Practical Math: A Foundational Course At University Of Phoenix Connects With Students


University of Phoenix is dedicated to making higher education accessible to working adults from all backgrounds and experiences. The University wants adults who have struggled in the past with understanding math concepts or who have felt intimidated by math to know that they can start again with a new approach.

University of Phoenix offers math courses such as Quantitative Reasoning, an undergraduate general education course that helps students make practical everyday decisions that require math from investing, to taxes, to managing expenses. The course focuses on practical applications of math, so students are taught to apply modeling skills, statistical methods and probability to find solutions to real-world problems.

No matter where students are in their math education when they take the course, they are given the introductory concepts to understand the material, and the concepts build upon one another progressively. Importantly, the courses are taught by instructors who aim to make the material approachable and understandable, recognizing that many students have had poor experiences navigating math classes in the past.

“This journey, especially in the introductory math, is so psychological,” says Jacquelyn Kelly, PhD, associate dean of the College of General Studies at University of Phoenix. “The students have the capacity to complete these things. It’s just overcoming the thoughts and perceptions we’ve created about ourselves to be able to do it and get out of our own way.”

Creating a Culture of Belonging That Adds Up at University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix has long focused on the nontraditional student: the parent returning to their educational journey after raising their kids, the working adult looking to expand into a new field, the military service member ready to join the civilian workforce or the entrepreneur with dreams of starting their own business. Data from the 2020 Academic Annual Report from the University of Phoenix found that 83.4 percent of enrolled students are employed while pursuing their degree or other academic programs. Two-thirds of the University’s students identify as ethnic minorities and 59 percent are first-generation college students. 

university of phoenix math

For many of these students, math has previously been a challenge. In part, this is the result of it being presented with unfamiliar or off-putting language, according to Kelly, or because the students were made to feel that they were not smart enough to learn in the first place. “Unfortunately, we have in the educational space as a whole created many opportunities for students to not feel great about their math and science abilities in the past,” said Kelly. “So, when they come to us, they’re essentially coming with some trauma associated with prior math and science experiences.”

At University of Phoenix, instructors in undergraduate math courses aim for relaxed, conversational language that makes students feel more comfortable, easing them into the material and empowering them to master each concept and become more confident. “That’s not dumbing it down,” Kelly explained. “That’s increasing a level of cognitive rigor.”

Building a Foundation with General Studies Classes at University of Phoenix

Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree program in any subject at University of Phoenix will take 14 General Education classes in addition to the 16 core classes needed for their major and additional elective classes. Quantitative Reasoning I and II are among these required as part of the foundational education upon which the other subjects build. Both courses are designed to impart skills and knowledge that every student needs to develop, regardless of degree focus.

Other foundational courses include Psychology of Learning, English Composition I and II, Critical Thinking in Everyday Life, Everyday Health and Wellness, World Religious Traditions I and II, General Biology, Social Psychology and Theories of Behavior, among others.

Regardless of the stage a student is at in their educational journey when they begin a degree program at University of Phoenix, they can feel confident that they will receive the basic knowledge needed to advance to more complex and specialized fields of study and succeed.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is committed to advancing the educational goals of adult and nontraditional learners and to helping students navigate the career options and degree programs that best suit their interests. The University’s degree programs are aligned with numerous in-demand career paths including in computer software, nursing, and business. Courses provide flexible start dates, online formats and numerous scholarship opportunities to make it possible for anyone to get the degree they desire. 

In addition, the University’s Career Services for Life® commitment to active students and graduates provides resources they need to be competitive in the workforce for no additional charge. These services include resume and interview support, career guidance, education and networking opportunities. For more information, visit

Spread the love
Kate Staples is a career coach from Canada. She specializes in personal development, leadership, and mentoring students, recent graduates, and career changers to create a new career path and define their work skills, values and preferences. She is a blogger, speaker, and long-distance runner.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here