The mission of University of Phoenix is to provide access to higher education opportunities that enable students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals, improve the performance of their organizations and provide leadership and service to their communities.
The vision of University of Phoenix is to be recognized as the most trusted provider of career-relevant higher education for working adults. The University will earn that trust through our:
Deep understanding of students’ needs
Deep understanding of employers’ needs
World-class assessment, analytics and innovation
Our guiding principles
We believe that our students:
Deserve quality academic programs that are career-relevant and are offered by an accredited institution.
Should be supported by qualified staff and faculty, as well as by University efforts to help aid them on the path to graduation.
Should be the singular reason we continue to advance the quality, career-relevance and convenience of our academic programs.
Are entitled to transparency so they can make informed choices about their educational and financial future.
Should have the freedom and ability to choose the educational institution that best meets their needs.
We believe that as an institution, we should:
Ensure we are valuing students’ time and money.
Market responsibly and demonstrate integrity in all of our materials, exposures and engagements.
Collaborate with employers, public or government officials and regulators, researchers and peer institutions to enhance the experiences and outcomes for our students.
Be accountable to our students, our regulators and the general public for delivering skills, knowledge and opportunities through our educational programs.
Maintain financial stability as a measure of accountability to students, a means to provide for the long-term viability of our programs, and an indicator of our ability to invest in the student experience.
Defining the curve
From our earliest beginnings as the University that changed higher education, University of Phoenix has embraced innovation.
Whether we’re aligning programs to the real-world skills valued by employers or awarding badges students have earned to help them showcase their achievements right away, we’re not just ahead of the curve — we’re defining the curve.
Scroll through the slides to find out how.
We’re closing the gap between the classroom and the workplace by aligning degrees and courses to skills employers want. More than 85% of our programs open for new enrollment were skills-mapped as of May 2022.
Our students can demonstrate the skills they are learning in coursework by sharing new digital badges on their resumés, social media channels and digital platforms as proof of learning for potential employers, current employers and colleagues.
With digital diplomas, our new graduates are empowered to celebrate their achievements immediately on social media, digital platforms and job boards. Plus, digital diplomas can be independently validated by future employers and licensing agencies.
Career Services for Life®
In 2021, we remained committed to offering our students and graduates Career Services for Life. Career advising with one-on-one coaching, resumé building and interview prep is offered to students and graduates at no additional cost.
Savings Explorer™ tool
Using the Savings Explorer, prospective students can quickly, and without any cost, explore how their work, life and school experiences might give them a jump start on their degree.
Career assessment interest tool
With this online tool, prospective students can explore potential careers — and see how their interests align with real-world careers and the degree programs that can help them with the educational groundwork to pursue such careers.
With competency-based education (CBE) programs, working professionals can leverage their experience to earn a quality degree while making the most of their time and money. By the end of FY21, our CBE programs, which launched in 2020, had 208 graduates.
University highlights 2021
First CBE graduates
One year after launching competency-based programs, our first group of graduates had earned our fastest, most affordable degrees.
A pulse on career perceptions
To provide insights on workforce trends and identify solutions to support American careers, we published our first Career Optimism Index® study.
Aligning skills for the workplace
To further our emphasis on career-ready education, we launched a University-wide “skills-mapping” effort to align our degrees and courses to skills employers want.
Leading in online education
The University was recognized as an exemplary online education institution by UPCEA®, a leading organization supporting professional, continuing and online education.
To develop strategies that foster a diverse community, we developed the framework for the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Scholarship opportunities expand
To provide more scholarship opportunities, we uncapped our scholarships so that qualifying students can receive up to $3,000.
Advancing digital credentialing
To help students demonstrate career-relevant skills they’re learning, we introduced digital badges, which students can share on their resumés and digital platforms.
Continued cybersecurity excellence
For the third year in a row, we received the Academic Circle of Excellence Award from EC-Council®, the world’s largest cybersecurity certification body.
Digital diplomas launch
To enable students to show off their hard-earned degrees sooner, we introduced digital diplomas, which complement the physical diplomas students receive.
Career Services for Life® grows
Career coaching appointments have increased 148% — just one year since our Career Services for Life commitment launched in December 2020.
Our students are working moms and dads who study during lunch breaks and sports practices, who dream of better lives for their families.
They’re adult learners, late bloomers, dream-chasers and trailblazers. We understand the key to serving our students well is knowing who they are.
Phoenixes are as diverse as they are determined. Here’s who they are statistically.
Total Degreed Enrollment
of our students are women
is the average student age of new students
report as ethnic minorities
are first-generation college students
are employed while in school
Our students exceed expectations
University Learning Goals (ULGs) are a set of five overarching competencies that employers identify as top soft skills and that University of Phoenix incorporates into its academic programs. Students met or exceeded expectations for each of the following ULGs.
We value what our students say. One way we listen to them is through surveys.
Likely to recommend instructors to other students
Likely to recommend the University to colleague, friend or family
University of Phoenix founder Dr. John Sperling knew what it meant to beat the odds. He grew up poor, he battled a learning disability, and he worked his way through school to earn a PhD.
The challenges he faced inspired him to create a better path for students like him. He saw adult learners struggling with rigid class schedules, often taking six to 10 years to earn a degree. And it gave him a revolutionary idea: What if he created a university for working adults?
His experiment didn’t make earning a degree easier — only more practical, with schedules that made sense for working adults and coursework that translated immediately to the real world.
continuously accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org)
carry programmatic accreditation, an additional level of evaluation and quality assurance
Improving student outcomes
From academic counseling and tools that help students manage their finances to our Career Services for Life® commitment, here are some of the ways we help and support our students as they move toward their academic and career goals.
Our degrees come with career support — including access to career coaching, resumé building and interview prep. For life.
We are committed to helping students earn their degrees successfully, affordably and with predictable tuition.
Committed academic counselors
We offer the support students need from day one through day done. Our academic counselors work with students to develop personalized academic plans.
Centers for Writing and Mathematics Excellence
We understand how essential writing and math skills are for student success. We offer a variety of online tools, videos and resources.
We take seriously the role we play in providing resources to help our students manage their finances responsibly. We offer memberships to iGrad® at no additional cost.
iGrad is a registered trademark of iGrad Inc.
Life Resource Center
Our Life Resource Center offers access to clinical counseling services and life coaching — plus tips and skill-building resources for time management, housing options and more.
We offer self-paced workshops and one-click access to tutorials, tips, videos, and other academic and career-relevant content — as well as 24/7 access to our University Library.
In FY21, we offered disability accommodations to 11,088 students. Their 75.6% average 30-day retention rate was higher than that of students with disabilities who did not use accommodations.
Facebook® Study Sessions
We bring students together for connection, support and motivation through study sessions on the University of Phoenix Facebook® page.
Facebook is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc.
We listen to our students and faculty through surveys so that we can regularly improve our courses.
Virtual Student Union (VSU)
The VSU offers links and locations for academic support, involvement opportunities, career services and alumni resources.
Laptop Relief Program
In 2021, we provided laptops to 200 students in need. We also introduced a new option for students to purchase discounted laptops.
Saving students time and money
In FY21, University of Phoenix students saved over $102 million in tuition between discounts, scholarships and other savings. Here are some highlights:
approximate tuition saved through our Prior Learning Assessment
in monthly scholarship opportunities available to students
organizations whose employees were eligible for education benefits
students completed competency-based education degrees in 2021 in less than a year and for under $11k
in potential alumni savings for a bachelor’s degree ($2,200 on a master’s)
Responsible and appropriate borrowing
We offer extensive tools and resources before and after enrollment to help our students understand the different types of student loans and loan amounts that might be right for them.
For example, we offer memberships at no additional cost to the iGrad online money-management tool, which students can use to learn how to budget, save, minimize borrowing and understand future student loan payments.
Data helps us improve our understanding of how to support our students through the obstacles they face on the way to their degrees. It also reinforces what’s working.
For example, 2021 retention rates are measurably better in three of four categories when compared with the same data from three years ago. Our institutional bachelor’s retention rate is up more than 4.5 percentage points in that time frame, which spans the COVID-19 pandemic.
We believe students should be taught by accomplished professionals. Our faculty members average 27.6 years of career experience, and over 85% of our surveyed students would recommend their instructors to others.
University of Phoenix teaching experience in FY21 (on average)
A recipient of the 2021 Faculty of the Year Award, Kohli has a long affiliation with University of Phoenix. He was a member of the second graduating class, earning his MBA in 1983. He was working at Motorola at the time, and University of Phoenix was the only path to an MBA that worked with his busy life.
Our leadership team is deeply committed to helping adult learners reach their education and career goals through continuous innovation that evolves with advances in education, technology and the workplace.
Like many University of Phoenix students, Shammai Terry (MBA, 2020) didn’t pursue college on a traditional path. Though she started college straight out of high school, she subsequently started a family, took a break from school and, by the time she enrolled at the University as a 23-year-old, she was a single mom with a 3-year-old daughter and a 1-year-old son.
When he was a kid, Dennis Trujillo (MS/Global Management, 2003) could tell a plane was close just by looking at nearby bushes. “All the jackrabbits would scatter when the ground shook,” he says. Now approaching his 40th anniversary working first for McDonnell Douglas and now Boeing, Trujillo has used skills he gained in his degree on the international stage.
Coming from a neighborhood marked by violence and gang activity, Robinson (BSCPSS, 2018) survived numerous evictions, homelessness and abuse as he grew up. At one time, it was hard for Robinson to imagine graduating from high school, never mind college. Today, he remains committed to making a difference in his community.
With an interest in mental health born from instability in his childhood and the alarming trend in suicides among returning veterans, U.S. Army veteran Jake Clark (BA Management, 1995) went on to found Save a Warrior, an organization that helps military veterans and first responders cope with complex post-traumatic stress and suicidal ideation.
At University of Phoenix, we’ve long been focused on creating a diverse, equitable, inclusive and belonging (DEIB) environment.
To continue fostering DEIB initiatives, we:
Developed the framework for the President’s DEIB Advisory Council
Expanded our Inclusive Café, a biweekly virtual meeting to foster DEIB dialogue
Co-hosted a panel of DEIB leaders in collaboration with Chicago United, an organization dedicated to achieving parity in economic opportunity for people of color, to share strategies on the creation of more inclusive, equitable workplaces
University of Phoenix works with employers to create a range of tailored solutions to attract new talent, upskill and reskill existing talent, and retain high-performing talent.
Depending on employer needs, options can range from full degrees, competency-based education, six- to-eight-month role-aligned certificates, individual courses, apprenticeship pathways and skill-building workshops.
UOPX and Comcast form alliance to offer education benefits to employees
University of Phoenix and Comcast have an alliance that helps close the gap between workforce needs and employee goals through education benefits for employees.
The ultimate goal was for employees to see their potential, seek ways to enhance their career and pursue avenues for growth that mutually benefit both employees and employers. “We encourage employees to continue to grow themselves and use this time to find areas they are interested in,” says Dennis Mathew, regional senior vice president of Comcast’s Western New England Region.