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University of Phoenix Competency-Based Education Program Team Wins Catalyst Award

By Sharla Hooper

Team led by Vice Provost Dr. Marc Booker and Vice Provost Doris Savron Recognized in Category of Teaching and Learning for Credit-based Competency-based Education Program Development

University of Phoenix leaders Marc Booker, Ph.D., vice provost, Strategy, Doris Savron, vice provost, Colleges, and the Competency-Based Education (CBE) Program team, have been named winners of the Catalyst Award for Teaching & Learning. The CBE Program team includes Booker, Savron, Justin Hallock, senior director, Program Deployment, Mary Elizabeth Smith, director, Learning Innovation and Strategy, Nicky Reynolds, Product Manager, LeAnna Montoya, director, Enrollment, Dan Barker, director, Student Services, and Kari Vorderlandwehr, senior specialist, Faculty Training.

This award recognizes institutions that have used Anthology solutions in innovative ways to advance learning and have redefined what is possible in the classroom by adopting new delivery and pedagogical models and tools that positively influenced the educational experience, increased flexibility, furthered learner and instructor efficiency, and fostered academic excellence, with measurable results.

“Our goal when creating the credit-based CBE programs at University of Phoenix was to provide working adults a different avenue to earn a relevant skills-aligned degree program in a quicker manner and at a lower cost,” said Booker. “Having Anthology honor us with this award is humbling and also provides validation of the great work our teams did in standing up this new delivery design to help adult learners get an even greater return on their educational investment.”  

The Catalyst Awards recognize and honor innovation and excellence within Anthology’s global community, where millions of educators and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology. Winners are recognized across nine categories and selected by a cross-functional team of Anthology experts and represent the very best in their field. 

The Competency-Based Education Program team was awarded the Teaching & Learning award for their efforts in leveraging tools and resources to transition University of Phoenix standard academic degree programs into credit-based CBE delivery models, which allow students to earn certain graduate degree programs in less than year for under $11,000. This cross-functional effort brought together academic colleges, curricular design, technology student services and enrollment teams together to ensure the creation of an interconnected and holistic learning experience. The University now has over 1,250 students that have graduated from competency-based programs, with the programs being in market for approximately three years. On average, students in competency-based programs can complete their degree at a lower cost, have a greater monthly credit earning pace and the opportunity to complete their degree about four to five months sooner than standard program counterparts.

“We’re pleased to honor this year's Catalyst Award winners for their commitment to improving the educational experience for all learners through EdTech and sharing these insights with the broader community,” said Jim Milton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Anthology. “We’re proud to partner with institutions who are innovating to advance student success.”

The University of Phoenix Competency-Based Education Program team will also be announced alongside other Catalyst Award winners during Anthology Together, Anthology’s annual user conference to be held July 17-19 in Nashville, Tennessee. 

For more information on the Catalyst Awards, please visit:

  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