ASU engineering, journalism schools announce innovative dual degree program

February 12, 2015

Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering will begin offering dual degrees in journalism and graphic information technology in fall 2015.

The announcement marks the first of a series of dual undergraduate degrees to be offered by the Cronkite School in concert with other ASU schools in the coming months. The initiative allows students to pursue two separate degrees in less time by streamlining the admissions process and course requirements. New Innovation Lab Download Full Image

Under the Cronkite-Fulton partnership, ASU students can simultaneously earn a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication and a bachelor of science in graphic information technology by taking between 122 and 137 credit hours, depending on English and foreign language placement. Prior to the program, students would typically take more than 170 credit hours for the two degrees.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, one of the best and most innovative,” said Christopher Callahan, Cronkite School dean and university vice provost. “Deep journalism knowledge coupled with a sophisticated understanding of Web development is a powerful combination in today’s digital media market.”

Students pursuing dual degrees in journalism and graphic information technology will engage in immersive, hands-on learning in areas such as digital reporting, videography, news writing, Web design and development and news game creation.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students, given the expanding role of technology in communicating complex messages, ideas and news in our rapidly changing world,” said Paul C. Johnson, Fulton Schools dean. “The Fulton Schools of Engineering are excited to be teaming with the world-renowned Cronkite School in this first of what we hope will be many unique programs linking our schools at the intersection of journalism, communications and technology.”

With the graphic information technology degree, students select between Web development and gaming animation as an area of focus. Cronkite’s journalism degree requires a professional internship as well as participation in the school’s New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, where students design and create cutting-edge digital media products for regional and national media companies and other organizations.

The graphic information technology program at ASU is part of the Polytechnic School, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. For more information on the dual degree program, visit

Reporter , ASU News


ASU signs partnership to educate Peruvian teachers

February 13, 2015

For the last 20 years, Violeta Calderon has been an English teacher to high school-aged students in her home country of Peru.

Now, Calderon, who is 49, is spending seven weeks in a classroom at Arizona State University’s West campus – this time as a student. Peruvian students in class Peruvian English teachers in class on ASU's West campus. ASU gave each a Chromebook to help complete their studies. Download Full Image

She’s part of an extensive English teacher training program for 235 Peruvian public high school teachers that is run through the American English and Culture Program at ASU.

“I wanted to come here to do this – for me it’s a blessing,” Calderon said. “To come to another country, to come to the United States, to have this special program because I want to improve. Not only my listening, but speaking, so I have an opportunity to practice my English all the time.”

In the program, which started Jan. 19, Peruvian teachers like Calderon are improving their English language communication skills and their teaching methodology so they can go back to Peru and elevate the level of English education in their entire region.

The teachers were granted a full scholarship to attend this program at ASU through PRONABEC, the continuing education and scholarship granting arm of the Peruvian Ministry of Education.

Their arrival at ASU comes as a new agreement was signed between the university and the Peruvian government.

“I am enormously proud to partner with Arizona State University and the Government of Peru to transform English teaching in Peru,” said Brian A Nichols, America’s Ambassador to Peru. “ASU’s historic agreement to train hundreds of Peruvian teachers in English education will improve the educational outcomes of thousands of students around the country.”

The Peruvian government selected ASU out of a prestigious group of American universities to host the teachers. They are the largest group Peru has ever sent abroad for teacher training, signaling the country’s excitement about the ASU partnership.

“We were pleased to be selected from other top U.S. universities to deliver this robust training program for public high school teachers,” said Robert E. Page, Jr., university provost. “ASU and the Ministry of Education in Peru share a common commitment to academic excellence and to social inclusion.”

The Peruvian teachers will not only be improving their own English skills, but they will be learning how to better teach English when they get back home, and how to pass along their new skills to their colleagues.

“We put them through a demanding program while they’re here, but it is one that they will leave with tremendous new talents to share in their communities,” said Shane Dixon, educational lead of ASU’s Peruvian teacher training program.

The Ministry of Education in Peru wants to send around 4,000 English teachers abroad to improve their ability to teach at home. The government believes that English proficiency among its people will improve its economic success.

"It is gratifying to know that our teachers will specialize in such an important issue as the English language, because knowledge and mastery of English is key to strengthening the ability of young Peruvians to thrive in the global economy," said the executive director of PRONABEC, Raul Choque.

Of the 235 participants, 70 are from Lima, the capital of Peru, while the remainder of the group is from other parts of the country.

Martin Laban, 46, teaches in a female-only public high school in Piura, 15 hours by bus from Lima.

“The first week was a culture shock but then I adapted to this and ASU,” Laban said. “I love this kind of culture and the experience I’m getting here.”

Laban said every day in Arizona is a new experience for him.

“I hope to learn many interesting things, to take them to my school and put in practice, especially strategies and techniques,” Laban said. “I am totally convinced that they are going to be important for my students.”

Aside from the teacher training part of the program, the students are getting to experience the culture of ASU and the American Southwest.

Participants attended the Martin Luther King Day “I Have A Dream” speech re-enactment on ASU’s west campus in January, went on a trip to the Grand Canyon and attended a Super Bowl viewing party.

Additionally, the participants will visit local schools around the Valley; hear from guest speakers from Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College, as well as speakers from the community; attend an ASU Men’s Basketball game; attend the Renaissance Festival in Tempe; and go to the Celebrate Peru Day on the Tempe campus to make a presentation about Peru culture to a wider audience.

"The Peruvian government is making a series of strategic investments in education,” said Julia Rosen, associate vice provost. “We hope that this program is just the first of many to come."

Written by Samantha Pell, ASU News