When University of Phoenix set out to create a suite of professional development courses, designed to provide an efficient and cost-effective path to short-burst higher learning, they chose a collaborator, Freedom Learning Group (FLG), who has made it their mission to help military spouses stay relevant in the workforce while achieving work/life balance. FLG’s efforts have helped bridge an equity gap for spouses of active military, who often find it difficult to maintain careers due the frequent relocating typical in active military service.
“The opportunity to work with Freedom Learning Group just made so much sense,” said Mukund Sudarsan, Vice President, Professional Development and Short Burst Learning Programs at University of Phoenix. “Their mission to support military-affiliated individuals with flexible careers, in particular spouses of active military, aligns so well with the University’s mission to provide working adults with flexible, cost-effective paths to higher learning and career upskilling. I feel our collaborative work is making an impact in many important ways.”
Freedom Learning Group (FLG) was founded by a military family who faced, first-hand, the challenges of juggling careers and family, while relocating often during military assignments. The organization has contributors spanning 40 states and 10 countries, who work together to provide educational courseware, content and services, ADA accessibility services, and audio-video services and instructional design. FLG’s global workforce is 64% military spouses or veterans, and 73% women.
Elizabeth O’Brien, FLG CEO, says, “FLG is pleased to serve as a solutions-based instructional design partner for University of Phoenix. On Women’s Equality Day, and every day that follows, we are committed to creating economic opportunities for military spouses, which is a population that is 92% female. We look forward to creating pathways together for this population with University of Phoenix.”
National Women’s Equality Day is celebrated each year to recognize the hard work and sacrifice that went into the passing of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. In 1971, August 26th was established as National Women’s Equality Day. Since then, this annual day of recognition reminds us of the struggles women have faced and continue to face, including in the workplace. In fact, University of Phoenix’s 2021 Career Optimism Index found that 30% of women, in particular those with dependents, associate stress with their careers, and 52% of these women want to develop their career skillsets, but don’t know where to begin. Additionally, a recent Harris Poll commissioned by the University shares more of the inequity story. That study found 38% of women continue to feel that equal pay is out of reach and that men have more access to opportunities for advancement, like getting a raise or leading high-profile projects.
Knowing these inequities, University of Phoenix and FLG have developed professional development courses that women, and men, can pursue to learn new skills that could impact their career goals. The courses include short-burst learning in marketing, IT, healthcare, and education. Courses take approximately 30 hours to complete, are 100% online, self-led and self-paced, and are aligned to job-ready skills based upon Emsi data developed with the University.
“The work between our University and Freedom Learning Group is answering the call for upskilling and reskilling for women, and men, in our fast-evolving workplaces,” said Sudarsan. “I’m incredibly proud of this collaboration and how our work can contribute to a more equitable work environment for all.”
About University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is continually innovating to help working adults enhance their careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses and interactive learning help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. We serve a diverse student population offering degree programs online and at our campus in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit phoenix.edu