My blog entry University of Phoenix reinvents the week, again has over time become quite a magnet for discussion, pro and con, regarding the University of Phoenix. A few days ago, a comment was added that piqued my interest:
“The University of Phoenix (Phoenix, AZ) is also a stinker. Its business degrees are not accredited by AACSB, and the tuition is $1,764 for graduate courses. Additionally, this institution requires that instructors sign a “statement of faith” concerning their religious views.”
Hmmm…, I said, I know the latter certainly isn’t true since I’m an instructor and would never sign a statement of faith, even if it was a perfect match for my own faith, just on general principal. To dig further into this, I checked in with colleague Pete Wright, who works with the University of Phoenix, and here’s what he said…
“First, on the AACSB issue, no – we’re not accredited by them, but we are members of the organization. The accrediting standards are such that it would be impossible for us to qualify. They look for things like percentage of full-time faculty, physical library facilities, etc., that are clearly outside of our scope, given the sort of organization we’ve chosen to be. As members, we work closely with the organization on learning objectives for our graduate business programs, but accreditation isn’t something we’re going for any time soon. I’m not sure if this was one that you wanted a response on; the phoenix.edu site has a standard statement on our accreditation, but that’s the word as I see it. 😉
“Now, on the statement of faith. This is one of those pesky rumors that tends to mutate a la telephone tag. Here’s the straight story.
“We provide some of the infrastructure for Orange Lutheran High School Online. They’re an independent institution, and we’re a business partner and white-label solution provider for their online operations. As such, we provide some faculty recruiting (though Orange has a vast network recruiting operation through the Lutheran Education System which mirrors their on-ground faculty recruiting initiatives). All potential faculty members are vetted through University of Phoenix faculty specialists, documentation collected, credentials verified; then candidates are forwarded to the director of the school. Because the curriculum is faith-based, and there’s a religious backbone in all courses, the administration of Orange requires all eligible candidates for faculty positions to sign this statement of faith.
“Once Orange selects appropriate faculty, they’re handed back to University of Phoenix faculty training to get training on the systems they’ll use in teaching at Orange. They’re teaching the Orange curriculum, in their system, using our engine.”
So there’s your answer. Seems reasonable to me, just as if I were to hire a group of bloggers for, say, a local religious institution, I might well have to convey their requirements for certain values or even, yes, a statement of faith.
Also, had the commentator done their homework, they would have learned that I have already written about this subject: University of Phoenix expands into religious teaching.