The University of Phoenix Releases a Promising 2011 Annual Report

Each year for the past four years, the University of Phoenix has released a summary called the Academic Annual Report. The 2011 report demonstrated that modified graduation rates increased for associate students and student satisfaction is positive.

“Education must evolve to help students succeed in the 21st century economy, and University of Phoenix is at the forefront of this movement. For more than three decades we have been drivers of innovation within higher education by developing adaptive methodologies that help our students achieve their educational and professional goals. This Academic Annual Report is our own report card, providing a transparent measurement of how well we are serving our students’ needs and guiding our continuous improvement.” said president of University of Phoenix, Dr. William J. Pepicello.

Modified Graduation Rates

The federal government’s Integrated Post-secondary Education Data System (IPEDS) assesses the graduation rate at the University of Phoenix. The rate includes the entire student body of the University of Phoenix and is the equivalent of the percentage of students who attained their degree within 150% of what is considered “normal completion time”. These students must have completed at least three credits at the University of Phoenix.

According to the University of Phoenix, IPEDS assesses how “traditional students” – students who graduate high school and then go directly to college – progress, however only 27% of the student body is comprised of these traditional students. With the changes in the economy and the push for adults to go back to college and improve their education, nearly 75% of the undergraduate population is made up of what are considered “non-traditional students” and working adult learners. The IPEDS doesn’t take this 75% into consideration, as the report is focused on “first time” students who stay at the same college and complete their degree there.

University of Phoenix Modification Rates

Associate’s Level – The modification rate for graduation at the associate’s level at the University of Phoenix was reported at 34% in 2011 for students who graduated within three years of their start date and 36% of the students graduated within four years. These numbers have increased from 32% and 35%, respectively, in comparison to the 2010 annual report.

Bachelor’s Level – The numbers for bachelor’s degrees were not as promising. In 2011, the Academic Annual Report noted that modified graduation rates declined from the 2010 data by 3% in both categories. 31% of students in a bachelor’s degree program reportedly graduated within six years, while 33% graduated within eight years. It is proposed that this decline was attributed to the amount of students with zero credits who transferred in the 2011 year.

Master’s Level – The modification rate at the University of Phoenix at the master’s level presented the best figures, with 60% of students graduating within 3 years and 64% of master’s level students graduated within four years.

Student Satisfaction

The University of Phoenix conducts student satisfaction surveys on a regular basis – the results of the surveys are used to develop plans, and make necessary changes for the future at the university. Surveys ask questions about the university overall, the instructors, the feedback received from instructors, the curriculum and what students think about their learning experience.

2011 surveys resulted in all five categories receiving over an eight on a ten-point scale from students. Overall, students provided positive feedback to the school.

Other areas that the university assessed in the report included information literacy, academic proficiency and progress, student salary increase, and diversity. Each area experienced improvement from the prior year, and the university is also making plans for continuous improvement for future years.