Capella University, an Accredited Online University, Launches Online State-of-the-Art Research Center to Benefit Its Doctoral Re

Capella University, an accredited online university that has built its reputation by providing high quality online degree programs for working adults, has launched the Capella Research Center (http://capellaresearchcenter.org), which consolidates all Capella resources related to research ethics and the Institutional Review Board (IRB) into one convenient Web site. Nearly 34,000 students are pursuing an online degree at Capella University (http://www.capella.edu), with 33 percent enrolled in Capella’s doctoral degree programs, and 48 percent enrolled in Capella’s master’s degree programs.

Capella doctoral students who are conducting research for their dissertations will benefit most from the new site, but it will also be a valuable resource for dissertation mentors, faculty researchers, and other Capella students conducting research. Among the features of the site is an interactive tool created by Capella that allows researchers to easily determine which forms they need to submit for their IRB review process. The submission tool asks questions about the proposed research and then, based on the answers, generates a list of necessary forms and supporting documents that is automatically emailed to the researcher.

Many areas of the site will be publicly accessible, allowing potential research participants to learn about Capella’s Office of Research and Institutional Review Board and participants’ rights and responsibilities. The site will also be accessible to external IRBs with which Capella students may be working, or that represent schools or institutions that wish to include Capella students in their research.

State-of-the-art features
“In developing the Capella Research Center, we looked at state-of-the-art higher education research sites and then added other valuable features,” said Amy Donovan, PhD, Capella’s director of research and scholarship. “As an online university, we have access to on-site interactive expertise that many universities don’t, so our interactive tools and training modules are something many sites aren’t able to offer. In addition, we have consolidated information that previously was housed on various internal and external sites into one externally accessible site, making it easier for Capella researchers to find the information they need. The site is also intended to be a resource for people and institutions not affiliated with Capella, as a way to learn more about research at Capella—how it is regulated, what is required, and what we do to support our researchers—which can help inform their decision to participate in research.”

“We felt it was important to include basic resources for the research participant on our site as well,” added Jessica Hirsch, Capella’s human research protections specialist, who focuses on the rights of research participants. “Making the decision to participate in a research project can sometimes be an overwhelming and confusing process to research volunteers. The new research center provides resources and information regarding the rights of research participants and the regulations in place to protect them.”

About Capella University
Capella University is an accredited online university that has built its reputation by providing quality online degree programs for working adults. More than 80 percent of Capella students are currently enrolled in master’s or doctoral online degree programs in business, counseling, education, human services, information technology, nursing, psychology, public administration, public health, public safety, and social work. Capella also offers bachelor’s degree programs in business, information technology, nursing, psychology, public administration, and public safety. Within those areas, Capella currently offers 129 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 15 certificate programs. Nearly 34,000 learners were enrolled as of Dec. 31, 2009, from all 50 states and 52 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, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit http://www.capella.edu or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552).

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