Post views: 79
While 2020 was a challenging year in many ways, it also offered an opportunity for service, innovation, and equity. From faculty excellence to student affairs to community engagement, the University of Phoenix devoted its attention to support and excellence in difficult times.
While COVID-19 created many troubles, the University of Phoenix not only continued its mission of providing flexible higher education to its students, but also stepped up its efforts to provide resources. Learn how the University of Phoenix supported faculties, students, and the community in 2020.
With over 80 full-time teachers and 4,000 part-time lecturers, the University of Phoenix wanted to create an environment of constant improvement for their team even during a historic pandemic.
Equal opportunities and inclusion are part of the university’s mission to provide equal educational opportunities for all adult learners. For this reason, the University of Phoenix offered all of its employees and faculties a four-day diversity webinar entitled “Essential Conversations in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”. Thanks to its collaboration with the National Diversity Council, the University of Phoenix brought law enforcement, health professionals, and college leaders together for thoughtful and productive discussions about justice.
Nomination for the ATHENA Awards
The university’s commitment to the continuing education of its faculty is one way of creating a culture of excellence. In fact, Doris Savron, Vice Provincial Leader of the University of Phoenix’s Academic Colleges, was named a finalist in the Greater Phoenix Chamber’s ATHENA Awards.
The ATHENA Awards recognize outstanding business executives in the Phoenix area. As a vice rehearsal, Savron has spent over 20 years at the University of Phoenix, serving thousands of students each year. The university directors Kathryn Uhles, Sun Jones and Cheryl Naumann were also nominated for the ATHENA Awards. While the University of Phoenix faculty always strives for excellence, this recognition and honor was particularly deserved for their service during the pandemic.
The University of Phoenix believes in a student-centered approach to higher education. With a streamlined admissions process, flexible course times, and location-friendly courses, the University of Phoenix was in a unique position to support students in 2020.
When the pandemic started, students were particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of the quarantine. With this in mind, the University of Phoenix has promised its students funding and direct support through the CARES Act and distributed all funds from the CARES Act back to the students. While the education stabilization fund required at least 50% of the funds for student funding, the university distributed 100% of its funds to 3,201 students.
Aid ranged from $ 800 to $ 2,411 in federal aid to the students who had the biggest impact from the pandemic. This initiative supported students at the University of Phoenix who were single parents, first responders, and people at risk of unemployment. The additional funds provided university students with additional support in difficult times.
The University of Phoenix also felt a responsibility to support the careers and skills of American workers. In the face of a pandemic that resulted in an unstable job market, the University of Phoenix partnered with Woz Enterprise to launch a US Department of Labor’s registered apprenticeship program.
The aim of this training program is to train STEM students as part of the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) part-time. Participants earn a salary, gain work experience and work towards completing their studies. This approach not only speeds up student deadlines for graduation, it also prepares them with marketable skills and work experience that can provide a competitive advantage in a challenging job market.
Updates to the MHA degree
While additional student resources assisted learners in 2020, the University of Phoenix also realized that the new state of the world required a change in their available degree programs. Because of this, the university has updated its Master of Public Health program to address equity and health inequalities.
The College of Health Professions is now offering a Master of Public Health with a focus on Community Health Leadership. This new focus will help students learn how to address health inequalities in public health initiatives, especially for diverse and underserved communities. “There will continue to be an increasing need for a healthcare leader to address current and future health challenges and inequalities,” said Dr. Mark Johannsson, Dean of the College of Health Professions.
To support student demand for flexible online learning, the University of Phoenix’s College of Business and IT introduced an MBA in less than a year. The university’s new program enables students to complete a competency-based Master of Business Administration, which significantly speeds up the process for eligible students.
This new approach meant that the faculty measured student understanding not by quizzes or assessments, but by practical skills. As part of their course work, the students demonstrated how to develop solid business strategies and master difficult leadership challenges. The competency-based Master of Business Administration course is geared towards medium-sized companies and also offers students direct access to a mentor from the faculty who offers additional support.
“The competency-based MBA is ideal for medium-sized businesses who can use their experience and knowledge in business to demonstrate competencies to run their business in these unprecedented times,” said Kevin Wilhelmsen, dean of the university’s College of Business & Information Technology.
In addition to financial support and competence-based learning, the University of Phoenix also supported its students in 2020 with:
- Virtual first learning: The University of Phoenix offered students new, innovative approaches to education. In the wake of the pandemic, the university switched over 6,000 of its location-based students to online courses. This was largely out of necessity, although it also improved attendance and retention rates.
- Career readiness: The College of Business and IT has developed a skill mapping model for its MBA program. This allowed the university to link the programs to real-world occupations and the skills required for students to practice them.
- Virtual opening ceremonies: The University of Phoenix held its first-ever virtual opening ceremony in 2020. In September and December of that year, over 90,000 people voted to honor graduates’ accomplishments in a secure, virtual environment.
- Career Services for Life® Commitment: The University of Phoenix expanded its student resources in 2020 and offers career services to both students and graduates for life.
- Additional competency-based degrees: The University of Phoenix believes that professional success depends on practical skills and application possibilities. The university has introduced additional skills-based courses to help professionals complete their training and enter the job market more quickly.
- CAHME accreditationn: The university’s Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree received CAHME accreditation, making the University of Phoenix the first university in Arizona to receive this accreditation.
For the community
While navigating the changing environment of 2020 was challenging, the University of Phoenix realized that it could also serve the community by providing more resources and relevant study programs to its students. However, the university also acknowledged that more hands-on community programming would be key to curbing the negative effects of the pandemic on a wider scale.
For example, 25% of educators considered leaving their jobs during the pandemic. Faculty clearly needed additional support as schools switched to eLearning, which is why the University of Phoenix offered free courses for faculty from April to June 2020.
With more than 30 years of delivering successful online education, we feel compelled and urgently needed to share our knowledge in virtual teaching to help the K-12 educational community thrive in today’s new normal of distance learning “Said University of Phoenix provost John Woods.
Over 3,400 educators have signed up for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to help them get their classrooms online. Thanks to a collaboration with Blackboard, the University of Phoenix provided K-12 teachers with guidance on designing blueprints for virtual learning.
In addition to mentoring educators, the University of Phoenix also supported the community with initiatives such as:
- Veteran Supportive Campus certification: The Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services gives this designation to universities that meet the specific needs of military students.
- Community webinars: Virtual learning is a challenge even for digital natives. Because of this, the University of Phoenix has offered free webinars for parents, educators, and students to help them navigate the complexities of online schooling.
- Phoenix Scholar Equity Discussions: In order to advance the discussion about systemic racism and justice, the doctoral college has written a special edition of the Phoenix Scholar on reforming social justice.
Persevering through uncertainty
The University of Phoenix is a national leader in flexible higher education. Despite the 2020 pandemic, economic uncertainty and social unrest, the university has been able to support its faculty, students and the community. Since 1976, the University of Phoenix has adapted with the times, making education accessible to underserved communities and busy professionals. Though the future is never certain, the University of Phoenix thrived in uncertainty with its mindset of excellence and service. To learn more, visit www.phoenix.edu.