University of Phoenix - #1 Provider of Online Education
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Case Code : ITSY039
Case Length : 09 Pages
Period : 1976 - 2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : University of Phoenix
Industry : Education
Countries : USA
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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.
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The UoP Model
UoP bore little resemblance to the concept of a traditional university, whether in terms of its operational model, the students it sought or the courses it offered.
UoP was set up to cater to working professionals and therefore, courses were designed around the requirements of working professionals. Most of the courses offered were vocational and designed to improve job prospects...
UoP required its students to be at least 23 years of age and have a minimum of five years work experience...
Because UoP designed courses with practical applicability, faculty was also selected with this aim in mind. The university had a rigid set of parameters for selection of faculty...
UoP made little investment in infrastructure. While the online program did not require any infrastructure other than technology, even the campus based programs made do with the minimum requirements...
One of the inherent features in the operation of UoP was its proactive approach to marketing. Sperling called his students
'customers', and all the functions were designed around their convenience...
Why UoP Clicked
One of the reasons why UoP managed to gain popularity was that it was completely designed around the needs of working adults. It offered them the flexibility of advancing their education while continuing with their jobs...
What the Critics Say
In the main, critics derided UoP as a 'diploma mill' that provided degrees to students without contributing to their all-round development...
In the early 2000s, online education was quickly becoming a fad the world over. Although UoP was the pioneer in online education, the widespread reach of the Internet ensured that several imitators mushroomed in the US and elsewhere...
Exhibit I: Income Statement
Exhibit II: Courses Offered by UoP