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Capella Education Company Acquires Innovative Education Start-up Sophia

Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA), a provider of online post-secondary education primarily through its wholly owned subsidiary Capella University (, announced today that it has acquired the remaining interest in Sophia Learning, LLC ( ) – a first-of-its-kind social teaching and learning platform. In January 2011, Capella Education Company became a majority investor in Sophia, which provides tens of thousands of free credible academic tutorials in math, science, English and more, taught in a variety of ways.

“Over the last year, we have watched Sophia evolve from a promising start-up to a leader in social education and a valued resource for students and teachers,” said J. Kevin Gilligan, Capella's chief executive officer and chairman. “This investment is part of our long-term strategy for Capella. It aligns with Capella’s mission of extending access to education on a broad scale, puts critical tools in the hands of our learners and faculty to improve learning outcomes, and provides an innovative pathway to lower the cost of higher education. Additionally, Sophia provides us with a sandbox for innovation and experimentation in the key areas of social teaching and learning, assessment and adaptive learning.”

“Through this investment, we will be able to provide Sophia with the additional support and institutional resources it needs to become a key conduit for students seeking access to credible academic content offered at no cost,” Gilligan concluded.

Sophia launched in public beta in March 2011 and doubled the number of academic tutorials on the site in the first six months. The platform provides tens of thousands of lessons, organized by subject, that are rated for quality and evaluated for academic soundness. The site currently has users from over 170 countries, representing 5,000 schools and universities.

“Capella’s investment in Sophia allows us to continue our goal of providing students with access to many teachers offering many ways to learn,” said Steve Anastasi, interim CEO of Sophia. “We are meeting students where they are in the digital space by providing quality content at no cost in an ad-free environment. We are customizing education, one student at a time. With Capella as a partner, we will continue to innovate and make education affordable and accessible.”

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