University of Phoenix Forms National Research Center
PHOENIX, May 5, 2008 — University of Phoenix today announced the formation of a research unit, the University of Phoenix National Research Center (NRC), to drive continued significant and innovative research initiatives in teaching and learning among adult students in higher education. The NRC will be directed by scholar Jorge Klor de Alva, J.D., Ph.D., the university’s Senior Vice President for Academic Excellence, and an Advisory Board whose charter members include: Chair David W. Breneman, University Professor and Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education, and Director of the BA/MPP program in Public Policy at the University of Virginia; Carol B. Aslanian, President of adult student market research firm the Aslanian Group and former long-time Director of the Office of Adult Learning Services at the College Board in New York; and Patrick M. Callan, founding President of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education.
“I look forward to working with the members of our Advisory Board to bring critical outside perspective and vision to the National Research Center,” said Dr. Klor de Alva. “Their combined expertise in adult learning and higher education accountability, public policy, economics and financing will be critical to our research agenda and invaluable to the institution as we continue to pioneer higher education for the nontraditional students we serve.”
According to the most recent analysis by the National Center for Education Statistics, more than 70 percent of undergraduates today are classified as “nontraditional” students – students who either delay enrollment, work full-time, are financially independent, have dependents, are single parents or lack high school diplomas. Given their diverse economic backgrounds and full lives, nontraditional students are changing the way higher education operates. University of Phoenix, which anticipated and has nimbly responded to this trend, enables its students to earn a college degree while working and raising a family. It is one of a handful of institutions – public or private – completely devoted to providing access to higher education for working, nontraditional students.
“Given the rapid growth of the ‘nontraditional’ student population and the critical role that institutions such as University of Phoenix play in serving these students, it is essential that we know more than we currently do about what teaching processes and methodologies work best in this sector of the educational market,” said Dr. Breneman. “I am delighted that University of Phoenix has decided to invest in research in this area, and look forward to the resulting enhancements in teaching and learning.”
In support of its mission, the NRC will study and monitor developments in the field of higher education and how best to enhance the role played by University of Phoenix, particularly as it relates to innovative teaching and learning methods, educational technology, and issues of student achievement and retention, accountability, affordability, access and inclusion. The NRC will also work to enhance the University’s research agenda, facilitating, supporting and promoting faculty and student research.
University of Phoenix, which is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is revolutionizing higher education through innovations that provide nontraditional students with access to high quality educational opportunities, enabling its graduates to advance their career goals in the rapidly changing global marketplace. By focusing on academic rigor and relevance, the University maintains an average graduation rate equal to that found among traditional four-year colleges and universities and attracts an exceptional faculty composed of members who hold master’s or doctoral degrees and are employed in their teaching field.
Recognition of its real-world application is demonstrated by a student population of more than 330,000 and by a curriculum focused on the knowledge and skills needed for the current job market, particularly in fast-growing occupation areas facing resource shortages, such as healthcare, nursing, teaching and information technology. With more than 40 percent of its students belonging to underserved minority groups, University of Phoenix awards degrees to more Hispanic and African American students than any other single university in the country.
About NRC Leadership and Advisors
Jorge Klor de Alva, Director, is University of Phoenix’s Senior Vice President for Academic Excellence. He previously served in a series of leadership roles with University of Phoenix and its parent company Apollo Education Group, Inc., including President of University of Phoenix and member of the Apollo Board of Directors. From 1994 to 1996, Dr. Klor de Alva held the Class of 1940 Endowed Chair at the University of California at Berkeley and before that he served as a Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University. Dr. Klor de Alva has been named a Fulbright Scholar, Getty Scholar and Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation. He has published more than 80 scholarly articles, 15 books on social science subjects and co-authored ten social studies text books, including most recently, "The Americans," a widely used high school survey of U.S. history. Dr. Klor de Alva received his B.A. in Philosophy and J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. in History/Anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz.
David Breneman, Chair, is University Professor and Newton and Rita Meyers Professor in Economics of Education, and Director of the BA/MPP program in Public Policy at the University of Virginia. He was dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia from 1995 to 2007. Prior to that, he was Visiting Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught graduate courses on the economics and financing of higher education, on liberal arts colleges, and on the college presidency. Dr. Breneman is widely published on the economics and financing of higher education. As a Visiting Fellow at The Brookings Institution, he conducted research for the book "Liberal Arts Colleges: Thriving, Surviving or Endangered?," which upon publication earned him the 1999 Award for Outstanding Service from the Council for Independent Colleges. Among his most recent publications is "Earnings from Learning: the Rise of For-profit Universities." From 1983 to1989, Dr. Breneman served as President of Kalamazoo College, and prior to that was a Senior Fellow at Brookings, where he specialized in the economics of higher education and public policy toward education. Dr. Breneman received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Colorado and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
Carol Aslanian is President of adult student market research firm the Aslanian Group. A national authority on the characteristics and learning patterns of adult students, she has served as a resource to hundreds of educational institutions, state agencies and national associations, notably on the subject of access to higher education for place- and time-bound students. She co-authored 'Americans in Transition: Life Changes as Reasons for Adult Learning' on the causes and timing of adult learning and How Americans in Transition Study for College Credit on the learning patterns of adult students. Ms. Aslanian’s nationwide study on adult students, Adult Students Today, was published by the College Board in 2001 and was followed by the 2006 publication of Trends in Adult Learning – A Snapshot. For more than 20 years Ms. Aslanian served as Director of the Office of Adult Learning Services at the College Board in New York, and previously as Director of the Office of Community College Relations for the College Board. She is past Chair and a current member of the Advisory Council for the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, a member of the Cornell University Council, and President of the Cornell Association of Past Presidents. She received her degrees from Cornell University and Harvard University. Ms. Aslanian is also a member of University of Phoenix Board of Directors.
Patrick Callan is founding President of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to policy research and the promotion of public policies to enhance opportunities for high quality education and training beyond high school. From 1992 to 1997, Mr. Callan was Executive Director of the California Higher Education Policy Center. Prior to that, he was Vice President of the Education Commission of the States. Mr. Callan also served as Executive Director of the California Postsecondary Education Commission, the Washington State Council for Postsecondary Education and the Montana Commission on Postsecondary Education. He is widely published on topics of education, educational opportunity, public accountability and the financing of higher education. Among other publications, Mr. Callan is co-editor of 'Public and Private Financing of Higher Education: Shaping Public Policy for the Future' and co-author of 'Designing State Higher Education Systems for a New Century,' a study of state organization and governance of higher education. He has served as an advisor to blue ribbon commissions, state education and higher education boards, governors’ offices and legislative committees in many states. Mr. Callan studied at the University of Santa Clara, where he received a B.A. and M.A. in History, and continued his graduate work in American History at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and later at Stanford University in the School of Education.
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.