The mission of University of Phoenix is to provide access to higher education opportunities that enable students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals. As a result, the University's teaching and learning model is grounded in the theoretical and empirical literature of learning and cognitive psychology. The University employs best practice from recent education literature, as well as best service practices that enhance the academic experience for students who are new to higher education. This combination increases student retention and successful degree completion.
Active Learning
The model is based first on the assumption that the learner's active involvement in the learning process is essential to good practice. Thus, in all modalities University of Phoenix classrooms are intended to be dynamic learning spaces. Instructors are expected to serve as facilitators of learning who manage the learning process by engaging learners in a variety of activities (lectures being but one) that lead students to an understanding of course content and the development of academic and professional competence. By involving students in a variety of learning activities, respect is demonstrated for diverse ways of learning and knowing. Interaction and participation in classes and collaborative learning activities is expected of all students.
The effectiveness of cooperation and collaboration in enhancing learning is well and widely documented. Structures that encourage and facilitate collaboration are central to the University's teaching and learning model. Working students frequently come to formal learning activities with greater life and work experience. This means that learners themselves can be invaluable resources in enhancing their own and others' learning. Traditional pedagogy emphasizes a top-down, vertical transfer of information. Students with rich and varied experience find benefit in instructional practices that encourage collaboration. This adds a robust horizontal dimension to the learning exchange as students teach and learn from one another. Good practice in education capitalizes on this dimension to the students' advantage.
Emphasis on Application and Relevance
There is wide agreement in the literature that students learn best when bridges are built between new knowledge and the learners' experience. Practices that encourage reflection and application are based on the recognition that a learner's experience provides a context through which he or she is more able to construct meaning from new information. It also makes learning relevant to the learners. In University of Phoenix courses, students' experiences and current circumstances are interwoven with subject matter in class discussions as well as in individual, team and other collaborative assignments. Real-world relevance is critical to basic comprehension as well as to maintaining student interest. Students very often say they are able to apply at work the next day what they learned in class the night before.
University-Wide Learning Goals
The University's faculty leadership has established five broad learning goals that guide curriculum development, instruction, learning assessment, and program evaluation and improvement. The University Learning Goals are:
1. Professional Competence and Values
2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
3. Communication
4. Information Utilization
5. Collaboration
The intent is to help all University graduates attain levels of theoretical and practical disciplinary knowledge appropriate to the levels of degrees or credentials they are earning, while developing competence in essential intellectual and social processes that will enable graduates to practice their professions successfully.
The University's curriculum is faculty-developed and centrally managed by a team of college staff and instructional designers with objectives and outcomes that are carefully defined. Individual instructors have the responsibility to expand and enhance the basic curriculum by augmenting it with current resources and practices. The curriculum is under continual content and quality review.
Convenience of Time and Place
University of Phoenix classroom programs are offered at times and in places that are convenient to adult learners. Classes are held primarily in the evening and on weekends when learners are most likely to need access. The University’s goal is to make access to programs and services convenient to its student population. Wherever possible, campuses and learning centers are located at strategic locations near major freeways and thoroughfares that permit convenient access.
Access in the 21st Century means many different things. To the student in rural America or the working parent with children at home, access may be possible only through an Internet connection. Those students usually work toward their degrees through the Online Campus or through courses offered via FlexNet®, a combination of classroom and online learning. The University's goal is to make access to programs and services available to all those who wish to avail themselves of them and to work to completion of a degree program.
Program Format
University of Phoenix is a non-term institution and does not operate according to a traditional academic calendar. New student cohorts can begin at any time. Typically, graduate courses at University of Phoenix meet for six consecutive weeks and undergraduate courses meet for five weeks. When a course ends, the next course usually begins the following week. This intensive calendar allows students to achieve their educational goals in a more time-efficient manner. The University's low student/faculty ratio and class size that averages 13-15 students facilitate active learning and collaboration and encourage time-on-task. As a rule, bachelor and graduate degree seeking students take only one course at a time. This allows them to focus attention and resources on one subject, a structure that enhances learning and helps students balance ongoing professional and personal responsibilities. Students in the associate degree programs at University of Phoenix students enroll in two courses concurrently for nine consecutive weeks. The two-course schedule is designed so each course complements the other.
Health Care Services
The University of Phoenix North Carolina Campuses serve a community of employed, adult learners.  In addition, the University does not offer housing facilities on any of its campuses, including those in North Carolina.  Accordingly, no health care services are provided by the University, either on or off campus.
Further information concerning health care in the Charlotte area or in Mecklenburg County may be obtained by calling the Mecklenburg County Health Department at (704) 336-4700.  While not a comprehensive list and while believed accurate at this time, but not guaranteed, students may seek emergency medical attention at: Carolinas Medical Center, 1000 Blythe Boulevard, Presbyterian Hospital, 200 Hawthorne Lane; Mercy Hospital, 2001 Vail Avenue; University Hospital, 8800 North Tryon Street; or Mercy South Hospital, 10628 Park Road
Further information concerning health care in the Raleigh area or in Wake County may be obtained by calling (919) 250-4516. While not a comprehensive list and while believed accurate at this time, but not guaranteed, students may seek emergency medical attention at: Duke Raleigh Hospital, 3400 Wake Forest Road; Rex Hospital, 4420 Lake Boone Trail; or WakeMed 3000 New Bern Avenue. The University of Phoenix does not endorse or recommend any specific health care facility.
Learning Teams
In addition to regular course instructional sessions, bachelor's and master's level students meet weekly in learning teams. Learning teams are small groups of three to six students drawn from within the larger cohort. Learning Teams are an essential design element in the University's teaching and learning model through which students develop the ability to collaborate -- an ability expected of employees in information-age organizations and one of the University's primary learning goals. Due to the unique teaching and learning model and objectives, students enrolled in University of Phoenix associate degree programs do not participate in formal learning teams, but are encouraged to collaborate and participate in classroom assignments.
All students enrolled in degree programs and/or designated certificate programs using the learning team model must meet learning team attendance policies.
Learning teams are required to meet weekly. Teams may meet in-person or via teleconference, real-time electronic conferencing, or asynchronous meeting in the classroom team forums.
Students must indicate their participation in the learning team meetings and/or assignment deliverables. Online students must indicate their participation by posting each week in the learning team forum. Students attending a local campus must acknowledge participation in their learning team each week in the Assignments section of eCampus.
University of Phoenix faculty members are accomplished managers, technology leaders, professional educators, corporate executives, financial officers, healthcare and human services professionals and leaders in other professional arenas . A listing of faculty may be obtained at each local campus. Current contact information for each campus may be found at
Student Technology Recommendations and Competencies
In an effort to assist students with adequate preparation for their course work at the University of Phoenix, technology recommendations and competencies have been established. These recommendations and competencies are in effect for the School of Advanced Studies, School of Business, Education, Information Systems and Technology, Arts and Sciences, Counseling, Nursing, and General and Professional Studies. To that end, students will need to access and use the hardware and software as described below. Additional recommendations and competencies may be required for particular courses/programs. Students using software and hardware other than that recommended must still meet the technology competencies. Please note that due to the rapid rate of change in information technology, hardware and software competencies will be updated on a regular basis. Some courses in the College of Information Systems and Technology may require additional software.
Technology Recommendations
Hardware & Peripherals
You are required to have access to a computer with the following:
You will need access to and competence on the following applications:
For the College of Information Systems and Technology, access to additional software is required. Please look for updated software requirements on your rEsource page. The following software is currently used:
University of Phoenix Provided Access
(Provided via virtual student desktop for specific courses)
Student Must Establish Access
For the Master of Science in Nursing/Family Nurse Practitioner and the Post Masters Family Nurse Practitioner programs, the University requires the following:
Note: Due to the rapid rate of change in information technology, the hardware and software requirements and technology skills may be updated.
Note: If you need to purchase a computer, the University recommends a portable laptop or notebook for classroom use. The School of Advanced Studies requires Doctoral students to bring a laptop computer to residencies. You may be eligible for student discounts on hardware and software. There is more information on your student website,
Technology Competencies
Students attending the University of Phoenix are expected to have the ability to complete the following activities:
Complete, send, and receive assignments to faculty or other students using e-mail and attachments/files.
Use the University of Phoenix Electronic Library also known as the Learning Resource Center (LRC) and/or Internet for research and completion of course assignments.
Use the appropriate software for the course. (The University uses as standards Microsoft® Office products including MS® Word, MS® Project, MS® Excel, MS® Power Point, etc.)