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The University’s second Academic Annual Report examines issues and ideas that are facing the nation in higher education. By sharing information on academic progression, information literacy and student satisfaction, University of Phoenix is addressing the needs of its learners, as well as learning how it can continue to serve its students well.
What is the UOPX Academic report? The history, goals?
This Report gauges how well the University is doing in helping students academically, and gives insight into the University’s competitive edge within the higher academic community when compared to other institutions.
What methodology did you use to develop the UOPX 2009 Academic Report?
The methodology involves using key measures externally benchmarked from places like Educational Testing Service (ETS), explains Dr. Pepicello. The goal was not to use internal standards, but to use those that are common throughout higher education.
Can you share some of the 2009 Academic report key highlights and findings?
Because of an open admissions policy at the associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s level, UOPX students may be entering with skills that are somewhat lower than students attending other institutions. However, the Report shows that UOPX graduates make significant gains throughout their course of study and graduate at skill levels that are comparable to those at other institutions in the U.S.
What is different about the 2009 Academic report and the 2008 Academic report?
Because this is only the second year of publishing the Report, says Dr. Pepicello, it is difficult to see specific trends emerging. However, the 2009 Report is able to examine the future of higher education in general and to use that data in proposing new ideas that benefit higher education as a whole.
What are some of the key findings you observed about your students and the University?
UOPX students must balance work and life since they typically must pay for college on their own, are working full- or part-time, may be single parents or may be the first in the family to go to college. Dr. Pepicello explains that through the University’s support systems, these students are able to graduate at rates comparable to students who attend institutions that are more exclusive in nature.
Do you think it is important for Universities to share findings about their students and outcomes?
Dr. Pepicello believes that information sharing is important. He explains that although graduation/completion rates are one measure that is focused on, it’s not always a sole indicator of student success. It’s also important to know that those students have acquired the skills and content knowledge to make them successful once they graduate.
Has this report proactively helped you and the University shape or reshape your vision ? If so, how?
The Report has made it clear to Dr. Pepicello and the rest of the University, that its students are not typically coming straight out of high school and are not looking for the traditional campus-based college experience. Therefore, the University has created systems and curriculum that address these specific needs. The First-Year Sequence is an example of this approach.