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58 2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE education by Gremlyn Bradley- Waddell T he sun- drenched and sprawling campus of Arizona State University in Tempe consistently ranks as one of the largest educational institutions in the country. After all, a staggering total 67,082 students enrolled last fall. But it's not just the palm tree-studded main campus that attracts students of all ages. ASU's three smaller campuses — ASU West in northwest Phoenix, ASU Polytechnic in Mesa and the new Downtown Phoenix campus, the headquarters for the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, College of Nursing & Healthcare Innovation, University College and the College of Public Programs — draw thousands every day as well. Expansion continues Like the main site, most of these satellites have a number of ongoing expansion projects sure to bolster ASU's growth and students' interest. And perhaps the most thrilling changes are happening in the capital city. " In August, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Commu-nication opened downtown, adding an estimated 1,400 students to the campus," said ASU spokesperson Julie Newberg. KAET- TV Channel 8, the local PBS affili-ate, will share the state- of- the- art building with the Cronkite School. Other ASU schools and colleges that have expanded to the campus include the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Barrett, The Honors College and the College of Teacher Education and Leadership. New student housing in Taylor Place also opened downtown this year with students moving into the first tower, which can accommodate 744 beds. A second tower will open this year with an additional 550 beds. Students who live and learn downtown are in an environment that offers numerous opportunities to become involved with the community. Student journalists are minutes away from major media outlets where they can get hands- on experience through internships. Nursing students, who will also benefit from a second nursing building currently under construction, are close to a variety of hospitals. God medicine What's more, the University of Arizona College of Medicine — Phoenix, in partnership with Arizona State University, is located downtown and is continuing to grow. The first class of 24 students began classes in August 2007 and there are now 48 more student who began courses in August 2008. " The students have already become involved in the community and are well on their way to helping address the shortage of physicians in Arizona," said Al Bravo, the new medical school's spokesman. The medical school is part of the Phoenix Biomedical Campus, which include ASU's Department of Biomedical Informatics ( and part of the School of Computing and Informatics in the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education • 602- 258- 2435 • www. azhighered. org Arizona State University • www. asu. edu • Tempe: 480- 965- 9011 • Polytechnic- Mesa: 480- 727- 3278 • West Campus- NW Phoenix: 602- 543- 5500 • Downtown Phoenix Campus: 602- 496- 4636 Grand Canyon University • 877- 860- 3951 • www. gcu. edu Maricopa Community Colleges • 480- 731- 8333 • www. maricopa. edu Northern Arizona University • 928- 523- 5511 • www. nau. edu Midwestern University • 623- 572- 3215 • www. midwestern. edu/ glendale Rio Salado College • 480- 517- 8000 • www. riosalado. edu Thunderbird– The Garvin School of International Management • 602- 978- 7000 • www. thunderbird. edu University of Arizona • 520- 621- 2211 • www. arizona. edu University of Phoenix • 866- 766- 0766 • www. phoenix. edu COLLEGE RESOURCE GUIDE Higher Education Arizona State University leads the way with new curriculum, campuses photo: The arizona republic

2009 GREATER PHOENIX ULTIMATE GUIDE TO LIVING HERE 59 education Although it may seem like it sometimes, ASU isn't the only option around the Valley for those seeking higher learning. April Osborn, Ed. D., executive director of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, touts the 10 Maricopa Community Colleges ( along with ASU, of course) for their affordable and diverse offerings. And she also praised the " equally impressive" world- class private institutions that may be found locally, among them the University of Phoenix, Midwestern University, A. T. Still University and Thunderbird School of Global Management. " These institutions specialize in meeting the educational needs of working adults, individuals interested in health professions, dentistry, pharmacy and medicine, and those seeking a top- ranked college of international business management," Osborn said. The Maricopa Community Colleges and two skill centers comprise one of the largest educational institutions in the United States and offer a wide variety of associate degrees, certificates of completion and university transfer options. The community colleges offer small classes and quality instruction, at a tuition rate that's a fraction of costs at a university, according to Tom Gariepy, spokesperson for the Maricopa Community Colleges. Indeed, the community colleges are the largest workforce training organization in the state. The Maricopa Community Colleges also embrace non-traditional students. Rio Salado College, the Maricopa College that specializes in online learning, provides education to tens of thousands of online students who appreciate the convenience of being able to take classes virtually anytime, anywhere. In fact, more than 31,000 of Rio Salado's 60,000 students take their classes online each year and benefit from the Rio Advantage. " They love the fact that instead of traditional semesters, Rio's eLearning classes start every Monday. That's 50 start dates a year," said Linda Thor, Ed. D., the long- time president of Rio Salado. " We enhance Rio Salado's Web- based courses with full support, such as 24/ 7 technical and instructional help desks, librarian chats and virtual practicums for teacher education students. " In addition, this year we added RioLounge, our version of social networking for students, faculty and staff," Thor said. " It's a virtual student union with features like a place to chat with fellow learners, blogs, a marketplace to buy and sell items, and articles about college news and activities." — Gremlyn Bradley- Waddell Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering), the Arizona Biomedical Collaborative and the Translational Genomics Research Institute. Plans are for expansion of the campus in downtown Phoenix to include another health sciences education building and a second research building, Bravo added. David Roderique, president and CEO of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership, says it's thrilling to see the impact that ASU's sustained growth is having. " The continued addition of students, faculty and staff is really starting to have a significant impact on the downtown com-munity," he said, noting that some two dozen restaurants and numerous new retailers are new to the scene. More opportunities Although ASU West doesn't have any expansion projects going on at this time, new buildings that house classrooms, instructional labs and offices have opened on the Polytechic campus, according to Newberg. They include the Peralta and Picacho Halls, which are home to the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness Dean and faculty offices as well as Computing Studies faculty offices; Santan Hall, which houses offices for Engineering faculty and the College of Technology and Innovation Dean's Office; the Aravaipa Auditorium, which is not yet completed; Santa Catalina Hall, site of the School of Applied Arts and Sciences Dean's Office and the Dean's Office for the School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation; and, finally, the new Applied Arts Pavilion, which houses, among other things, dance and music studios and a black- box theater. Meanwhile, back in Tempe, a new apartment- style student residence project welcomed about 1,800 students this past fall. Vista del Sol eventually will be home to 5,800 students across ten buildings. A residential complex for Barrett, The Honors College, is also slated to open this year. That project will house 1,700 students and will include classrooms, administrative and faculty offices and a dining hall. April Osborn, Ed. D., executive direc-tor of the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education, said Maricopa County residents are fortunate to have a " remarkable" public institution such as ASU in their midst, citing the fact that the campuses offer low in- state fees and an excellent range of curricular offerings. Among those, are the Tempe cam-pus' first- rate business, entrepreneurship and engineering programs, as well as its award- winning Biodesign Institute and the world's first school of sustain-ability. In fact, ASU offers more than 250 undergraduate programs, more than 350 graduate programs and annually awards 14,000 degrees. Sounds like 67,000 folks made an educated decision last year. Opportunities Abound for Higher Education photos: the arizona republic