Strategic Education, Inc. STRA or SEI announced that Capella University is now offering a direct-assessment, competency-based Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program through its signature FlexPath.
The direct assessment format for DNP was approved by the Higher Learning Commission’s Institutional Actions Council earlier this year. Notably, Capella is the first among the 10 largest universities to offer DNP in this format.
The new format allows students to personalize their learning experience through customizing their schedule, setting deadlines, managing costs and leveraging work experience. The FlexPath format provides flexibility to students for making progress at their own pace, while balancing work and other responsibilities. Also, they can opt for one or two courses at a time during the coursework phase of the program. Encouragingly, students can complete as many courses as they want in 12 weeks for just one tuition fee, which makes it cost effective too.
Apart from DNP, Capella is also piloting a six-module non-degree leadership program — Nursing Leadership Development Series — at select employer partners to build a talent pool of nurse leaders that can lead at the highest levels within their organization. Notably, the series will involve video content from an online medical education company, Osmosis.
Continuous Innovation Aids SEI
Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for nurse leaders has become important in patient care. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for registered nurses is likely to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028. SEI keeps on investing in new programs and specializations to improve student outcomes. Precisely, Capella offers 50 programs and 132 specializations, along with bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.
Capella has always innovated on-demand programs for nurses. Importantly, the integration of FlexPath into doctoral nursing education will help organizations deliver high-quality, patient-centered care.
Markedly, SEI is one of the few universities with a competency-based learning model and direct assessment capabilities. FlexPath of Capella — one of the company’s fastest-growing programs — allows students to focus on leveraging their skills and knowledge gained during professional hours. Additionally, the model benefits students via providing lower tuition costs, reduced time to completion and increased flexibility.
FlexPath has been performing significantly well of late. For second-quarter 2020, Capella’s quarterly revenues grew 3.9% year over year backed by higher enrollment and revenue-per-student. Total enrollment at the university also grew 1% from the year-ago quarter. New and continuing student enrollment both increased 1% year over year. The upside was mainly driven by improved performance of FlexPath, which comprises 37% of Capella University’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees total enrollment.
However, shares of the company declined 41.3%, post its second-quarter 2020 earnings release on Jul 29. The Zacks Schools industry’s growth was 0.7% as of the same date. The downside was mainly caused by reduced enrollment and lower projections. The company noted that the impact of rising unemployment was largely seen at Strayer as a result of undergraduate student mix, including many first-time college students.
For the summer academic term, which represents Strayer’s third-quarter enrollment, it anticipates new student enrollment to be down 27% from the prior year and total enrollment to decline 0-1%. Overall, for the third quarter, the company expects both revenues and adjusted operating income to remain flat year over year.