Capella University and Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) Launch New Professional Development Partnership That Creates a Pathway to Advanced Degrees for K-12 Educators

Partnership provides K-12 school districts and educators with standards-aligned professional development with outcome metrics that clearly demonstrate competencies to support student achievement

MINNEAPOLIS--()--Out of more than 1,300 studies analyzing the impact of teacher professional development on student achievement, only nine meet the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards and were found to have an impact on student achievement. In response to this challenge, Capella University and Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) have launched a competency-based K-12 professional development partnership that clearly measures and supports the effectiveness of educators, and offers a more affordable pathway to graduate degrees for teachers. Capella University ( is an accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing high quality online degree programs for working adults. KDS ( is a leading provider of blended model strategic professional development for K-12 school districts and educators.

This new partnership provides a comprehensive online and blended model of professional development that significantly lowers the cost and time required to achieve effective teacher professional development.

KDS has found that when implementing a professional development program for a school district of 5,000 educators, it can take more than 5 years and cost more than $6 million to reach teachers district-wide. By combining KDS’ blended model approach with Capella’s expertise in online degree programs, school districts and educators can now improve classroom instruction and measure results in as little as 12 weeks at nearly half the cost. In addition, educators can qualify to earn credit towards advanced degrees.

The need for effective teacher professional development is also illustrated by a recent report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, which indicates that the vast majority of teacher education programs are not adequately preparing future teachers.

“After years of teacher evaluations, school districts are finding that accountability alone does not move the bar to improve student achievement – teachers need a comprehensive system of support to improve practice and help students learn,” said KDS CEO Alvin Crawford. “Together, KDS and Capella now offer a continuum of support that provides both teachers and principals with competency-based professional development to better meet the needs of students today and support educators’ career paths.”

Select KDS courses are now aligned with Capella’s Master of Science in Education online degree programs and are eligible for credit, including the KDS courses “Motivating & Engaging Students” by Dr. Robert J. Marzano and Debra Pickering, “Common Core State Standards in Math, Grades 3-8” by Tim Kanold and Diane Briars, Charlotte Danielson’s “A Framework for Teaching,” and “Becoming a Culturally Responsive Teacher” by Gary Howard, and more.

“With this program, educators can improve their teaching effectiveness while advancing their careers,” said Capella University President Scott Kinney. “Research has shown that teachers who receive substantial professional development can boost their students’ achievement by about 21 percentile points. Capella’s competency-based approach, combined with the high quality of KDS courses, helps ensure that what educators learn is effectively mapped to these high standards.”

KDS courses provide up to 50 hours of instruction on specific curricula, engaging teachers in active learning so they can quickly apply what they learn in their classrooms. Teachers also receive individual coaching and feedback. Courses include robust pre- and post-assessments so administrators and teachers can track progress towards goals.

Select KDS courses qualify for four quarter credits from Capella University, with a maximum of 12 credits eligible to be applied towards Capella degree programs. Teachers who take approved KDS courses can save up to $3,000 towards an advanced degree at Capella. The full list of Capella-approved KDS courses can be found at

About Capella University
Capella University ( is an accredited online university* that has built its reputation by providing quality online degree programs for working adults. About 75 percent of Capella students are currently 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 145 graduate and undergraduate specializations and 22 certificate programs. More than 36,000 learners were enrolled as of March 31, 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, headquartered in Minneapolis. For more information, please visit or call 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552).

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*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA),
Capella University, Capella Tower, 225 South Sixth Street, Ninth Floor, Minneapolis, MN 55402, 1.888.CAPELLA (227.3552),

Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS)
Knowledge Delivery Systems (KDS) is a leading provider of blended model and online strategic professional development, state certification, master's degree programs, and career advancement for school districts, educators and administrators nationwide.

KDS works with leading school districts to provide comprehensive blended PD solutions. Hundreds of thousands of educators have taken KDS courses. KDS's diverse library of research-based and relevant courses, presented by today´s top industry experts, impart key strategies, tools and knowledge to enrich and improve the educational experience and have had significant impact on teacher effectiveness and student performance.


Capella University
Michael Walsh, 612-977-5661


Capella University
Michael Walsh, 612-977-5661