Downtown Phoenix possible site for new ASU 3-year college

[Source: Anne Ryman, Arizona Republic] — Arizona State University wants to develop a network of lower-priced colleges where students could earn bachelor’s degrees in just three years.  The Undergraduate Colleges @ ASU would offer only a handful of majors to let students fast-track their degrees through a combination of traditional and online courses, ASU President Michael Crow said.  The plan, which could cut the cost of a degree by about 40 percent, or $11,150, goes before the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday for discussion, although the board won’t vote until later this year.

ASU, like the two other state universities, is under increasing pressure from Arizona lawmakers to create more affordable options for higher education.  In-state tuition and fees at the state universities rose by up to 54 percent from 2004 to 2008, and rates are increasing sharply again this fall for new students at all three schools.  At ASU’s Tempe campus, for example, new students will pay $6,840 this fall, up from $5,659 last fall.

The Undergraduate Colleges @ ASU is one route the regents likely will consider.  Other possibilities include allowing students to transfer more credits from community colleges and offering more online courses.  At Thursday’s regents meeting in Tempe, ASU’s Crow, along with University of Arizona President Robert Shelton and Northern Arizona University President John Haeger, will present proposals for lower-cost degrees.  “What we’re trying to offer are multiple options, multiple pathways,” Crow said.  “Families can pick the one that’s best for them.”

ASU officials want to open the first undergraduate college in fall 2010 in Maricopa County.  Crow is looking at the West Valley, Phoenix and other locations, he said, but doesn’t have a site yet.  He confirmed that ASU is considering downtown Phoenix.

Eventually, ASU may have five to 15 undergraduate, commuter-style colleges spread throughout the state.  Each college could serve 1,000 to 3,000 students.  Faculty would focus on teaching, instead of a combination of teaching and research as they do on the main campuses.  ASU hopes to partner with cities to pick up the tab for construction costs, similar to what ASU did when developing the downtown Phoenix campus using a voter-approved sales tax.

Majors haven’t been determined but likely would include only a handful of high-demand fields such as communication, elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, psychology, political science, and criminology.  [Note: Read the full article at Downtown Phoenix possible site for new ASU 3-year college]

Posted on August 3, 2009, in Downtown Vitality, Education, Finances and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. ASU is a joke. It’s top party school. It has below average graduation rates. The president targets employees who he doesn’t like and fires them, sending a surge in their ligitation budget because so many sue ASU (and win). I smell a big fat rat with this plan. Who will benefit? Not the taxpayers of AZ, but the real estate developers in downtown.

    Crow is more concerned about development in downtown Phoenix than he is about the state of education. He should be more concerned about this appalling reputation as a mean spirited bigot for which there is ample evidence to prove. Instead, his focus is on building.

    Someone needs to show this man the way out of Arizona. He’s wasted enough of our money.

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