In March, the Department of Education published a “ dear colleague” letter providing clarity for higher education institutions looking to drive innovation through competency-based direct-assessment programs like FlexPath. The letter recognized the growing interest for programs that allow students to work at their own pace based on accomplishments rather than hours. In response, Capella submitted its program for review.“We are honored that the Department of Education has approved these programs. This exciting development will offer an important new option to the adult students we serve who are looking to earn a respected degree as efficiently and affordably as possible,” Kinney said. The FlexPath model provides a revolutionary step into more innovative approaches to higher education. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which accredits degree-granting institutions in the north-central region of the United States, approved the FlexPath programs in May. The FlexPath model allows Capella to focus on learning outcomes rather than time spent learning. In an era of free and open content, this is an important innovation that will help drive down costs for students while still making Capella University instruction available for those who will benefit from a more traditional approach. Faculty will remain at the heart of Capella’s FlexPath model as they provide feedback and guidance for students working to demonstrate and master competencies. The true success of this innovative model depends on rigorously articulated and well-developed competencies. Capella has an extensive record of developing and offering curricula that are competency-based. Capella will start enrolling new students in the FlexPath programs in October 2013. About Capella University Capella University ( www.capella.edu ) is a regionally accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing quality online degree programs for working adults. As of June 30, 2013, about 70 percent of Capella students were enrolled in master's or doctoral degree programs in business, counseling, education, health administration, homeland security, human resource management, human services, information technology, nonprofit management and leadership, nursing, psychology, public administration, public health, public safety, and social work. Capella also offers bachelor's degree programs in business, information technology, nursing, psychology, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 144 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 22 certificate programs. Approximately 36,000 learners were enrolled as of June 30, 2013, from all 50 states and 61 other countries. Capella is committed to providing high-caliber academic excellence and pursuing balanced business growth. Founded in 1993, Capella University is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA), headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552). Visit the Capella Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/CapellaUniversity. Follow Capella on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CapellaU. *Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA), www.ncahlc.org .Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552), www.capella.edu .