The most recent example occurred when Kurt Linberg consistently referred to her with this bogus title while he was under investigation by a Federal Law Enforcement Agency. Further details about Capella University charlatan, Diane Stottlemyer may be found at:

http://www.capellauniversity.org/stottlemyer.html

This story has also been picked up by the Chronicle of Higher Education at

http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i49/49a03301.htm

It is also important to note that the International community is also picking up this important story due to Capella's intentional discrimination against students with disabilities and the well-known fact that Capella uses WebCT Vista a program that is not accessible. Support is now coming in from Finland:

to Australia:

http://teachandlearnonline.blogspot.com/2005/09/lawsuit-forces-web2-learning.html

Not surprisingly, in response to the Australian blog article, mentioned above, the attorney for the case against Capella noted that:

Your article was fascinating! I would be interested in being contacted by anyone with a disability who has experienced accessibility problems with any type of online learning platform. I am the attorney who is representing Jeffry La Marca in his lawsuit against Capella. I know there are others with disabilities, especially visual impairments, that have encountered difficulty with their online learning experiences. Please feel free to share these experiences with me. I can be reached by email at rjtlawfirm@yahoo.com.

If you've been subjected to blatant discrimination by Capella, be sure to contact Mr. Russell Thomas, Esq. today!

Before spending your life savings to be abused by incompetent instructors and subjected to blatant discriminatin at Capella, do your homework first - you may not like what you find!

Go to a Real School
Forget Distance Education, Minnesota
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/08/2005 02:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Capella-University/Minneapolis-Minnesota-55402/Capella-University-ripoff-discrimination-scam-incompetent-instructors-bogus-degrees-lawsui-159988. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Kurt Linberg, Capella University "Dean" Caught Lying

AUTHOR: Capella University Liars - (U.S.A.)

In a signed declaration, Kurt Linberg, one of Capella University's Executive Directors (Capella-speak for Dean) stated that Capella University relied upon the [faulty] decision of a Federal law enforcement agency (which conducted a shoddy investigation into the illegal actions of the university) before he helped to throw a student our of their school without any due process.

Not only that but, in addition to abusing and subsequently lying to Federal law enforcement agencies about that matter, Kurt Linberg then admitted in a declaration signed under penalty of perjury that,

"Kurt Linberg stated - "There was an internal meeting [at Capella University] to determine what we should do with communicating these results to [the student]. The -- and what we decided to do was not communicate until we officially had the OCR [United States Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights] report findings back to us."

The student's attorney then asked Linberg if that - "Has it ever been communicated to him [the student], as far as you know?"

Kurt Linberg replied - "I don't know."

This may be found here:

http://www.capellafacts.org/images/2007_Linberg_Deposition.pdf

Clearly, Linberg and Capella based their acts of retaliation against a student on an incompetent investigation by OCR, but also after they thought they could get away with their refusal to provide that student with any due process. Linberg has now been caught in his own lies as a result of a series of e-mails between Kurt Linberg and other Capella employees (which Capella refused to turn over to that student, along with countless other records required under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act [FERPA]) which has just been discovered. There is no question that Linberg not only KNEW that the student had been had disenrolled (Capella-speak for expelled) but that the student was NEVER to be told about Capella's vile actions. One of those e-mails states:

"From: Ragozzino, Kris [Kris Ragozzino]
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2005 5:24 PM
To: Kerns, Colin [Colin Kerns]; Thompson, Joanne [Joanne Thompson]
Cc: Linberg, Kurt [Kurt Linberg]
Subject: FW: Disenrollment

Please update this learner's record so that the disenrollment date is 1-3-05 as stated in Kurt's email below. The learner should NOT be notified regarding this change in disenrollment. The reason should be "Suspended" and a note should be added in the Terminate Student Remarks notes field next to the withdrawal/separation date (in the drill down) stating Reason: Failure to adhere to the conditions established post academic suspension.

Thanks [Kris Ragozzino]

This e-mail may be viewed here:

http://www.capellafacts.org/images/2005_01_18.pdf

Due to Capella University's ongoing intentional refusal to abide by FERPA, the United States Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office has already found Capella in violation, on TEN COUNTS, for their failure to abide by that Federal law, and Capella University remains under investigation, nearly four years after the initial FERPA request was made, for their continuing refusal to abide by the law. Under FERPA, all schools have just forty-five days to produce records demanded under that Act. Four YEARS later, Capella still won't comply. BTW, Capella's very own vice chairman, external university initiatives and former President, Michael Offerman was personally notified about Capella's ongoing FERPA violations and, even though Offerman bragged, at press conference at the National Press Club, given as part of his grossly insincere Transparency by Design initiative, that his school has the courage to do the right thing, the fact remains Offerman is not only a liar but that Capella University continues to refuse to abide by Federal laws.

Finally, it needs to be mentioned that many of Capella's attorneys, including but not necessarily limited to: Greg Thom (Capella's Chief Counsel and Congressional Lobbyist), Priscilla McNulty (one of Greg Thom's underlings), along with two attorneys from the law firm of Drinker Biddle & Reath, Henry Christian L'Orange (aka, H. Christian L'Orange and Chris L'Orange) and Stella Fey Epling have lied about Capella's refusal to abide by FERPA to Federal law enforcement agencies and/or in signed declarations (again, submitted under penalty of perjury) to Federal Courts.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Mr. LaMarca Found NOT Disabled by Court

AUTHOR: Michael - (U.S.A.)

The person who is going by the name of 'Truth', 'Jeff', 'Gary' and 'Margaret' is the same one who is responsible for all of the Capella-hate posts all over the internet.

Not only was his lawsuit dismissed, the court found that:

He is NOT disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information you can find the entire 50 page report on the court ruling at Pacer.
Look for LaMarca v. Capella. This is public information.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Capella Lawsuit DISMISSED!!!

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)

Case Against Capella Dismissed - (2007-11-21)

All charges brought against Capella University by a former learner were dismissed on Monday, November 19, 2007, in United States District Court for the Central District of California. The court found that Capella did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and provided adequate accommodations to Jeffry La Marca. Capella has consistently denied Mr. La Marca's allegations.

Capella has brought counterclaims against Mr. La Marca alleging defamation and interference with business relations. He attempted to have Capella's counterclaim dismissed, but was unsuccessful at the district court level. That decision is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Lawsuit Dismissed

AUTHOR: Tm - (U.S.A.)

It was announced today, November 21, 2007, that the lawsuit referred to on the Ripoff Report website has been dismissed.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Lawsuit Dismissed

AUTHOR: Tm - (U.S.A.)

It was announced today, November 21, 2007, that the lawsuit referred to on the Ripoff Report website has been dismissed.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Anyone else notice that only the for-profit school's graduates have a need to defend their degree?

AUTHOR: Lexithor - (U.S.A.)

Anyone else notice that only the for-profit school's graduates have a need to defend their degree? Even people I know with community college degrees don't have to argue that they are valid. The biggest issue for a for-profit is that they accept anyone. There are no real admissions. This is not acceptable for a Masters level degree let alone a phD. There is a reason all other phD's see this is being a horrible school. They worked their butts off for 6 years and sacrificed a lot. Now a school comes along and is willing to issue you a paper that says you have a phD in as little as 2 years and you don't even have to do a dissertation in some cases or publish anything?

The phD is much different. And yes, all schools have problems, but I don't see any students from a public school like Penn State or University of Texas having to defend their degree, even if it is an online degree.

If you can for one second tell me that a phD from an online is equivalent to offline, that is just plain out funny. A phD is about doing intense research under the supervision of an advisor who you meet with regularly IN PERSON. It is about understanding a missing hole in the field of study and becoming an expert in it, and informing the public on your findings. This means geniune research both qualitative and quantitative.

Its not about taking money from someone in exchange to be accepted to a phD program and then just giving you classes (thats the other funny thing is that there is an outline for the classes, most phDs are all individualized after the second year).

I would love to see some publications and dissertations from the for-profits.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

STOP ATTENDING ALL THESE JUNK ON LINE SCHOOLS AND YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED

AUTHOR: Margaret - (U.S.A.)

STOP ATTENDING ALL THESE JUNK ON LINE SCHOOLS AND YOUR PROBLEMS WILL BE SOLVED
All brick & morter colleges and community colleges offer on line classes now at reasonable state tuition rates. If everyone would just stop this Bull$#*& of attending these rip off places of higher education, you would not be getting yourselves in a financial bind, or having these rip off companies trying to ruin your credit. Then UOP, AXIA, STRAYER, CAPELLA, and who ever else Jon Doe for profit schools will close up shop and be gone for good!

These on line schools are a 100% rip off. I have taken a few on line classes through one of my local community college's and I am satisfied to know that its 100% accredited and transferable to any 4 year university, no questions asked.

Please everyone, stop giving yourself a heartache
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#8 Consumer Comment

Accreditation--what counts

AUTHOR: Archer Girl - (U.S.A.)

You are correct that Capella does not hold the ACCSB Accreditation. But it is important to know the difference between the various acceditations out there.

First, Capella does hold accreditation. In fact, it holds the same accreditation as many universities within the state of Minnesota. Capella is accreditated by the The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). When you apply for a job, and that company requires you to have a degree from an accreditated university--this is more than likely what they are talking about--a REGIONAL accreditation. If you go to the NCA website, you'll see MANY, MANY, MANY universities that hold this. It is difficult to get. This isn't just handed out to any school.

However, it is important to note for your own professional goals--if your future company is requiring that you earn a degree from a school that has a specific accreditation that applies to your field--ask. Capella (and all other schools) are not going to say "Sure, we have that!" when they don't. AACSB (from my understanding) is for business schools--mainly those that offer MBA's. Does that make Capella's MBA program "under par"? I don't think so--but that's my opinion. You may think otherwise. If you don't like the program--go somewhere else.

The bottom line is that you make your own decision from your own informed opinions.
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#9 Consumer Comment

Capella University lacks AACSB Accreditation

AUTHOR: Gary-gary - (U.S.A.)

Defenders of Capella University repeatedly state that the school is "accredited." Strictly speaking, that is not true. The professional accrediting association for schools with business programs is the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). Capella lacks AACSB accreditation.

sorry, allowing you to give a competitors name would instigate others to just file against their competition, to only come back later to suggest their company your comments on this policy are welcome! CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#10 Consumer Comment

Capella University Remains a Scam

AUTHOR: Truth - (U.S.A.)

Ray is a prime example of the defensive, immature Capella student who lashes out at anyone who points out the corruption at Capella University. The fact remains that Capella's Financial Aid Director was just put on leave for accepting kickbacks and the United States Department of Education, Office of the Inspector General continues to audit Capella for not returning taxpayer money. Capella has been trying to obtain accreditation from the APA for years and still can't get it.


Even big business is now shunning the for-profit diploma mills. For example, Intel has just seen the light and will no longer fund employees who want to attend sub-standard schools like Capella.
Capella remains a 4th rate school that only exists to make money.
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#11 Consumer Comment

Universities with Online Programs

AUTHOR: Ray - (U.S.A.)

"Ray's personal attacks that are off topic to the Capella University Rip-off Report are typical of the unprofessional behavior that you'll find at Capella University."
- Submitting a rebuttal in regards to a person who is suing and being sued by Capella is off-topic? Court cases involving Jeffrey Lamarca are available to the general public. The original author of this ripoffreport was the first to mention Jeffrey LaMarca.

http://www.webaim.org/discussion/mail_message.php?id=7053 <-- This is a website that discusses web accessibility and is in response to Jeffrey LaMarca's post about disability accommodation. The website also has resources for those who are in need of such accommodation.

"Ray's personal attacks that are off topic to the Capella University Rip-off Report are typical of the unprofessional behavior that you'll find at Capella University."

- Are you engaging in personal attacks against me?

"What Ray doesn't tell you is that the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article (January 2007) entitled, "Employers Often Distrust Online Degrees" that compares schools, such as Capella University, to diploma mills. In fact, that article states:"

- Capella University is Regionally Accredited and Professionally Accredited. Should employers distrust Penn State, Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, University of London. They all offer online degrees and/or certificates.

"She mentioned several universities that raise red flags for her when she sees them on rsums, including Capella University, an accredited for-profit online institution, and the University of Phoenix, an accredited for-profit institution that has both classroom and online programs."

- Are you going by the word of one human resource employee? These online universities, including Capella University and NorthCentral University, have partnerships and collaborations with the United States military, government agencies, and prominent fortune 500 corporations.
Online universities are

"In addition, Capella University has also been trying to obtain accreditation from the American Psychological Association for years and yet they just "withdrew" their application. Not only that, but Capella has also been unable to obtain accreditation from other significant professional organizations too."

- They withdrew because their programs are new.
Once they fully satisfy APA's requirements for accreditation application, they may apply. Were you not aware of that? Contact the American Psychological Association.

- Capella's Voluntary Withdrawl does not affect their relationship with APA. When you do a google search, enter "APA accreditation and capella university". You will find the following:

- "Capella University's Dr. Nancy A. Piotrowski Named President-Elect Of APA Division 50 On Addictions."

- "PhD Graduate From Capella University To Present At APA Convention"

- "Capella University faculty member John Gonsiorek has been named a consulting editor to the APA"

"She mentioned several universities that raise red flags for her when she sees them on rsums, including Capella University, an accredited for-profit online institution, and the University of Phoenix, an accredited for-profit institution that has both classroom and online programs."

- Our men and women of the armed forces earn regionally accredited degrees through online universities such as Capella, Walden, and NCU. There are soldiers serving in IRAQ who are online instructors and students.
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#12 Consumer Comment

Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

AUTHOR: Truth - (U.S.A.)

Ray's personal attacks that are off topic to the Capella University Rip-off Report are typical of the unprofessional behavior that you'll find at Capella University. What Ray doesn't tell you is that the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article (January 2007) entitled, "Employers Often Distrust Online Degrees" that compares schools, such as Capella University, to diploma mills. In fact, that article states:

"Silvia Guzman, regional human-resources manager for ProTec Building Services, likens online degrees to diploma mills or institutions that advertise on career Web sites promising to help you earn a degree in a year.

"The online degree is not weighed as heavily as a traditional degree," says Ms. Guzman, who hires people for a range of positions, including publishing, administration, and building engineering. "It's almost like, oh, you're purchasing a degree."

She mentioned several universities that raise red flags for her when she sees them on rsums, including Capella University, an accredited for-profit online institution, and the University of Phoenix, an accredited for-profit institution that has both classroom and online programs."

Do a Google search for the article - it's not hard to find.

In addition, Capella University has also been trying to obtain accreditation from the American Psychological Association for years and yet they just "withdrew" their application. Not only that, but Capella has also been unable to obtain accreditation from other significant professional organizations too.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

AUTHOR: Truth - (U.S.A.)

Ray's personal attacks that are off topic to the Capella University Rip-off Report are typical of the unprofessional behavior that you'll find at Capella University. What Ray doesn't tell you is that the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article (January 2007) entitled, "Employers Often Distrust Online Degrees" that compares schools, such as Capella University, to diploma mills. In fact, that article states:

"Silvia Guzman, regional human-resources manager for ProTec Building Services, likens online degrees to diploma mills or institutions that advertise on career Web sites promising to help you earn a degree in a year.

"The online degree is not weighed as heavily as a traditional degree," says Ms. Guzman, who hires people for a range of positions, including publishing, administration, and building engineering. "It's almost like, oh, you're purchasing a degree."

She mentioned several universities that raise red flags for her when she sees them on rsums, including Capella University, an accredited for-profit online institution, and the University of Phoenix, an accredited for-profit institution that has both classroom and online programs."

Do a Google search for the article - it's not hard to find.

In addition, Capella University has also been trying to obtain accreditation from the American Psychological Association for years and yet they just "withdrew" their application. Not only that, but Capella has also been unable to obtain accreditation from other significant professional organizations too.
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#14 Consumer Comment

Capella University Compared to Diploma Mill

AUTHOR: Truth - (U.S.A.)

Ray's personal attacks that are off topic to the Capella University Rip-off Report are typical of the unprofessional behavior that you'll find at Capella University. What Ray doesn't tell you is that the Chronicle of Higher Education recently published an article (January 2007) entitled, "Employers Often Distrust Online Degrees" that compares schools, such as Capella University, to diploma mills. In fact, that article states:

"Silvia Guzman, regional human-resources manager for ProTec Building Services, likens online degrees to diploma mills or institutions that advertise on career Web sites promising to help you earn a degree in a year.

"The online degree is not weighed as heavily as a traditional degree," says Ms. Guzman, who hires people for a range of positions, including publishing, administration, and building engineering. "It's almost like, oh, you're purchasing a degree."

She mentioned several universities that raise red flags for her when she sees them on rsums, including Capella University, an accredited for-profit online institution, and the University of Phoenix, an accredited for-profit institution that has both classroom and online programs."

Do a Google search for the article - it's not hard to find.

In addition, Capella University has also been trying to obtain accreditation from the American Psychological Association for years and yet they just "withdrew" their application. Not only that, but Capella has also been unable to obtain accreditation from other significant professional organizations too.
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#15 Consumer Comment

Capella University

AUTHOR: Ray - (U.S.A.)

"Wow, I can't believe all of the things that are posted about how horrible Capella University is."

- Mr Truth or Mr Forget Distance Education. A person by the name of Jeffrey LaMarca may go by several aliases in different internet forums. I believe he works for Soka University. This is public knowledge by the way. He spreads negative publicity in much the same pattern as you do.

"The latest news about their Financial Aid Director receiving kickbacks and the investigation against them by the US Dept. of Education, Office of the Inspector General is pretty disturbing."

- You should review cases against Harvard University. However, this does will not dampen the quality of their programs and the students.

"Who cares if Capella is regionally accredited."

- Those who are enrolled in the program and Law Enforcement officers and Military officers who are giving their life to protect you. Those who are desire to get ahead in their lives. Students who are raising children and want a better life.

"They can't seem to get accredited by other organizations."

- Wrong. " The American Counseling Association's Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP) has accredited Capella's mental health counseling and marital, couple and family counseling/therapy specializations in the School of Human Services. " (http://www.capella.edu/about_capella/accreditation.aspx)

"I also read where they let anyone into their undergraduate programs."

- Many on-campus regionally accredited colleges and universities have open admission policies. If the students are capable of completing the program, they will. Many European Universities will accepted students unconditionally into their undergraduate program. If the student is able to complete the program, let him prove it.

"What a joke"

- Not to Ph.D graduate and mother of two
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#16 Consumer Comment

Capella Rip-off

AUTHOR: Truth - (U.S.A.)

Wow, I can't believe all of the things that are posted about how horrible Capella University is. The latest news about their Financial Aid Director receiving kickbacks and the investigation against them by the US Dept. of Education, Office of the Inspector General is pretty disturbing.

Who cares if Capella is regionally accredited. They can't seem to get accredited by other organizations. I also read where they let anyone into their undergraduate programs. What a joke.
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#17 Consumer Comment

Comment

AUTHOR: Karren - (U.S.A.)

Ray-
this was very informative. Thanks!
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#18 Consumer Suggestion

Assistive Technology

AUTHOR: Ray - (U.S.A.)

Here are some resources that may assist a person who is learning online.

http://www.assistivetech.com/prod-hardw-index.htm

http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm?

The person suing for reasons of accommidation, could have sought the help of organizations that defend the rights of people with disabilites. However, his websites do not promote assistive technology for the disabled ,in a positive light.

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/w3c-wai-ig/2005JulSep/0162.html

Instead, they focus on criticizing a university, faculty, and staff. This is counter-productive, and could lead a university to file a countersuit.

http://www.capellauniversity.org

He could have used his web design talents to create programs that will connect elearning and accommidation for the disabled. There are many individuals who have talents for computer science. A team could have developed open source software for this purpose. Its already being done.

Student and University should work together for a common goal. If the person who originated the lawsuit took a different approach, a positive activist for the student community could have emerged.

This rebuttal was written by a grad student who has a learning disability and never needed accommidation. Me :). I have many years of experience in distance education. At my workplace, I accommidated high functioning people who have disabilities, like myself.


Thank you for your time.
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#19 Consumer Comment

No Problems Here

AUTHOR: Karren - (U.S.A.)

I have enjoyed the time I have spent at Capella University in the MBA program. I would recommend this program!
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#20 Consumer Comment

No Problems Here

AUTHOR: Karren - (U.S.A.)

I have enjoyed the time I have spent at Capella University in the MBA program. I would recommend this program!
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