A New Model of Education Based on Inclusivity and Degree Completion

Maybe you can’t judge a book by a cover, but you can judge the caliber of an institution of higher learning by how it’s covered.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 ranking of U.S. colleges and universities places Arizona State University among the top 100 universities in the world and classifies it as the second most innovative school in the country. Forbes magazine named ASU one of “America's Best College Buys.” Arizona State is ranked fifth in the nation by The Wall Street Journal for best qualified graduates.

A 2014 analysis by U.S. News & World Report lists ASU ninth for best online bachelor’s degree programs. ASU is among 21 schools named on The Princeton Review’s “Green Honor Roll,” which recognizes colleges and universities for leading the way in sustainability. ASU ranks second in the country for proprietary start-ups and in 2013 ASU researchers were issued 47 patents.

ASU is among the top producers of U.S. Fulbright student scholarship winners who will teach and study abroad next year; it’s tied at third place with Princeton University and Rutgers University. ASU has had two Nobel laureates, six Pulitzer Prize winners and 25 Guggenheim Fellows on staff.

While those accomplishments are significant, ASU defines itself by inclusion and the success of its students.  

“We are pioneering a new model of education focused on inclusivity and degree completion,” said ASU President Dr. Michael M. Crow. “We believe education should be more inclusive. While other institutions are becoming exclusive by accepting fewer and fewer students, we are giving more students opportunities.”

In the past decade, ASU has doubled its number of graduates while enhancing the school’s quality and diversity, he said.

“Our student body is representative of the entire socio-economic diversity of our society,” said Dr. Crow. “We have been able to achieve what a public university is supposed to accomplish – broad access with significant, positive outcomes.”

ASU’s enrollment tops 70,000 students. About 58,000 are undergraduates, 36 percent are first-generation college students, and a growing number are online students.

The value of online education is being able to access the full university experience, said Phil Regier, Executive Vice Provost and Dean. The full experience includes interaction with internationally recognized faculty, access to collections from ASU's eight award-winning libraries, an alumni network tens of thousands of members strong, and membership in a community of thousands of students pursuing their degrees.

“ASU is creating a university that is of service to a much broader student population – wherever they may be – and we hope this will become an education model other colleges and universities will adopt,” said Regier. “Starbucks is doing the same thing by creating a corporation which is a model for what a 21st century company can be in terms of serving others and being socially responsible.”