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University of Phoenix issues white paper promoting an academic credit mobility culture during National Transfer Student Week

By Sharla Hooper

White paper describes best practices in creating transfer-friendly culture and credit mobility for students through policies, processes and support in higher education

During National Transfer Student Week, University of Phoenix released a new whitepaper, “Creating a Credit Mobility Culture: Supporting Transfer for Adult Learners with Some College and No Degree,” in a collaboration between authors Devin Andrews, vice president, Admissions and Evaluation, Marc Booker, Ph.D., vice provost, Strategy, Nathan Cicchillo, senior director, Admissions and Evaluation, Jennifer Burrell, director, Student Services Strategy and Operations, and Terri Tommasone, senior director, Admissions and Evaluation.

A report from April 2023 found that there are 40.4 million Americans with some college credit and no credential, an increase of 1.4 million learners in the past year.

The white paper discusses higher education barriers based on historic policies, procedures, and beliefs that do not take the adult learner into account. In an environment where many institutions are looking for ways to support adult students with some college and no degree, the white paper posits that creating a credit mobility culture is needed to ensure higher education is built to support an increasingly diverse student population in completing their educational goals.

The white paper shares how University of Phoenix has made significant investments in creating a credit mobility culture, including creating flexible policies and programs, embracing prior learning as a viable source of academic credit, improving clarity on transfer outcomes and options, removing barriers that impact student progression, and empowering students through relevant support services.

“An institution with a credit mobility culture considers transfer in all aspects of what the student brings to the table as a learner, and not as an edge case or a niche pathway population, but rather as an extension and core component of its mission,” states Andrews. “This is what we’ve built at University of Phoenix, and we’ve seen first-hand how it can build confidence in adult learners, as well as helping them recognize the value of how their life experience has translated into tangible credit.”

Lourdes Morales-Lynton is a University of Phoenix transfer student who completed her bachelor’s with University of Phoenix and is now working towards her MBA.

“My experience with University of Phoenix has been nothing less than spectacular,” Morales-Lynton shares. “I had tremendous support and advice, even when I was filled with doubt, as I worked to complete my undergraduate degree. My University of Phoenix instructors encouraged me, answered all my questions, and always provided resources I could access.” 

Andrews is the Vice President of Admissions and Evaluation at the University of Phoenix, a position she has held since 2015. Andrews has experience leading University-wide initiatives related to technology and innovation to improve outcomes for diverse stakeholders, including increasing credit for prior learning through improved awareness and experience, and cost savings measures for students. She engages in the broader higher education community through presentations, articles, and participation in committees for the Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (PACRAO), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL). She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in Education from University of Phoenix.

Booker has over two decades of experience working with online and distance education students at the post-secondary level in admissions, registrar, and academic administration roles. He oversees critical path academic initiatives to improve the student experience such as learning platform implementations, curricular enhancements, developing innovative academic program designs, and creating empathetic solutions to drive improved student outcomes. He is a regular speaker, contributor, and subject matter expert at national and regional conferences like AACRAO, PACRAO, CAEL, and EDUCAUSE. Booker holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Burrell has over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, committed to catalyzing innovative solutions and delivering continuous improvements to drive operational excellence and enhance student outcomes. Her commitment to optimizing the student experience is demonstrated by the development of strategic, data-driven growth strategies and work with Alternative Credit providers that have resulted in substantial time and cost savings for thousands of students. She also leads the interdepartmental Campus Online Closure and Interruption Committee (COCI), collaborating with stakeholders across the University to provide crucial support to students during natural disasters. Burrell holds a Master of Management from the University of Phoenix.

Cicchillo has been with University of Phoenix for over 20 years, serving in Admissions and Evaluation since 2011, where he oversees the University’s Articulation department which supports students through pathway creation for community college relationships, International department providing translation and evaluation services for international population, and Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) department providing opportunities for assessing learning obtained outside of the traditional classroom for potential college credit. He currently serves on the AACRAO Transfer and Articulation Committee that focuses on sharing ideas and best practices related to transfer credit with peers at other institutions within the AACRAO environment.

Tommasone has over 19 years of experience in Admission Processing and Transfer Credit Evaluations and identifies with the adult learner segment, as after many years in the work world, she earned her Associate of Applied Science in Computer Technology and then enrolled as a transfer student to earn her Bachelor of Science in Management at University of Phoenix. Tommasone holds a Master of Arts in Innovative Leadership from Western International University. She is also a member of AACRAO and PACRAO.

The full whitepaper is available at University of Phoenix Thought Leadership hub and as a direct link here.

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