It’s been a fantastic year at the University of Arizona Global Campus (UAGC). It all culminated in an exciting #UAGCWrap event on Facebook Live on Dec. 8, when University President Paul Pastorek discussed everything from the future of UAGC to how he spends the holidays. Here are some of the highlights of 2022 and a look toward the new year.
Academic Advisor Charles Lee and Military Academic Advisor Sharon Barnes also joined the event to answer important questions for students, such as “When does break start?” and “What kind of support does UAGC offer to help students if they are struggling in a class?” Students also participated in a trivia game where they answered fun UAGC and holiday questions. Students won exclusive UAGC winter “swag packs” that included a UAGC coffee mug, hoodie, and socks.
During the Q&A portion, President Pastorek explained what he thought the most significant win at UAGC was for 2022. Many came to mind, he said, explaining that the UAGC community and its students worked hard all year and came together as an online campus to show everyone their dedication to the University.
“We made incredible strides this past year in reimagining the future of UAGC and how to make it the best experience possible for our students,” he said. “In fact, we just celebrated our two-year anniversary of becoming UAGC – an affiliate of the top-ranking University of Arizona – on Dec. 1.”
He then continued to cite not one but three of the year’s most significant wins at UAGC:
President Pastorek also said that live learning was a big win of 2022 and that UAGC built a more diverse student understanding and experience. The University hosts two graduation ceremonies a year. An in-person ceremony each Spring and a virtual ceremony each fall.
“If we can learn, we can make things better,” he said. “And at the end of the day, we want to make all our students better.”
A Look Ahead
UAGC continues to learn and make things better for students as the new year approaches. To remain innovative in the changing education industry, UAGC has big plans for 2023.
“We took the first step in the summer when we concluded our contractual relationship with Zovio, our online program management (OPM) provider, through an asset purchase and sale agreement to complement our student-centered vision, mission, and purpose,” President Pastorek explained. “By terminating the OPM agreement, yet bringing key personnel and systems into UAGC, we effectively ‘hired’ more than 800 people who are aligned toward a single purpose – the success of our students and our mission to serve working adults and advance their social and economic mobility. This transaction allows UAGC to focus all resources on our goal of improving retention and student outcomes. Those are the foundations for everything else we do to remain innovative in a changing education industry.”
This year, UAGC also introduced Culture of Care. President Pastorek believes this helps UAGC stand out from other colleges that offer online degrees and shows students the vision and focus of the University.
"Our Culture of Care was central to the theme of our Teaching and Learning Conference at the beginning of November. I truly think this sets us apart from our peers. We want and need our students to feel this culture,” President Pastorek explained. “We created an environment where caring is a priority, compassion for one another is ingrained in our daily interactions, and every student, faculty, and staff member feels valued and supported through personal connections. As we foster this environment of care, we encourage those struggling to ask for help. Together, we will make higher education accessible for everyone, no matter their background or circumstance.”
President Pastorek wrapped up his time at the live event and told students his plans for the new year. He will spend time with his family in Louisiana, where they will carry on the tradition of frying three turkeys to shucking oysters on New Year's Eve. President Pastorek left students with sage advice and an urge to keep learning no matter the circumstances.
"Persistence is the most important word we can put our arms around in life. If you open your ears, you will learn something every day," he said. "And you can never know enough information. All you have to do is pay attention and listen. As president, I am trying to learn something every day. Our job at UAGC is to help students complete their degrees and ensure they have a high return on their investment so their degree is worth the work they put in. This year was a success because the people I work with invigorate me, and we think about how we will make UAGC better for the students every day."
- UAGC implemented four Critical Student Goals:
- Retain students during first year of enrollment
- Support completion of programs and educational goals considering student-based timelines
- Offer high-value credentials with marketable skills
- Enhance students’ economic return
- UAGC introduced Culture of Care, a focused extension of the University’s vision, mission, and purpose, which places empathy and integrity at the foundation of everything at UAGC, opening doors to better collaboration and success.
- And the biggest win of all – UAGC graduated more than 14,000 students (nearly 4,500 more graduates than the year before), residing in all 50 states and around the world in American Samoa, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Thailand, United States Virgin Islands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Vietnam. The UAGC Spring Commencement had 5,673 graduates, and we celebrated 8,674 graduates during Fall Commencement.