Almost forty years after the creation of ASU's West campus, the University is establishing three new schools with the mission of serving the growing West Valley community, aimed to launch in fall of 2023.
According to a University statement, ASU plans to triple West on-campus enrollment from 5,000 students to 15,000 through this development.
"ASU's commitment to the citizens and communities of the West Valley requires a new level of engagement, resources and vision," Executive Vice President and University Provost Nancy Gonzales said at a ceremony announcing the expansion on Wednesday.
The three new schools – The School of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The School of Interdisciplinary Forensics and The School of Integrated Engineering – are being launched to reflect the transition that the West Valley has undergone since the West campus first opened its doors, growing from 700,000 to 1.8 million residents.
"For nearly 40 years, the West Valley has embraced Arizona State University and helped to enable our success as the nation’s most innovative university," ASU President Michael Crow said in an email. "We are thrilled to build on our shared story by expanding the academic and residential offerings at the ASU West campus to better meet the growing needs of local learners and the West Valley."
READ MORE: Michael Crow addresses student concerns at Tempe campus forum
The School of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, housed in the W.P. Carey School of Business, aims to create a hub for technology, innovation and entrepreneurship that will broaden access to entrepreneurial-focused programs. The school also seeks to foster a relationship with corporations and community organizations in the West Valley.
The School of Interdisciplinary Forensics, located in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, plans to bring together different forensic programs from the New College to focus on various diverse sciences and their practical applications.
"By leveraging what has quickly become a signature program in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, ASU will extend forensics applications across traditional and non-traditional disciplines including criminal, psychology, engineering, nursing, law, accounting, anthropology, biology, and the environment," Gonzales said at the ceremony.
The School of Integrated Engineering will be based in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. This interdisciplinary school will provide engineering and technology opportunities for students in the West Valley and will house the bachelor's degree in engineering science, preparing graduates to pursue careers in engineering, science and business professions that intersect with technical specialists.
"The key will be working closely with other units to offer flexible STEM degree programs that integrate an engineering mindset and fundamental engineering principles and skills with specialized coursework in other disciplines," Gonzales said.
ASU will also be expanding its physical campus to meet the growing needs of its West campus students. This expansion will begin with a new four-story, 55,000-square-foot academic building that will include new student gallery space, computer labs, drawing labs, faculty offices and additional space for future growth.
The academic building has a budget of $33.5 million. Construction will begin in May and plans to complete in December 2024.
READ MORE: New construction projects break ground on ASU campuses
Furthermore, to accommodate these students, the University will be building a new 500-bed residence hall on the West campus.
American Campus Communities will provide $54 million to ASU for the construction of the residence hall and will be responsible for the costs of maintaining it. Construction for the building began in February and will conclude in August 2024.
"Those programs, unique as they are, will drive enrollment on this campus, not just from the West Valley, although it'll better serve the West Valley," Arizona Board of Regents Treasurer Larry Edward Penley said at the ceremony. "It'll drive enrollment from Arizona and outside Arizona and outside the United States, building the kind of workforce that this community and related communities here really deserve."
Edited by Jasmine Kabiri, Reagan Priest and Grace Copperthite.
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Sadie Buggle is the Editor of the State Press Opinion Desk. This is her third semester working for the State Press after two semesters reporting for the Community and Culture Desk.