University of Phoenix facing possible probation

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- The University of Phoenix is facing potential probation from the agency that accredits it.

The Higher Education Commission wants the academic mission of the for-profit school to be better separated from the financial interests of its parent company, The Apollo Group.

However, the University of Phoenix is still accredited, which is what allows it to issue degrees. It may never be put on probation, either. The school can appeal the review.

"We're working with the Higher Education Commission to better understand what their concerns are," said school spokesman Alex Clark. "We're confident we'll be able to seek a resolution, and we will continue to be accredited as a university."

The review cites the business end of The University of Phoenix, not its academics specifically.

If the school does get put on probation, it will essentially operate as normal, pending any other action. 

"What's really important for students to understand is that nothing will change," Clark said. "They will continue to go to class. They will continue to earn their degrees."

The review did find several positive points about the school, including its curriculum, use of technology, and innovative education styles.