By Sharla Hooper
Accreditation decision based on a full, onsite review of the University’s mission, academic programs, governance, integrity, and student experience and outcomes. This achievement builds upon 45 years of continuous accreditation for University of Phoenix by the Higher Learning Commission
University of Phoenix announces today that it has been reaccredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) for 10 years, with the next reaffirmation scheduled for 2032-2033. The reaccreditation underscores University of Phoenix rigorous academic standards and the programmatic quality of online, career relevant higher education for working adult learners. This reaccreditation period also accepts University of Phoenix into the Open Pathway, a track reserved for institutions invited to participate based on meeting all Criteria for Accreditation, having been accredited longer than 10 years, and meeting other requirements. University of Phoenix has been continually accredited by the HLC for 45 years or since 1978. The University was founded in 1976.
“Continued accreditation of the University of Phoenix demonstrates our commitment to our students and alumni in providing quality, career-relevant curriculum, certificates and degrees,” states John Woods, Ph.D., provost and chief academic officer. “We are proud to select Open Pathway accreditation and continue our focus on evolving to best meet the needs of our learners in their career planning and goals.”
The Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org) accredits approximately 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States. HLC is a private, nonprofit institutional accrediting agency. HLC accreditation spans all degree levels and online offerings and validates the quality of the institution by evaluating specific criteria including academic offerings, governance and administration, integrity, mission, finances, teaching, and student outcomes.
The Open Pathway includes an improvement component, called the Quality Initiative, and allows participating institutions the opportunity to pursue initiatives they identify that meet their current needs and objectives.
The reaccreditation decision was granted following a rigorous peer review, evaluation, and site visit, conducted in September 2022. The reaccreditation action has been added to the HLC Institutional Status and Requirements (ISR) Report, a resource for the institution to review and manage information regarding its accreditation relationship, and HLC has also published information about this action on its website.
University of Phoenix was founded in 1976 as an open-enrollment bachelor’s degree completion and master’s level institution catering to working adults seeking higher education. The University provided increased educational access by offering convenient class times at local sites, which was a revolutionary notion at the time. The University’s commitment to cutting-edge services has resulted in its being one of the pioneers of many practices that students everywhere now commonly enjoy, such as evening classes, flexible scheduling, continuous enrollment, a student-centered environment, online classes, a digital library, and computer simulations, among others.
University of Phoenix has evolved to meet shifting educational opportunities, responding to needs of working adult learners, faculty, and employers, and has transitioned and matured into a comprehensive university consisting of seven colleges with diverse program offerings at the certificate, associate, bachelor, master, and doctorate levels that are designed to meet the needs of working learners in fields ranging from business to nursing to criminal justice to technology and beyond.
University of Phoenix continues its foundational work building programs on relevant skills and empowers learners and job seekers in what is anticipated to be a new era of skills-based hiring.
University of Phoenix initiated an innovative skills-tagged curriculum and digital badging model to meet working adult learners’ need to demonstrate skills attainment for workplace relevancy. Skill-mapping progress is at the forefront of efforts to close the skills gap and highlight how learners are acquiring skills as part of their progress, which can create opportunities for upward career mobility. Aligning degrees and individual courses to in-demand skills, the University of Phoenix has embedded authentic assessments that are tracked to a dashboard, allowing students to see skills acquired as part of their progress.
Today, the University teaches approximately 80,000 students with about 2,800 faculty through its online modality and at select physical locations. Practitioner faculty members bring an average of 15 years of teaching experience and 28 years of professional experience to their roles.
University of Phoenix previous accreditation period with HLC was 2013 – 2022. Between the mid-cycle review and comprehensive reaccreditation visits by HLC, University of Phoenix participated in the inaugural HLC Student Success Academy, and graduated from the Academy in 2022, successfully completing a phased, three-year program focused on evaluating and improving institutional factors that affect student success. The University of Phoenix established an HLC Student Success Academy Team which consisted of a cross-functional group of staff and faculty representing key areas across the University regularly engaging in student success initiatives and processes. The Academy Team led the University through the three-year program.
The Academy was designed by HLC to help institutions identify their current realities and discover areas of opportunity for improving student success through a holistic assessment of student success, challenges and opportunities.
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 phoenix.edu.