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I’m proud to work at University of Phoenix because we make college accessible to hard-working students like you — moms and dads, soldiers, nurses, teachers, executive and all working professionals. Most of the country thinks of college students as recent high school graduates and not as working adults. I know that’s just not the reality. I always speak of you as adults, and I tell people that they have not met a college student until they spend time with a busy adult taking classes at University of Phoenix.
I know of your numerous sacrifices and the tough decisions you make to turn your educational dreams into a reality. Because of this, University of Phoenix is not a “one-size-fits-all” education. Your success as a student, including getting the support you need and working to develop your career, is a priority to me.
I am thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant time in the history of education. It’s a time of change where numerous challenging issues have presented themselves in the past few years. As educators, we must rise to the challenge and continue making college accessible to everyone.
Let’s get to work
There are about 4 million open jobs in this country and more than 11 million unemployed people. The problem is that people don’t have the skills and training to fill gaps in today’s workforce. I’m proud that at University of Phoenix, we’re working to solve this problem by taking an entirely new approach to preparing students for their career of choice.
You may have seen one of our commercials that ends with the call, “Let’s get to work.” This slogan truly resonates with me because it’s more than a catchy phrase; it signals the University of Phoenix commitment to our students that every step of the way, we’re working to connect education to a meaningful career.
We’ve made great strides in creating opportunities so that our students can develop the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their occupations.
For instance, our Phoenix Career Services™ resources and new Phoenix Career Guidance System™ online tool were designed to help our students explore their interests and research the job market.
We’re also actively working with employers and key leaders in employment sectors to align our students’ education with in-demand careers. Our Industry Strategy Group (ISG) identifies needed skills and competencies in the retail, criminal justice, health care, security and manufacturing fields by working directly with industry associations. These collaborations give us the insight to develop relevant curricula that reflect the priorities and needs of U.S. industries.
Our Workforce Solutions department cultivates relationships with more than 2,000 companies — organizations like Microsoft and Cisco Systems — to make sure our students’ training and degrees provide the knowledge base necessary to succeed in their careers.
We’re changing the higher education conversation by offering our students the specific and relevant skills, knowledge and opportunities they need to explore future opportunities.
And this is how we’re helping the country get back to work.
Listen to Bill discuss how the University is helping add value to your education — and today’s workplace.
Dr. Bill Pepicello:
One of the things that we understand is that we have to continue to be responsive not just to our students’ needs, but to the needs of employers. And one of the things we really want to do is help connect our curriculum and our education to careers. So there’s been a great focus on us working with employers to help refresh and update our curriculum so that when students do graduate, they have a set of skills that employers will recognize as valuable in the workplace.
So we’ve been working, for instance, with our Bachelor of Science and Business programs to get those refreshed. We have a group of folks who are working directly with employers to help us develop competencies that we will then put into the curriculum. So we’ll be refreshing some of that curriculum. We’ll also be developing new curriculum in areas such as healthcare administration and IT. Some of these will be full programs; some of them will be certificates. What we’re looking for is how to structure that education experience so that it is valuable to our students, not just at graduation, but all along the way they have skills that are valuable to them that employers recognize as being valuable.
So the new programs and the refreshing of the old programs in line with our education to careers philosophy has been a very exciting development at the university.