University of Phoenix’s Brandon Ethridge Advises Students to Start by Taking One Step Forward

University of Phoenix social media community manager and former student academic advisor Brandon Ethridge talks with students and prospective students every day. In his 12 years with University of Phoenix, he’s heard all kinds of stories and reasons for not pursuing a degree. For most people, says Ethridge, it’s that the entire process just seems too scary, especially with online learning. However, it doesn’t have to be that way, according to Ethridge. He tells students to just “take a step forward…and then another.”

Brandon’s Journey

Ethridge understands the concerns that first-time students have. He was the first person in his family to attend college. He initially thought he wanted to be a doctor, but he learned during his training that he had an aversion to blood. Because he changed majors and degree programs, he ended up taking an extra year to complete his degree and in his words “wasted time and money.” Ethridge strives to help his students avoid this path. In fact, the opportunity to work directly with incoming students was one of the things that drew him to University of Phoenix

The Future of Higher Education

Ethridge sees increasing demand for online learning. This format was a trend before the pandemic, but the events of the last year have solidified the need for online classes. Ethridge is quick to explain that there is a definite learning curve to online learning. It takes a little while for students to get used to the format and the platform. University of Phoenix stresses how invaluable it is for students to keep in close contact with their academic advisor. Ethridge reaches out digitally to online students, making sure that they have all the support they need to stay on track and succeed.

Advice for Students

What advice does Ethridge have for prospective students? He advises them to work through classes one step at a time. Ethridge is a big advocate of breaking down course work into manageable chunks. For example, he suggests concentrating on the next class and what needs to be done to succeed in it rather than becoming overwhelmed by all of the different components required to complete a degree program.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix offers a variety of business undergraduate and graduate degrees. The University has locations in 22 states for in-person learning and is available online to students worldwide. More than one million students have earned degrees from the University since it was founded in 1976. University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (

and accepts students who have earned a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

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