University of Phoenix today announced key findings from its fourth
Academic Annual Report, illustrating its commitment to higher education
fueled by constant innovation. The report shows an increase in modified
graduation rates for associate students and positive student
satisfaction. University of Phoenix is consistently working to build
degree programs that directly address the shifting economic needs of a
skilled workforce and the academic challenges faced by working learners.
"Education must evolve to help students succeed in the 21st
century economy, and University of Phoenix is at the forefront of this
movement,” said Dr. William J. Pepicello, president of University of
Phoenix. "For more than three decades we have been drivers of innovation
within higher education by developing adaptive methodologies that help
our students achieve their educational and professional goals. This
Academic Annual Report is our own report card, providing a transparent
measurement of how well we are serving our students’ needs and guiding
our continuous improvement.”
Modified Graduation Rates: University of Phoenix’s degree
graduation rate is assessed by the federal government’s Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). The University modified
graduation rate, which takes into account the entire University student
body, is defined as the percentage of students who completed at least
three credits and went on to be degree-complete within 150 percent of
normal degree completion time. Data are collected on the number of
students entering the institution as degree-seeking students in a
particular cohort year.
University of Phoenix’s modified graduation rates for associate degrees
reported in 2011 were 34 percent for those graduating within three years
and 36 percent within four years, up from 32 percent and 35 percent,
respectively, reported in 2010. Bachelor’s degree modified graduation
rates declined from the 2010 Academic Annual Report to 31 percent for
students who graduate within six years and 33 percent within eight
years, both down by 3 percentage points in 2011. Most of the decline can
be attributed to an increase in the number of students transferring in
with zero credits.
At the master’s level, University of Phoenix’s modified graduation rate
is 60 percent for students who graduate within three years and 64
percent within four years.
The University noted that the IPEDS methodology is designed to assess
the progress of "traditional students” – those who go directly from high
school and study on campus. These "traditional students” make up only 27
percent of the undergraduate population. Working adults and
"non-traditional students” make up nearly three-fourths of the U.S.
undergraduate population and comprise the majority of the University’s
student body. IPEDS only considers "first-time” college students who
complete their entire college program at the same institution. However,
many University of Phoenix students enter the University with transfer
credits from other institutions.
Student Satisfaction: The University regularly conducts student
satisfaction surveys and uses the results to implement change within the
school. At the end of each course, the University surveys student
satisfaction with the University overall, their instructor, the feedback
the instructor provided, the curriculum, and their learning experience.
In surveys conducted for the 2011 academic year, using a 10-point scale,
students rated all five categories higher than an eight. Additionally, End-of-Program
Surveys indicate that students feel their experience at the
University was a positive one in all services. The University also uses
an external measure of student satisfaction, the National Survey of
Student Engagement (NSSE).
Information Literacy: Using the Standardized Assessment of
Information Literacy Skills (SAILS) methodology, University of Phoenix
senior students compared favorably to senior students at similar
institutions in all categories.
Academic Proficiency and Progress: University of Phoenix senior
students slightly underperformed senior students at other institutions,
according to the ETS® Proficiency Profile (EPP), which measures
students’ academic proficiency and progress.
Student Salary Increase: Many University of Phoenix students are
employed full time while enrolled. Internal research shows that
University of Phoenix students’ average annual salaries while they are
enrolled in their program of study increase at higher rates than the
overall national average salary increase.
In November 2010, a free University Orientation workshop was implemented
to ensure that students with limited prior college experience better
understand the time and effort required to be successful in University
programs prior to actually enrolling in the University. University
Orientation is three weeks long and delivered in the same format as
existing classes. Students must complete assignments in a manner similar
to the way they will be working in class. Of those who start University
Orientation, approximately 80 percent enroll in the University of
Phoenix, while approximately 20 percent opt out before incurring any
debt. Students who opt out are generally leaving with a positive
experience. For students who went through University Orientation and
then enrolled in the University, first-course completion rates were
higher than prior-year levels.
Some of this retention success can be attributed to the First-Year
Sequence. The First-Year Sequence was introduced in February 2010. The
First-Year Sequence was designed using a laddering approach to the
sequence of courses. Concepts and skills introduced in early classes are
reinforced with work in later classes.
Diversity: University of Phoenix’s student body remains diverse;
as an example, 18 percent are African American, compared to a national
average of 12 percent. Additionally, female students make up two-thirds
of the total enrollment at University of Phoenix, as opposed to a little
over half of the overall enrollment in colleges and universities
In addition, the University’s more than 35,000 faculty members are more
diverse than national averages for American colleges and universities.
One-third of University of Phoenix’s faculty is non-white. More than 18
percent of University of Phoenix’s faculty is African American, compared
to an average of over 6 percent at universities nationwide. Women now
make up more than half of University of Phoenix’s faculty. The
percentage of female faculty at University of Phoenix rose to 57 percent
in 2011 from almost 54 percent in 2010. In comparison, female faculty
members make up approximately 47 percent of the post-secondary
instructional population nationally.
University of Phoenix’s complete 2011 Academic Annual Report is
available at www.phoenix.edu/academicannualreport.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance
education and life in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules,
challenging courses and interactive learning can help students pursue
personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As
the flagship university of Apollo Group, Inc., University of Phoenix
serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s,
master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers
across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more
information, visit phoenix.edu.