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University of Phoenix included as a Top 100 Degree Producer for students of color by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

By Sharla Hooper

Rankings identify institutions that confer the most undergraduate and graduate degrees to students of color

University of Phoenix is a Top 100 Degree Producer in the latest rankings released by Diverse: Issues In Higher Education identifying the institutions that confer the most undergraduate and graduate degrees to minority students, a ranking in which the University has been included since report launched in 2017. The Top 100 Degree Producers rankings is based on analysis of the preliminary public release of 2020-21 data by Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Statistics. University of Phoenix is #15 in the 2020-21 rankings of Top 100 Degree Producers for students of color from a total data sample of 2,542 institutions and ranks number #1 in conferring bachelor’s degrees for African American students.

“Students of color entering University of Phoenix can expect to find committed staff and practitioner faculty working to deliver on our mission to provide access to higher education opportunities that enable students to develop knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals,” states John Woods, Ph.D., provost and Chief Academic Officer. “Together, we strive to create opportunity for equitable success and an inclusive experience in our efforts to serve students, both in and outside of their classes.”

According to the Top 100 Degree Producers report, University of Phoenix is #10 in conferring bachelor’s degrees for Native American students, and #39 for Hispanic students. In conferring graduate degrees, University of Phoenix is #5 for master’s degrees, inclusive of all minorities; #3 for African American students, #8 for Native American students, #11 Hispanic students, and #48 for Asian American students. University of Phoenix is #8 in conferring doctoral degrees inclusive of all minorities and #5 for African American doctoral students.

More than half of University of Phoenix students report as ethnic minorities, with nearly 60 percent reporting as first generation college attendees, and seven in 10 are women. About 64 percent of students have dependents.

The University continuously strives to advance in its progress to grow a diverse, equitable, inclusive and belonging learning environment for student success. As an open access institution serving working adult students, University of Phoenix was an early adopter in creating an equitable learning environment with its innovative approach to flexible, adaptable online learning. The University’s practitioner faculty are working professionals who bridge the gap between theory and practice and can contribute to students’ understanding and access of the social workforce environment.

The University’s Office of Educational Equity (OEE) serves the University’s students, alumni, community and alliances with support and accessibility resources as well as leading internal and external initiatives promoting understanding and inclusive practices throughout the University. The OEE collaborates with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), the Center for Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Research (CWDIR), and other departments across the university to design programs and services that promote understanding and appreciation of diverse perspectives.

OEE leads the planning of the University-wide initiative, Inclusive Leadership Summit and Career Fair, a virtual, free event focused on developing skills as an inclusive leader and providing opportunities for networking connection and employment. Diverse was a sponsor of the 2022 summit. A May 2 – 4, 2023 event is currently being planned.

OEE hosts the University’s monthly Educational Equity webinar series as well as the Inclusive Café, a virtual place for faculty and staff to gather, connect, and build community through biweekly sessions focused on topics designed to discuss diverse perspectives and generate compassionate conversation.

Earlier this year, University of Phoenix and Jobs for the Future (JFF), a national nonprofit driving transformation in the American workforce and education systems, announced partnership efforts to support Black learners and workers in building professional social capital to enhance their careers. Building on the findings of the University of Phoenix Career Institute® Career Optimism Index® study and a collaborative market scan, University of Phoenix and JFF’s Center for Racial Economic Equity are working to develop an actionable framework that employers and postsecondary education and training institutions can adopt and apply as a sustainable method of social capital building for their workforce and students.

University of Phoenix supports students as working adults with diverse experiences and backgrounds through other policies such as its tuition guarantee, delivering affordable and competitive tuition costs that are transparent and predictable, providing generous transfer policies and a supportive transfer pathway to all students, and the opportunity for students to earn college credit for prior learning through life and work experiences.

The U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Social Mobility rankings this year determined University of Phoenix to be a Top Performer of Social Mobility.

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