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University of Phoenix updates University Learning Goals designed to enrich the academic journey and graduates' career preparedness

By Sharla Hooper

Learning goals of Cultural Competence & Ethics and Digital Fluency further enhance readiness for careers in the diverse and digital workplace

University of Phoenix has established two new University Learning Goals for its students: Cultural Competence & Ethics, and Digital Fluency. These two new learning goals support the University’s focus on academic rigor, strengthening learners’ career readiness, and supporting graduates’ contribution to their communities.

The University Learning Goals reflect the learned skills or abilities expected of all students in undergraduate and graduate programs who complete their university education. They are:

  • Cultural Competence & Ethics
  • Critical Thinking & Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Digital Fluency; and
  • Collaboration.

The University continuously works to ensure that the University Learning Goals focus on the skills graduates need to be successful in their careers. The two new learning goals were designed in response to continued calls in higher education, industry, and communities to foster students’ ability to appreciate, function, and interact in diverse environments and to access, ethically use, and create new information in a digital environment.

“Our University Learning Goals provide a strong foundation for our approach to curriculum development and program design,” states John Woods, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer of University of Phoenix. “As part of our mission to provide career-relevant education to working adults, we saw an important opportunity to update our goals and ensure alignment with the skills and competencies required for the diverse and digital 21st century workplace.”

The University Learning Goals were first established in 2002 and further defined in 2014. In keeping with the University’s drive to instill in-demand skillsets in its students, the goals were again reviewed in 2020.

The University Learning Goal enhancement was the outcome of a collaborative effort led by the University’s Assessment and Institutional Research team who brought together a diverse group of faculty, subject matter experts, and College administrators.

University graduates demonstrating Cultural Competence & Ethics “will demonstrate the essential practices of cultural competence through proactively seeking to understand the differences in others, examining favored beliefs about [themselves] and others and taking advantage of opportunities to grow and change when necessary. [They] will learn how to engage in overt and deliberate planning, practices, strategies, policies, ethical actions and collaborations that support diversity and foster inclusion and belonging.”

University graduates demonstrating Digital Fluency “will be able to access and ethically use information and data from a variety of sources. [They] will research and analyze the plausibility and accuracy of the information. [They] will learn to utilize digital tools to create new information or knowledge and responsibly disseminate it in a digital environment.”

The University Learning Goals are published on the University website and are included in accreditation documentation provided to the University’s Accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission as well as to programmatic accreditors such as those that accredit the select University’s programs in Business, Education, Nursing, Health Administration, and Counseling.

The University’s Learning Goals for Undergraduate and Graduate students support the University’s mission to change the lives of working adults and their families through higher education and the University’s focus on responding to industry and community needs to ensure students’ career readiness.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

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