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Where's Poly going?

February 08, 2006

In July, the first Ph.D. offered on Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus was approved. In August, the Arizona Board of Regents confirmed three new undergraduate degree programs and a name change for one of the academic departments at the campus. And in December, ABOR gave the go ahead for a School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation.

These actions are just the beginning of the proposed five-year roadmap for the campus, which recommends the reorganization of existing colleges; establishing new colleges, schools and degree programs; and adding faculty and facilities.

The roadmap, developed in collaboration with academic leadership of the campus and university, outlines the future of the Polytechnic campus where programs provide both a practical and theoretical learning experience. According to Provost Jerry Jakubowski these changes are essential in the implementation of the new direction for the campus.

"Arizona State University's Polytechnic campus is the only polytechnic institution in the state, and we are in an enviable position of building a 21st century polytechnic for Arizona," said Jakubowski.


One of the biggest pieces of the roadmap is organizing the Polytechnic programs in a way that will serve future generations more efficiently. Some of the reorganization includes the expansion from three colleges/schools to five during the next two years, pending Arizona Board of Regents' (ABOR) approval.

School of Applied Arts & Sciences, the largest of the existing three, for many years served as an incubator for new programs as well as a home for programs that were not large enough to stand on their own or did not quite fit in one of the other existing academic units. Because of its mix of programs, the proposed changes for this college will represent the bulk of the realignment for the campus.

College of Technology and Innovation

With ABORs' approval, the College of Technology and Innovation will become the College of Technology and Innovation where all the technical, math and science related programs will be aligned. If approved, the college also will propose changes to its current structure to include four divisions, each consisting of a mix of existing and new departments:

  • Division of Aviation Technology and Management - will be established, including Aeronautical Technology Management, Environmental Technology and Governmental Services Management, Global Technology and Development, and Graphics and Information Technology
  • Division of Computing Studies - including Applied Computing and Computing Systems;
  • Division of Engineering and Technology - will be established, including Civil Engineering Technology, Electronic Systems, Engineering, and Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Technology;
  • Division of Science and Mathematics - will be established, including Applied Biological Sciences, which currently resides in School of Applied Arts & Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Natural Sciences.

"Beyond enhancing math and science as degree programs, this new structure and name will bring them into closer coordination with our programs in engineering and technology," says Albert McHenry, ASU Dean of the College of Technology and Applied Sciences. "The resulting synchronization will improve their ability to accommodate the special demands placed on these subjects in our volatile polytechnic academic environment."

The new college name is anticipated to be in place by fall 2006.

Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness Pending approval, the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management and the existing business and real estate programs will join together to form the Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness, possibly as early as fall 2006.

"Now that the business and real estate programs are established, the realignment of the similar programs under one school makes sense," says Raymond Marquardt, dean of the Morrison School of Agribusiness and Resource Management. "The name recognizes the contributions the Morrison family has made to the Polytechnic campus and clearly identifies the programs offered. And, for more than five years, the faculty in the Morrison School have taught a number of courses for the Business Administration program, so familiarity on both sides exists."

In addition to the realignment, four new faculty positions are opening and a new founding dean is being sought to head the new school.

School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation As mentioned earlier, the Education program that was part of School of Applied Arts & Sciences becomes the School of Educational Innovation and Teacher Preparation, effective spring 2006. The new school will have two departments:

  • Department of Teacher Education and Administration - will be home for the existing undergraduate and graduate Education degrees offered as well as new ones in Early Childhood Education, Special Education, a BAE in select studies and master's degrees in Special Education and Educational Administration and Supervision.
  • Department of Physical Education - will be home for the existing undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Physical Education.

School of Health Sciences and Technologies

From the departments of Exercise and Wellness and Nutrition as well as the Human Health Studies programs currently in School of Applied Arts & Sciences, the School of Health Sciences and Technologies will emerge. New degree programs being proposed include medical lab science and technology. A Ph.D. in Physical Activity, Nutrition and Wellness was approved last summer.

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

The remaining programs in School of Applied Arts & Sciences — Applied Psychology and the Multimedia Writing and Technical Communications programs — will be supplemented with new programs in social sciences and humanities to form the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Proposed news programs will include Public Policy and Government; Applied Art & Design; Literature, Writing and Film; and History and Culture to name a few.

"The programs that have been in the School of Applied Arts & Sciences have grown beyond the incubator stage and are ready to stand on their own," says Glenn Irvin, dean of School of Applied Arts & Sciences. "And the need for the campus to offer comprehensive lower- and upper- division courses and degree programs in the humanities, arts and social sciences is critical to a polytechnic education."

In addition to the new programs and structure, a number of faculty and eventually deans will be sought.

Program Development

Enrollment at the Polytechnic campus is up 22 percent over fall 2004 numbers. The campus experienced a nearly 50 percent increase in freshmen. Total enrollment for fall 2005 was at 4,865. The growth is due, in part, to new programs, increased lower-division course offerings, as well as online offerings. Enrollment projections put the campus at approximately 8,500 students by 2010, topping out at 15,000 by 2020.

In order for the campus to continue its growth, the five-year plan recommends nearly doubling program offerings, from 33 bachelor's and graduate degrees to 62.

Poly Core

To help attract and retain students, as well as to assure employers of the breadth and quality of their preparation, a Polytechnic Core of values and outcomes has been established. These will ensure that every student graduating from a program offered at the Polytechnic campus achieves knowledge and competency in the following areas:

  • Information literacy
  • Critical thinking
  • Science/Technology
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Communication skills
  • Social and leadership skills
  • Ethics
  • Global awareness

"The Polytechnic Core provides a common set of outcomes and experiences for all students," says David Schwalm, vice provost of academic programs at the Polytechnic campus. "The curriculum is aligned with the core outcomes, and extra-curricular activities support and reinforce the curriculum. Students assess their own progress, and the university assesses student achievement through senior year capstone projects."

Proposed New Facilities

As part of the University Comprehensive Development Plan a series of new facilities are being proposed for the Polytechnic campus. Long-term, the built space will increase from the current 630,327 square feet to 3.2 million, increasing classroom, research and housing space.

However, to address the more immediate space needs, three new facilities totaling 180,000 square feet are under consideration, with construction to begin once funding is identified and final designs are approved. A new science and technology facility will include classrooms, labs and faculty offices. Additional facilities, known as Classroom Office Building 1 and 2, will combine classrooms, faculty offices and other instructional space, such as an auditorium.

During the 2006 legislative session, the university is proposing to seek a $7.5 million annual investment from the State Legislature to finance construction of these three new facilities, according to Jakubowski.

"Support from the community to approve this investment and help in achieving all of our initiatives will be vital in order for the university to provide a world- class polytechnic education to students," says Jakubowski.

For more information on all these initiatives, visit