The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an unprecedented disruption in education, compelling institutions to adapt swiftly to remote learning to ensure the continuity of education. This crisis response, however, evolved into a transformative trend that reshaped pedagogical approaches, accelerated the adoption of technology, and highlighted the importance of equity and accessibility. The newfound flexibility and the blending of traditional and digital learning have paved the way for a new educational reality that combines the strengths of various modes of instruction. As the world moves forward, the lessons learned from this experience will continue to shape the future of education, emphasizing the need for adaptable and innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
Online learning institutes have emerged as a driving force in reshaping the educational sector. By breaking down barriers to accessibility, fostering flexible learning environments, offering personalized experiences, providing diverse course offerings, enabling collaborative learning, and supporting continuous skill development, these institutions have revolutionized the way education is approached and acquired. As technology continues to evolve, online learning is likely to play an even more significant role in addressing educational challenges and shaping the future of learning.
Capitol Technology University has adapted this innovative way of teaching and learning efficiently, and in recent years, it has emerged as a prime educational institute, making online learning mainstream.
America’s Premier University
Capitol Technology is the nation’s premier university for Science, Technology, Mathematics, and Engineering (STEM). Founded in 1927 by Eugene Rietzke as a correspondence school, Capitol has grown into a thriving educational institution that offers degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Capitol’s staff of expert educators made up of industry veterans who have a pulse on the current trends, culture, and demands of today’s workforce, prepare students to not only find a job but to excel as leaders in their fields. Its Cyber and Information Security program is among the best in the nation having received the 2020 SC Media Award for America’s Best Cybersecurity Program.
Capitol’s commitment to helping students find careers immediately upon graduation is one of the ways it sets itself apart from other institutions. It has numerous partnerships with major government agencies like the NSA, which allow students to build career connections with ease. Capitol makes sure to hire faculty members who not only have brilliant minds and a passion for teaching but who have worked in the industry and can show students exactly what future employers look for. Its Chargers Assistance Program and Capitol Commitment financial aid programs are testaments to its confidence that each student will graduate and enter a lucrative technology career in their desired field. Additionally, Capitol’s programs are developed based on the current STEM career industry, and each subject area was designed to meet the specific needs of the world’s job market. From the moment that students arrive at Capitol as freshmen, they are already in training for their dream careers.
Providing Robust Remote Learning Infrastructure
All of Capitol’s educators are industry professionals who excel in their fields and can guide students to do the same. Capitol Tech has always provided a robust remote learning infrastructure to ensure that all students can complete their coursework from anywhere and thrive in their educational experience. Capitol performs yearly assessments on the effectiveness of these programs and makes necessary changes to improve and enhance its offerings. With a dedicated Online Learning staff who diligently maintains the university’s online infrastructure and a team of world-class instructors, Capitol is well-equipped to serve students in an online format.
Making Online Learning Mainstream
Online students enjoy many of the same features as traditional on-campus students. Capitol has a Career Center with dedicated staff who are available to meet students by appointment, either in-person or virtually, to discuss job readiness, provide resume guidance, and help students prepare for interviews. Its Online Learning staff also provides technical assistance to virtual students and ensures that they can access all required course materials.
Building a Different Brand
Notable achievements and recognitions of Capitol Technology include:
- Capitol has a Student Success Center that offers peer-to-peer tutoring in a wide variety of subject areas. This service is available both on-campus and virtually.
- Capitol was named on the list of 10 Prominent Colleges in the USA by the publication CIO Views in 2022.
- Capitol was featured in Georgetown University’s prestigious 2022 ROI rankings list, which ranks over 4,000 colleges and universities based on their return on investment.
- Capitol was named one of the Most Military-Supportive Colleges in the VA Northeast District by MilitarySupportiveColleges.com for its educational benefits provided to military students and their families, as well as for its partnership with the Yellow Ribbon Program.
- Capitol Tech was designated by MilitaryFriendly.com as a Gold Level Military Friendly institution for several consecutive years for its services to military students and their families.
- Capitol Tech was recognized for having some of the best online master’s degree programs by OnlineMastersDegrees.org based on qualifiers such as counseling services, career guidance, student/faculty ratio, tuition cost, and more.
- Capitol Tech was named as one of the top NCAE- C Public and Private Four-Year Institutions for Cyber Bachelor’s Graduates from 2010 to 2020 by the Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET).
- Capitol Tech ranked within the top 8% of America’s best colleges on the Forbes “America’s Top Colleges” 2023 list.
Overcoming the Barriers of Online Education
Online students have both synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, allowing them the chance to speak with their instructors and peers “face-to-face” in the virtual classroom. Additionally, instructors employ many group projects and collaborative activities amongst the online population to ensure that they interact with their peers. Students in several of Capitol’s doctoral degree programs have the opportunity to come to campus annually to participate in the doctoral residency, where they can meet their instructors and peers in person.
Online students have the same resources as in-person students when it comes to career services. They can meet with Capitol expert career advisors virtually for all career-related guidance. Additionally, they can visit its online job board, which offers employment opportunities. Capitol also hosts a twice-yearly career conference and fair, which allows students to network with professionals and employers in their desired fields. While the event is mainly on-campus, there are numerous employers who attend completely virtually. Capitol also has a LinkedIn professional networking group that students can join in order to communicate with potential employers, learn of opportunities, and share information about their skillsets and career goals.
Because of Capitol’s long history of offering both virtual and in-person education, it has a sophisticated and thriving online education structure. All students are able to access its MyCapitol online portal, which contains a plethora of resources from instructors, career services professionals, and other key staff members. Its vast library has a great selection of titles on-campus, as well as many more available exclusively online.
Capable Faculty to Ensure Excellence
All Capitol faculty members not only have advanced degrees but are also industry veterans who have actively worked in the fields that they teach. Many of its adjuncts teach fully online and have research and other projects of their own that they are passionate about. Dr. William Butler, the Dean of Academic Affairs and cybersecurity educator won the SC Media Award for Best Cyber Educator in 2020. Many other faculty members also have awards and recognition for work they have done in their field.
Capitol executes yearly assessments based on the results of student surveys.
Capitol does not have scholarship options exclusively for online students. However, it has a very extensive list of scholarships available for all students, which offers many different opportunities for students attending both in-person and virtually to receive financial assistance.
A recent review from a sophomore user on Niche, a college search portal where Capitol has an active presence, said the following about its online program offerings:
“Online classes are very fun to attend. The professors are easy to reach and communicate with. Classes are interactive and often rely on the input of the students using online features such as polls, text chat, and screen sharing.”
Staying Current with Industry Trends
Capitol’s educators are constantly evolving in their fields and participating in professional development that keeps them current in the industry. They attend conferences, trainings, seminars, and more to stay up to date with trends and industry best practices. The instructors use the information they gain from these events to guide their curriculum development and teaching methods. Capitol’s Online Learning staff similarly stays abreast of industry trends and makes enhancements to Capitol’s online education infrastructure frequently.
Ensuring a Welcoming and Engaging Teaching Environment
Online learning presents unique challenges and opportunities for teachers and students. Teachers must be creative in providing a welcoming and engaging teaching environment. Virtual classrooms can be as engaging as live classrooms by implementing best practices for effective online learning, such as active learning and the “flipped classroom.” Disciplines such as computer science and cybersecurity require competency building and hands-on experiences, providing the knowledge and skills to succeed in their field.
Multiple cloud-based vendors provide vendor-managed virtual environments for learning with cutting-edge labs and real-world scenarios to work through. These virtual labs and scenarios can be linked to course objectives and outcomes, making meaningful assessment and continuous improvement possible. For example, students can write, execute, and test code or attack and defend virtual networks with advanced tools using virtual machines as targets. Competency-based learning is a growing movement within academia and the business world, producing a more competent workforce with demonstrable skills.
Capitol has a long list of industry partnerships and professional agreements with a diverse range of organizations and agencies. It collaborates with these groups to improve educational offerings and offer opportunities for students to grow both professionally and scholastically.