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University of Phoenix recognized with 2021 Academic Circle of Excellence Award by EC-Council, world’s largest cybersecurity certification body

By Sharla Hooper

Award highlights academic institutions and faculty with lasting impact on student cybersecurity education

University of Phoenix is a recipient of the EC-Council 2021 Academic Circle of Excellence Award. The EC-Council Academic division awards formally highlight academic institutions and faculty within North America and across the world that excel each year with lasting impacts on their students' cybersecurity education and local communities. Only four Academic Circle of Excellence Awards are issued each year; this the third consecutive year that University of Phoenix has been a recipient.

In an era seeing more cybercrime focused on businesses, cybersecurity knowledge and education is only becoming more critical. University of Phoenix established an alliance with EC-Council five years ago in order to help expand opportunities for students. The University’s College of Business and Information Technology builds degree programs and certificates which make critical connections and build student understanding of the ways technology and business evolve together, particularly in the arena of cybersecurity. The University also offers programs aligned to industry-leading EC-Council certification exams.

"University of Phoenix has continued to prepare workforce ready professionals with the tactical Cybersecurity skills required to succeed in today’s emerging industry,” said Wesley Alvarez, Director of Academics at EC-Council. “We are pleased to honor them for the third consecutive year with the Circle of Excellence award, representing elite Cybersecurity programs dedicated to student success.”

The award recognizes the University’s commitment to making a positive impact in the cybersecurity workforce. The 2021 Academic Circle of Excellence Award is a high honor within the EC-Council and cybersecurity communities and is a prestigious award; EC-Council has over 1,000 academic partners from K-12, Technical Institutes, Colleges and Universities in North America, each with many faculty and CEI's.

“The EC-Council Circle of Excellence Award confirms the University’s commitment to provide career-relevant training and degree offerings to our working adult learners,” stated Kevin Wilhelmsen, Ph.D., dean, College of Business and Information Technology at the University. “Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, and this award allows us to demonstrate to the cybersecurity community and most importantly, to our students, that we are evolving with their needs for a career-ready education.”

EC-Council organizes annual partner awards to highlight the highest levels of Cybersecurity education, training, executive leadership, and instruction within global communities. This consists of partnered academic institutions, commercial training centers, corporate organizations, CISO's, Certified EC-Council Instructors (CEI's), and academic faculty.

The Academic Circle of Excellence award recipient is selected based on criteria including the following: 

  • Commitment to educate and make a difference in the Cybersecurity workforce
  • Student feedback on EC-Council courses and faculty
  • Evaluation reports post class
  • Student and Alumni Engagement
  • Ratio of students who move on to attempt EC-Council certifications
  • Volume of students educated in Cybersecurity
  • Continuous program development.

In addition to providing educational preparation for EC-Council certifications, the University’s College of Business and Information Technology offers students access to faculty that possess an average of 30.2 years of professional experience. Current faculty includes 136 chief executive officers, 19 chief information officers, three chief information security officers, and 127 information technology/system administrators.

For more information about University of Phoenix College of Business and Information Technology cybersecurity programs, visit

About EC-Council

EC-Council’s sole purpose is to build and refine the cybersecurity profession globally. The company helps organizations, educators, and governments, as well as individuals, to address global workforce problems by developing and curating world-class cybersecurity education programs and certifications while also providing cybersecurity services to some of the largest businesses around the world. Trusted by seven of the Fortune 10, 47 of the Fortune 100, the Department of Defense, the global intelligence community, NATO, and more than 2,000 of the best universities, colleges, and training companies, EC-Council programs have made their way to 140 countries and have set the bar in cybersecurity education. Learn more at

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