Online Education: University of Phoenix

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The following is one in an ongoing series of articles exploring the various online educational opportunities available for today’s college students.

I must confess that when I first began to delve into the various online education programs out there, I wasn’t all that impressed. As someone who spent days, nights and even some weekends taking college classes at brick and mortar institutions of higher learning, I had my doubts that the online variety of education had much to offer. I wondered to myself how students could learn as well from their personal computers as they could from a classroom, whether instructors were certified or knowledgeable enough about their courses and how online degrees would be received by companies who would be hiring these grads.

Industry Pioneer: University of Phoenix

online-educationFor its part, the University of Phoenix (UoP) has done an admirable job of bringing online education to the masses. In fact, the for-profit university’s program is so successful that it is by far the largest private university in the United States. Approximately 400,000 students are currently enrolled with a significant number being educated overseas.

Owned by the Apollo Group, UoP got started in 1976, many years before the online learning revolution. From the outset, UoP focused on returning college students in a bid to serve what they felt was an under served group of students. Once the internet became a force in the mid-1990s, UoP expanded to reach students who wanted an option to attending classes located at campuses in more than forty states, allowing students to enroll and take classes on their schedule.

Nationally Accredited With Program Specific Accreditation Too

Of the many different online programs out there, I would have to say that UoP offers the most degree programs of any. Last I checked, that number topped one hundred, awarding degrees on the associate, bachelor, graduate and even on the doctorate level. UoP is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA).

Various other UoP programs including Nursing, Business, Teaching and Counseling are accredited by the proper, nationally recognized accrediting agency. No matter what school you plan to attend, you want to make sure that course curricula is fully accredited by the appropriate agency. Visit the U.S. Department of Education website to learn which schools on your list are accredited and by which agency.

Older Students, More Females Enrolled

According to UoP, 63% of its students are female, in many cases are women who are attempting to balance work, home responsibilities and education. The average student is in their mid-30s with just over half describing themselves as white (Caucasian) with significant representation by blacks and Latinos.

All UoP faculty members have Masters or Doctorate degrees with some 1500 core faculty members and as many as 20,000 associate or adjunct faculty. According to Wikipedia, “Students spend 20 to 24 hours with an instructor during each course, compared with about 40 hours at a traditional university. The university also requires students to work on projects for four or five hours per week in what it calls learning teams, wherein students engage classmates in course material discussions.”

Many UoP students receive compensation from their employers to take their classes. Generally, UoP’s tuition costs are higher than the typical university, something prospective students should weigh if considering enrolling.

More Information: University of Phoenix

Adv. –  Prospective students considering enrolling in online courses, should perform due diligence to make sure that the program of study is everything they need it to be. Schools should be accredited, courses relevant to degree program and financial aid options should be available. To help you succeed, please visit our online education page to help you build a better future!

Photo Credit: Jay

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Categories: Online Education