University of Phoenix has appeared in the latest U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings, which recognizes the University as a top performer in social mobility. The rankings compared data from 439 institutions and awarded University of Phoenix a place on the list based on its graduation rates and graduation rate performance for Pell Grant students
. The graduation rates demonstrate the University’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB).
The rankings recognize University of Phoenix social mobility efforts alongside other universities, including Arizona State University, Immaculata University, Roosevelt University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northern Illinois University, the University of South Alabama, Touro University and Georgia Southern University.
A Flexible, Adaptable DEIB Higher Education
University of Phoenix stands out from other universities by offering flexible, adaptable online degrees. The University serves working adults and other nontraditional learners by ensuring these individuals can access a high-quality education regardless of their work, and other life commitments.
Given its students’ variety of needs, the University undertakes various efforts to maintain a DEIB learning environment for student success. One of its most recent efforts involved establishing the President’s Advisory Council on DEIB in 2021. This Council comprises six working groups that form a cross-functional, representative body that develops and promotes strategies that encourage:
- A sense of belonging for all
- Diversity of thought, experiences and culture
Over half of University of Phoenix students report as ethnic minorities. While nearly 60 percent report as first-generation college attendees, approximately 64 percent have dependents, and 7 out of 10 are women. The University upholds a sense of responsibility to identify its working adult students’ backgrounds and understand the provisions they need to thrive in their programs.
University of Phoenix’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer John Woods, Ph.D. has explained that the University aims to provide students with access to higher education opportunities so they can acquire the knowledge and skills they need to pursue their professional goals. The University strives for equitable access and equitable success in its efforts across all disciplines and operations, which span from student support resources to faculty training and curriculum design that reflects the University’s diverse student body.
University of Phoenix’s Office of Educational Equity (OEE)
In line with its responsibility to ensure offerings align with student backgrounds and needs, University of Phoenix’s Office of Educational Equity (OEE) leads internal and external initiatives that encourage understanding and inclusive practices in the University.
Some of these initiatives include:
- The monthly Educational Equity webinar series, which shares thought-provoking conversations about equity and inclusion in the University, workplace and community
- The Inclusive Café, a virtual space for staff to connect and have compassionate discussions on topics related to diverse perspectives
- The Inclusive Leadership Summit and Career Fair, which, in April 2022, welcomed 1,415 participants from 22 countries. The free event allowed attendees to develop inclusive leadership skills and network with potential employers. The University used research findings from its Career Institute® and Research Centers to select topics to address at the Summit.
The OEE also works with departments across the University (like the Center for Workplace and Diversity Inclusion Research) as well as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to develop services and programs that progress appreciation for and understanding of diverse perspectives.
On top of this, the OEE provides support and accessibility resources for the University’s students, alumni, alliances and wider community.
Shaping Degree Programs for Evolving Workforce Needs
University of Phoenix is acutely aware of evolving workforce needs and shapes its degree programs so that students can develop workplace-relevant, practical skills. The latest shifts in workforce needs are apparent in the University’s Career Optimism Index® study, which explores employers’ growing recognition of skills that students can often obtain without a degree and gaps for workers that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated.
Given that employers in several industries are starting to seek candidates who can offer practical skills, University of Phoenix has introduced a skills-mapping element to its curriculums. Students can now earn digital badges to provide evidence of their practical skills, which they can showcase on the LinkedIn to share their achievements with their networks and potential employers.
University of Phoenix also recruits instructors who have first-hand experience in the relevant subject areas. Rather than simply bringing an advanced degree to the classroom, these instructors have undergone extensive careers in their fields. They’re working professionals, and the University encourages them to stay up to date in their professions by participating in scholarly activities so they can bridge the gap between theory and practice. These instructors help students hone the real-world skills that they, too, need to flourish in their careers.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix dedicates itself to furthering the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners while assisting students as they navigate the career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs align with a vast selection of in-demand careers including career paths in cybersecurity to those in nursing and business. They also offer flexible start dates, online classes and numerous scholarship opportunities. Additionally, University of Phoenix’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides the resources needed to help students prepare for entering the workforce at no additional charge. These handy resources include resume and interview support, career guidance, and education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit www.phoenix.edu.