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University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies Releases Whitepaper Exploring Pandemic Implications for Working Adults

Researcher assesses pandemic impact on working parents, military, and veterans

University of Phoenix College of Doctoral Studies announces the release of a whitepaper exploring the implications of the pandemic on specific populations of working adults that face unique challenges: working parents, military, and veterans.

Analyzing findings from the University’s first annual Career Optimism Index™ study, the whitepaper, authored by Melissa K. Shank, Ed.D., a fellow in residence with the University of Phoenix’s Center for Educational and Instructional Technology Research (CEITR), seeks to cover the implications of COVID-19 pandemic impacts felt by American working parents with children under 18 years old, military workers, military reserve workers, and veterans by examining five areas of overall well-being, reported needs, and concerns shown in the University of Phoenix Career Optimism IndexTM. It also provides insights on how industry leaders and employers can utilize this information to support work-life balance for American workers.

“When balance is attained between work and home pursuits, the results are happier and more productive workers,” states Shank. “This study provides a closer look at the data points that can help employers better understand their employees’ challenges and make changes to support these hard-working populations in achieving much-needed balance.”

Shank holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado and a Master’s in Education as well as a Doctor of Education from the University of Phoenix. Her areas of expertise are teacher preparation for classroom management and distance learning needs. Shank is a fellow in residence with the University’s CEITR working on research and manuscripts that explore novice teacher perceptions of classroom management preparation, preparation for distance learning, and the needs of online workers.

The full whitepaper is available at the Career InstituteTM webpage or as a direct link here.

About the College of Doctoral Studies

University of Phoenix’s College of Doctoral Studies focuses on today’s challenging business and organizational needs, from addressing critical social issues to developing solutions to accelerate community building and industry growth. The College’s research program puts students in the center of an effective ecosystem of experts, resources and tools to help prepare them to be a leader in their organization, industry and community. Through this program, students and researchers work with organizations to conduct research that can be applied in the workplace in real time.

About the Career Optimism Index™

The Career Optimism Index™ study is one of the most comprehensive studies of Americans’ personal career perceptions to-date. The University of Phoenix Career Institute will conduct this research annually to provide insights on current workforce trends and to help identify solutions to support and advance American careers. For the first annual study, more than 5,000 U.S adults were surveyed about how they feel about their careers at this moment in time, including their concerns, their challenges, and the degree to which they are optimistic about core aspects of their careers, their advancement in the future. The study was conducted among a diverse, nationally representative, sample of U.S. adults among a robust sample to allow for gender, generational, racial, and socioeconomic differences and includes additional analysis of workers in the top twenty media markets across the country to uncover geographic nuances.

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, interactive learning, and Career Services for Life® help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit

. @UOPX College of Doctoral Studies announces the release of a whitepaper by Dr. Melissa Shank exploring the implications of the pandemic on specific populations of working adults that face unique challenges: working parents, military, and veterans.


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