On the Road with Betsy Woolf – So You Think You Know ASU…

When I think of ASU – Arizona State University – I think of the big campus in Tempe, just outside Phoenix, that is connected to Downtown Phoenix by a new light rail system. But there’s more to ASU than one campus, so I recently set out to visit one of its smaller campuses in the Phoenix area – ASU West – in Glendale.

ASU West is a 35-minute shuttle bus ride from the Tempe campus, yet it is a world away. It’s hard to find a public university with a small student population, but ASU West is one. There are just over 4000 students attending this pretty modern campus, with plenty of room to spread out. The students to whom I spoke all said that they had chosen the campus because of the benefits of attending a small school with the reach and advantages of a large university. One student told me that her largest class was 85 students; another told me that she was at ASU West because it is the only campus in the ASU system that offers interdisciplinary arts and performance.

The campus features the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, and degree programs offered by the W. P. Carey School of Business, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College and the College of Health Solutions. For Fall 2023, the College of Public Service and Community Solutions will offer new programs at the West campus.

For sure, ASU West is not remote. It sits on busy Thunderbird Road, but once on campus, there is quiet, except perhaps for the sounds of the many fountains on campus. Within walking distance, just across Thunderbird, is a small shopping center where one student raved about the Korean barbecue restaurant!

About those big school advantages: There is a regular shuttle to Tempe and to downtown Phoenix, and special shuttles for students on game days. Students can take classes at Tempe; in fact, there are students who spend one day a week there taking classes. That certainly sounds like the embodiment of a small school with the advantages of a large university to me!