In 1927, Navy veteran Eugene H. Rietzke founded Capitol Technology University in Washington, D.C., as the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute. Initially, the institute served to educate radio and electronics technicians, and later with growing popularity, it started offering other areas of study related to engineering and technology. As the school evolved, it underwent several name and location changes before moving to Laurel, MD. Campus in 1980 and settling on the current name Capitol Technology University in 2014. Thanks to its strong leadership, Capitol Tech has grown into an MHEC-accredited, bustling academic community offering graduate and undergraduate degrees.
Led by its President, Dr. Bradford L. Sims, Capitol Technology University is a private, independent university offering 26 Bachelor’s, 21 Master’s, and 32 Doctoral degree options in a variety of STEM-based subject areas. Every program at the university focuses on helping students develop practical and modern skills that will make them valuable assets for their employers. Its most popular study program is its acclaimed Cyber and Information Security major, which has received several honors, including the 2020 S.C. Media Award for Best Cybersecurity Higher Education Program. It also has expertly designed Construction Management & Critical Infrastructure Programs, which help students prepare for lucrative careers in the industry. The career-focused university provides two unique promises for eligible students–the Chargers Assistance Program (CAP), which promises to assist students with paying off loans if their post-graduation income is under $50,000, and the Capitol Commitment, which offers to fund up to 36 additional academic credits for students who do not find employment within 90 days of graduation.
A Technology-Obsessed Leader
Dr. Bradford L. Sims joined Capitol Technology University in 2017 as its eighth president. An educator, administrator, and construction project manager, Dr. Sims has a massive experience in academia and in numerous career industries.
Dr. Sims was introduced to computer programming at a very young age when he received a Commodore 64 as a birthday gift. Soon after completing his Bachelor’s degree in Building Construction Management from Purdue University, he spent significant time in project management for industrial construction companies. His technical knowledge provided him with the opportunity to not only oversee projects but to have involvement in managing the computer systems at each company he served. Later, he returned to the University of Florida to pursue his Master of Science in Building Construction and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Purdue. These studies eventually led Dr. Sims to his first position in the higher education industry as an assistant professor at the University of Florida. Later, he worked in various positions in the higher education industry before joining Capitol.
Setting High Standards
Capitol Technology University sets itself apart by helping students find their careers immediately after graduation. The university has partnerships with major government agencies like the NSA, allowing its students to build career connections quickly. It hires faculty members who not only have brilliant minds and a passion for teaching, but have worked in the industry and can show students what their future employers could look for. Additionally, Capitol’s programs are developed on the base of the current STEM career industry, and each subject area was designed to meet the specific demands of the job market.
Tackling the Pandemic
Although Covid-19 made it very difficult for many colleges and universities to operate in person, leading to a decline in enrollment, Capitol was already well-positioned to tackle the pandemic due to its existing robust online learning infrastructure.
“While we missed the lively on-campus presence of our undergraduate students during 2020, we successfully continued operations virtually and maintained the same level of quality and excellence that our community expects.”- Dr. Sims said.
Helping Students Build Great Careers
Since its foundation in 1927, Capitol’s primary mission has been to provide its students with great careers. What has changed is the university’s commitment to offering its education at advanced degree levels and the delivery methods of several of its degrees. During the late 1990s, Capitol Tech was one of the leaders in converting its Master’s degrees to online delivery, which helped it to reach a much wider audience of full-time working students. Later it added an online doctoral degree to serve working students who wanted to continue their education. Initially, the online experience was a synchronous 16-week semester. However, to meet the current student needs, synchronous delivery has migrated to asynchronous delivery with the addition of 8-week courses.
Preparing for the Future
As a career-focused university, Capitol will continue to look at the future needs of the industries it serves and add new degree programs and certifications to fill that market demand. Capitol Tech works closely and has many partnerships with associations, companies, government agencies, and government subcontractors and uses many full-time industry employees to instruct in classes both on campus and online, ensuring that the university stays active in current and future industry needs across the United States and internationally.