• Alison Merzel

School Spotlight on the Sun Devils

A winter vacation trip to see family gave me the opportunity to visit Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. With 118,000 students enrolled at all campuses, ASU is considered the largest university in the country. The university was founded in 1885 when Arizona was not yet established as a state.


ASU's Charter: ASU is a comprehensive public research university, measured not by whom it excludes, but by whom it includes and how they succeed; advancing research and discovery of public value; and assuming fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health of the communities it serves.


I was very impressed with the number and breadth of opportunities available to students at ASU. Here are some interesting facts:


ASU has five campuses throughout metropolitan Phoenix that are all self-sustaining - students apply to a particular campus and will have everything they need at that location - housing, dining, classes, professor's offices, etc. Tempe is the biggest campus with 60,000 students. Despite its size, 77% of classes have 39 or fewer students and the average student to faculty ratio is 23:1.


The Barrett Honors College provides a way to make a large campus feel much smaller. Barrett is offered on each of the metropolitan campuses and provides a more personal experience for students who are more academically competitive than the average ASU student. Each Barrett student has access to three different advisors - a Barrett honors advisor, a major advisor, and a faculty honors advisor. Barrett students have access to opportunities that are not as readily available to other ASU students.


ASU has over 1,000 student organizations, ensuring that there is something for everyone. If a student has an idea for a club and can find three interested students and a staff member to serve as an advisor, a new club may be born. Star Wars fans can join the Light Saber Club and Harry Potter Fans can play Quidditch. Our tour guide had started a club just for fans of The Office to get together to watch the show and have snacks supported by funds available through the ASU student government.


Public Service is a big focus area at ASU and the Public Service Academy offers an amazing opportunity for qualified students. The Public Service Academy's Next Generation Service Corps was designed to grow the next generation of leaders and provides leadership experiences and courses towards a leadership certificate regardless of academic major. Students who are selected to join this program are guaranteed internships in the public, private and non-profit sectors throughout their time at ASU.


ASU is proud of their #1 ranking in innovation, placing them ahead of MIT and Stanford. College presidents, provosts and admissions deans are surveyed about schools that are making innovative improvements to curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. ASU has earned the number one spot in this ranking for the past five years.


ASU's enrollment is comprised of about 60% in state students and 40% out-of-state students. It is the only public research university in the country's fastest growing Maricopa county, giving students tremendous access to academic and professional opportunities in Tempe, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, Glendale, and Buckeye among other cities while they are in school.


ASU campus charter

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