(Alexandria, VA and Minneapolis, MN), September 7, 2005 – The American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) and Capella University , a leading online university, recently partnered to identify the perceptions of senior learning executives about the role of online higher education in corporate learning. The article, "Online Higher Education and Corporate Learning" by Chuck Trierweiler of Capella University and Ray Rivera of ASTD, explains the findings in the September issue of ASTD's Training + Development ( T+D ) magazine.

In the study, 151 learning executives were asked 12 questions concerning online higher education, defined as "educational opportunities including degree and training programs provided by accredited colleges and universities, either entirely or partially, via the Internet."

Key findings from the study include:

  • Eighty-one percent of respondents believe the role of online higher education will increase or stay the same in their company within the next two to three years. Only two percent believe online higher education will decline.
  • Survey respondents saw several benefits in using online higher education as part of their corporate learning strategy. Increasing the range of learning opportunities provided to employees and increasing employee satisfaction and retention were cited by respondents as the top two driving forces for businesses' use of online higher education.
  • The top-ranked influencing factors for selecting an online higher education provider were accreditation, reputation/credibility, and cost, all of which can indicate the quality of an institution.
  • Online degree programs are gaining greater credibility. Nearly half of all respondents indicated that an online degree is as valuable or almost as valuable as a degree from a land-based institution.
  • There's still considerable potential for companies to expand their use of online higher education. When asked what percentage of their company's tuition reimbursement spending goes toward higher education programs, respondents indicated that on average, 85 percent of spending goes to traditional land-based universities, 10 percent goes to blended instruction, and five percent to online-only.

"There is a great opportunity for online higher education providers to partner with corporations to serve the learning needs of key employee groups," says Chuck Trierweiler, director of marketing for Capella University and co-author of the study.

"The survey results indicate that online higher education providers should make content customization and alignment a standard feature of their relationships with corporate clients," says Ray Rivera, research analyst at ASTD and co-author of the study.

The full report is available at www.astd.org and http://www.capella.edu (http://www.capella.edu/inc/pdf/ASTD_Capella_OnlineHigherEd_Report.pdf). The full article, "Online Higher Education and Corporate Learning" from the September issue of ASTD's T+D magazine, can be found at www.store.astd.org .

About ASTD
ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world's largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD's 70,000 members and associates come from more than 100 countries and thousands of organizations – multinational corporations, medium-sized and small businesses, government, academia, consulting firms, and product and service suppliers.

ASTD marks its beginning in 1944 when the organization held its first annual conference. In recent years, ASTD has widened the industry's focus to connect learning and performance to measurable results, and is a sought-after voice on critical public policy issues. For more information, visit www.astd.org .

About Capella University
Founded in 1993, Capella University is an accredited * online academic institution that offers graduate degree programs in business, information technology, education, human services and psychology, plus a Bachelor of Science with 10 specializations in business and information technology. The university currently serves nearly 13,000 enrolled learners from all 50 states and 55 countries. Central to Capella's approach are achievement-oriented learners, expert faculty, and a university staff that is passionate about each individual's success. Capella is a national leader in online education, committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company, headquartered in Minneapolis . For more information, visit www.capella.edu or call 1-888-CAPELLA (227-3552).

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, located at 30 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60602-2504, (312) 263-0456, www.ncahigherlearningcommission.org.