The University of Phoenix was established in 1976 to serve the needs of nontraditional college students, many of whom worked fulltime and wanted to take classes at night and on weekends. Today, the university has 200 locations throughout the United States and many degree programs are available online. Total enrollments at the University of Phoenix reached as high as 600,000 students but there has been a significant drop during the recent recession.
The university recently released its 2011 academic report. The data shows that African Americans make up 18.4 percent of all students at the University of Phoenix. African Americans are 17.7 percent of the undergraduate students and 22.0 percent of all graduate students at the University of Phoenix. In contrast, Blacks are 13 percent of all students enrolled in higher education in the United States and only 10.4 percent of all graduate students.
African Americans are also well represented on the University of Phoenix faculty. Nationwide, Blacks make up about 6 percent of all faculty members. But at the University of Phoenix, Blacks make up 18.6 percent of the total faculty, three times the level of American higher education as a whole.