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University of Phoenix Recognized as Institution Committed to Diversity

Minority Access, Inc. Honors University at 16th National Role Models Conference

PHOENIX, Oct. 7, 2015 — University of Phoenix® has been honored by Minority Access, Inc. with the organization’s Diversity Institution Award, which highlights the University’s commitment to diversity and its efforts in increasing higher education opportunities for minority scholars. The award was presented at Minority Access’ 16th National Role Models Conference on Sept. 26 in Baltimore. 

University of Phoenix has a history of supporting diversity in higher education through the development of career pathways and community engagement. Roughly 45 percent of University of Phoenix students are people of color,[1] in addition to 34 percent of its instructors — both exceeding national institutional averages[2] and accurately reflecting the multicultural fabric of American society. Most of the University’s students are working adults over 30 years old, and first-generation college students comprised more than half of the student body in 2014. Additionally, 76 percent of the University’s students are working, including 57 percent women and 67 percent with dependents, which further emphasizes the demand by “nontraditional” students to expand their career opportunities through flexible academic programs.

Late last year, the University partnered with Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to provide academic and online education resources for students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Additionally, the University hosts Diversity Fairs and Diversity Employment Career Fairs with panel discussions and workshops focused on creating community conversation around higher education opportunities and career-development programs for traditionally underserved populations. That commitment to diversity and social responsibility are critical to workforce development. 

“University of Phoenix students, alumni, faculty and staff not only value diversity – it is one of the defining characteristics of our unique institution,” said University of Phoenix President Timothy P. Slottow. “Nearly half of our students and 34 percent of our faculty tell us they come from under-represented minority backgrounds. The way we value diversity also manifests itself in our partnerships with organizations like the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. and the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley. I am honored by this award and proud to lead an institution that celebrates diversity.”

The Minority Access 16th National Role Models Conference has honored more than 250 colleges, universities and other institutions since 2000. Based in Hyattsville, Md., the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization maintains a commitment to helping colleges, universities, and corporations to implement programs and provide services to recruit, enhance and retain underserved and underrepresented populations.

University of Phoenix was among 38 colleges and universities, from community colleges to large private and state schools, honored during the Baltimore ceremonies as institutions committed to diversity. The event included a college and career showcase, workshops for undergraduate student researchers and sessions in which attendees shared their successes and challenges advancing diversity initiatives aimed at eliminating workforce disparities.

“Minority Access and the National Role Models Conference shed light on the issues minority scholars are faced with and the challenges educators must take on to create more seamless access and opportunity,” said Dr. Constance St. Germain, executive dean of University of Phoenix Colleges of Humanities & Sciences and Social Sciences. “As technologies evolve to meet the needs of working adult learners, the faculty and staff of University of Phoenix remain motivated to develop curriculum that represents the academic interests and career goals of a widely diverse student population.” 

In August, the University’s School of Business announced an educational training program partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) for organization members and African-American small business owners. The USBC program, backed by a $500,000 grant from the University, provides a three-course, 15-week online business program to develop the next generation of African-American business leaders. 

As part of University of Phoenix’s commitment to social responsibility, college leaders also have engaged with a variety of national minority organizations and stakeholders to identify specific needs of students. The University actively participates on State Task Teams and Committees, such as the Arizona Minority Education Policy Analysis Center (AMEPAC) and other groups dedicated to addressing improvement of minority access to higher education.

For more information about University of Phoenix diversity initiatives, visit http://www.phoenix.edu/about_us/corporate-social-responsibility/diversity.html.

For more information about Minority Access, Inc., visit http://www.minorityaccess.org.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. As a subsidiary of Apollo Education Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: APOL), 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 www.phoenix.edu.

[1] All University of Phoenix data: University of Phoenix (2015) Office of Enterprise Performance Management.

[2] U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences National Center for Education Statistics (2015). Characteristics of Postsecondary Faculty: https://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/indicator_cuf.asp

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