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University of Phoenix Named a Finalist for 2023 Gartner® Eye on Innovation Award for Education

By Michele Mitchum

The Eye on Innovation Awards recognize innovative uses of technology and highlight best-in-class results in the education sector

University of Phoenix proudly announces its recognition as a finalist for the 2023 Gartner® Eye on Innovation Award for Education in the category of "Enhancing IT People, Processes and Skills category."

Under the direction of Jamie Smith, CIO, University of Phoenix applied an Agile People Leader (APL) approach within IT, a decision that empowered teams to deliver valuable outcomes for students and allow staff to focus on individual growth and career development. The move to a “manager-free approach” for IT engineers reflects the University's commitment to fostering innovation in the realm of Information Technology and education.

The team of University of Phoenix APLs included in this recognition are:

Chelsea Anderson, Cora Asher, Elizabeth Bailey, Kris Berling, Adam Buckey, Rhonda Grayson, Clarence James, Carol Manross, Jeannette Quintanilla, Sue Wilde, and Jynx Younan.

Senior APLs included in this recognition are Dr. Tiefa “Ty” Jones and Kris Neville.

University of Phoenix Senior APL, Dr. Ty Jones, expressed her enthusiasm for the recognition, stating, "We believe that being named a finalist for the Gartner Eye on Innovation Award is a testament to the dedication and ingenuity of our leadership, faculty, and staff. At University of Phoenix, we strive to stay at the forefront of advancements in IT and education to prepare our students for success in an ever-evolving digital landscape."

By actively cultivating an environment that values continuous learning and skill enhancement, the University of Phoenix stands out as a progressive institution dedicated to the professional growth of its staff. In addition to implementing the APL model, the team focuses on professional development by hosting several events per year, including:

·       Technopalooza, a celebration of technology and innovation that serves as platform for employees to explore emerging trends and exchange ideas.

·       Hackathons: these events foster a culture of innovation by providing a collaborative space for staff to flex their creative muscles and engage in problem-solving.

·       AWS Deepracer: the University prioritizes the advancement of skills in cutting-edge fields such as Machine Learning and AI Building, organizing specialized workshops and seminars that empower employees to stay ahead in their respective domains.

While emerging technologies and innovations impact many sectors, University of Phoenix engineering staff say the APL approach has had a positive impact. University of Phoenix Engineer, Pradeep Pai, shared, "My APL is always in my corner, pushing, and supporting my career growth. We work together to come up with actionable goals each quarter which are in-line with my growth aspirations. At University of Phoenix, the role of an APL is vital, not only to enhance individual performance, but in building a culture of continuous learning and innovation.”

Kris Neville, Sr. Agile People Leader at University of Phoenix, agrees and believes that the APL model and recognition has been beneficial, stating, "Our APL team is honored to be acknowledged by Gartner for our efforts in enhancing IT people, processes and skills. We’ve seen the benefits of the APL model in terms of increased workforce engagement, retention, and sparking innovation. This recognition fuels our passion for excellence and motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of what is possible in higher education."

University of Phoenix offers several online technology degrees within the College of Business and IT to help prepare students for the growing field of information technology. From databases and cybersecurity to programming and networking, courses cover the key topics in the technology field and associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees are offered.

The identification of Gartner® Eye on Innovation Awards for Education, runner up or winner(s) is not an endorsement by Gartner® or of any vendor, product or service, but is a recognition by industry peers for innovation excellence that inspires others. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Learn more here about IT programs at University of Phoenix.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit