University of Phoenix phasing out local, national locations


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University of Phoenix officials want to be clear: its West Michigan locations are being “phased out,” not “closing.”

The Arizona-based college recently announced its decision to phase out a combination of 115 campuses and learning centers nationally, eight of which are in Michigan.

Ryan Rauzon, a spokesperson for Phoenix, said the campuses and learning centers in Walker, Livonia, Troy, Flint, Clinton, Portage, East Lansing and Ann Arbor are no longer accepting geographically based enrollment. The only two that will continue to accept enrollment are the Detroit and Southfield campuses.

“What’s happening here is a phase-out of certain geographies where an in-class education model isn’t there,” he said. “The real demand is for online, so we’re now able to allocate those resources for our (online) future.”

All of Phoenix’s current classes and degrees will still be available online. Rauzon had no timeline for when the phase-out would end, but assured that the Phoenix locations would stay open until all current students graduated. The current faculty will continue to teach online, he said, but roughly 12 student support service positions at the eight locations will be eliminated.

The move impacts approximately 13,000 students who make up 4 percent of Phoenix students nationwide, Rauxon said. More than 70 percent of Michigan students were already completing work online, he said, which is where the Phoenix education model is headed.

In 2013, Phoenix plans to launch a learning management system online, he said. The new system will connect students to employers looking for the specialized talent.

“There’s a whole social component to education, and just because coursework is easily developed online, you can’t walk away from that interaction,” he said. “That has to do with networking and looking at their regional economy to find out where the jobs are. And that’s part of what this is.”

Rauzon added, “I dare someone to find a university that’s connecting those dots better than we are.”

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