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How can I succeed at University of Phoenix?

Laurie Davies

Written by Laurie Davies

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Reviewed by Marc Booker, PhD,  Vice Provost, Strategy

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You did it. You thought about going to school, you enrolled and now you’re ready to hit the books. So, how do you stay with it all the way to the finish line?

When surveyed UOPX students look back on their experiences, one of the most common reflections is: “I didn’t think I could do it, but …”

The reason behind that statement may be that higher education is, by definition, challenging. Another reason may be the fact that many UOPX students share a common denominator: They persevere through unbelievable odds to earn their college degrees.

And UOPX does everything within its power to help them pursue that dream.

Here are six resources you can count on as you make your game plan for success at University of Phoenix.

The role of academic counselors

Devin Andrews: Vice President, Office of Admissions & Evaluation

Devin Andrews
Vice President, Office of Admissions and Evaluation

“Our academic counselors (ACs) can be your gateway to coaching, academic advice, resources and many other answers. Anytime a student is feeling overwhelmed or simply has a question, they should reach out and ask,” says Devin Andrews, vice president of the Office of Admissions and Evaluation.

ACs at UOPX offer highly rated support five days a week. In a transactional survey with 23,739 respondents between September 2022 and August 2023, 85% of surveyed students rated their ACs with five stars.

Whether you have a question about the next class in your academic plan, or you need individualized support in another area, ACs can help connect you to the information you need and help you develop a plan to meet your goals.

Faculty support

Andrews encourages students to not be shy when it comes to reaching out to faculty for support or with questions. Whether you need help with an assignment or have a more general question about the field you would like to enter, faculty members are here for you.

“Our faculty are really eager to help,” Andrews says, noting that she discovered this firsthand as she works to complete the University’s MBA–CB program.

Faculty help in more ways than guiding you through a class. They bring real-world experience and insight to the classroom. In 2023, for example, UOPX faculty had an average of 29.2 years of professional experience and an average of 16 years of University of Phoenix teaching experience.

Writing and math help

If the thought of college-level math gives you anxiety, you’re not alone. The concern is real and prevalent enough that UOPX offers the Center for Mathematics Excellence to help students develop skills and confidence.

In addition to the Building Math Confidence tool, which offers tips on relieving math anxiety and virtual mentorship in math concepts and vocabulary, the center provides live tutoring in select classes.

If it’s the thought of writing that weighs on you, writing resources and time-saving tools are available through the Center for Writing Excellence. Help is available on everything from how to cite sources faster and correct mistakes to guidance on how to avoid common ethical missteps, such as plagiarism.

Both centers are available to currently enrolled students at no additional cost.

Resources for when life takes a detour

Life happens. Jobs get complicated. Kids get sick. Pressure builds. But none of that should derail your educational goals. That’s where UOPX’s Life Resource Center enters the picture.

The center offers a wealth of resources, including life coaching, counseling and content like podcasts, webinars and articles that can help you navigate life’s challenges.

All resources are confidential and complimentary. Certain resources are available a limited number of times, but you can choose to extend the services for a nominal fee.

Celebrating inclusivity

One of UOPX’s newer offerings is a virtual student space called Bravely Belong. The program lives up to its name, Andrews says, adding, “If I were a new student, this would be a good place to connect and feel included.”

The webinar-style Zoom session is a café of sorts, an online gathering that offers a safe space for students and alumni to practice self-advocacy with the guidance of subject matter experts. Together, participants explore topics on inclusivity, mindfulness, belonging, emotional intelligence and boundaries. The intention is productive discussion pertaining to their academic and career success. 

Online study sessions

Another place to gather, trade study tips and build community with other students is UOPX’s tried-and-true Facebook Study Sessions.

Going strong since 2016, these monthly sessions allow the University’s adult learners to gather to ask questions about schoolwork, share their experiences of what they’ve learned, and get support from fellow students and alumni. Each month features a unique study session theme.

In the end, Andrews says, it’s important to find your pace and use the resources that work best for you.

“It can be overwhelming when you start school and hear about all that’s available to you. When you come in as a new student, you don’t have to jump into all these things,” she says. As someone who got her first master’s degree 20 years ago, Andrews notes that she knows firsthand how overwhelming going back to school can be.

The first and best step Andrews recommends is to devise a time management plan.

“When I think about steps for success, I think about just that: one step at a time. The beauty of our model is that it’s set up week by week,” she says. Breaking down a degree into courses and then weekly projects is a real-life example of the adage you eat an elephant one bite at a time.

“There’s a drumbeat for how our courses are set up,” Andrews adds. “So, for me personally, I looked at the syllabus and said, ‘Here’s what I need to do every week. It doesn’t mean I didn’t get off course, but because I had a plan, I knew where I would need to get back on track.”

Andrews also shares a time management hack that she personally found invaluable. At the start of each course, she identified the week she knew would be the hardest from a workload standpoint, and then she tried as much as possible to clear everything else off her schedule.

So, get into your new “drumbeat,” make your new routine familiar and lean on the University when you need support. When the time comes, we can’t wait to hear how you finish the sentence: “I didn’t think I could do it, but …”

More than 100 degrees and certificate options — 90% of which are in growing fields. Learn more.

Headshot of Laurie Davies

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A journalist-turned-marketer, Laurie Davies has been writing since her high school advanced composition teacher told her she broke too many rules. She has worked with University of Phoenix since 2017, and currently splits her time between blogging and serving as lead writer on the University’s Academic Annual Report. Previously, she has written marketing content for MADD, Kaiser Permanente, Massage Envy, UPS, and other national brands. She lives in the Phoenix area with her husband and son, who is the best story she’s ever written. 

Headshot of Marc Booker

ABOUT THE REVIEWER

Dr. Marc Booker, University of Phoenix Vice Provost for Strategy, has more than two decades of experience working with online and distance education students at the post-secondary level. He currently oversees critical path academic initiatives to improve the student experience. Dr. Booker is a regular speaker, author and contributor to national higher education associations.

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This article has been vetted by University of Phoenix's editorial advisory committee. 
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