With budget cuts, most state universities are just retrenching: raising tuition and reducing enrollment—anything to protect the current model. But the model is bankrupt—costs are spiraling out of control and outcomes are weak.
ASU president Michael Crow speaks the language that every state university head should these days:
- There are some universities that are about excellence, some that are about access, we’re about both
- We’re not a faculty-centric institution, we’re student-centric
- An in-state student won’t graduate with more debt than they’d incur buying a Honda civic
- We’re adding enrollment despite cuts in state support
- We can’t innovate fast enough
ASU is a high poverty, high minority institution (compared to other R1) but it boasts a high retention rate because the pay attention to student support. An online counseling system eAdvisor helps get the 10,000 incoming freshman and 8,000 transfer students get off to the right start—specifically getting into right major and taking what they need to graduate. From implementation in 2007, the proportion of students on track to graduate grew from 22% to 91%. eAdvisor is symbolic of an institution focused on students.
ASU actually expects students to learn math—all of them. Earlier this year, they launched an adaptive math program developed with Knewton (see ASU Dean Regier Announces Math Partnership with Knewton)
The focus on innovations for student success is working. Under Dr. Crow’s leadership, ASU has nearly tripled in size and tripled its research budget.
With help from GSV’s Mike Moe, ASU hosts an annual Education Innovation Summit—now the premier event focused on innovations in learning and education entrepreneurs. Sign up for the April 16-18, 2012 here.