Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Arizona State University: The New American Univerisity

Arizona State University has been a unique college since I have known. ASU refers to itself as "The New American University." But what does this actual mean?

As one of the leaders in college innovation, ASU constantly searches for new ways to improve its education. While it makes some poor decisions, especially when it comes to budget--like cutting teachers instead of downsizing administration--ASU has adopted some attitudes that most universities wouldn't dream of. One of these is that ASU has a huge acceptance rate. In fact, I don't know anybody who has actually been turned away! But is this a good thing?

With four campuses and 70,000 students on the main campus alone, ASU is easily one of the nation's largest schools. However, with open doors and filled-up seats, can ASU really hope to sustain such expansion?

One major problem that arises is campus housing. As a requirement, all Freshmen must live on campus unless given a special pardon. With increasing numbers in each of the Freshmen classes, this is only one of the many problems which may create some difficulty. And what about land? After a while, ASU will run out of room to expand into.

Another problem is that as the enrollment increases, there is a growing demand for new technology. As it is, on a busy day, it can be very difficult to find a computer. And due to a strict budget, updates can only come so fast. So computers are left slow, and as they are loaded up with new technology and new programs, they seem to get slower and slower.

This isn't necessarily all-bad, though. There are a lot of good aspects of being in such a rapidly expanding campus. One of those aspects is that you get a huge diversity of cultures. I'm not sure if other campuses tend to have a lot of students from so many parts of the world, but I am confident that on any given day, I can meet 3 different people from 3 different countries. In my opinion, this adds much-needed diversity that helps to improve people's experiences and to learn about other cultures. It also gives me more hope for Arizona. With more educated and skilled workers, Arizona is bound to make up for its economic failures in the past with growing markets, so long as AZ can retain them.

I don't necessarily know what it means to be a New American University, but from my experience, whatever that means is working.


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