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Wed, Feb. 19

ASU presence came to naught in Chino, NAU growing in PV

CHINO VALLEY - More than four years ago, then-Town Manager Bill Pupo came up with a vision of bringing Arizona State University to the community.

Pupo, who left in January 2008 for the private sector, envisioned a Chino Valley campus that would enable recent high school graduates to attend college nearby, and attract employers who would create "knowledge-based" jobs.

However, the ASU presence did not draw more than three or four students who enrolled in interactive television classes linked to a classroom at the Chino Valley campus of Yavapai College.

"We just did not have enough student base," said John Morgan, dean of the Agribusiness & Science Tech Center of Yavapai College in Chino Valley. He added the small enrollment from Yavapai College students made it too costly for ASU.

Morgan also cited technical difficulties, including dropped signals, that affected the ITV classes in Chino Valley.

The Yavapai College students either transferred to ASU East in Mesa or the University of Arizona, or took ASU classes online, according to Morgan.

"Right around that time we saw a huge movement online," Morgan said. "That definitely has had an impact."

ASU could not establish a "significant presence" in Chino Valley because the state provided inadequate financing and not enough students enrolled, Virgil Renzulli, ASU's vice president of public affairs, indicated in an e-mail.

While ASU's presence in Chino Valley died after Pupo left, Northern Arizona University will welcome its first freshman class Aug. 31.

The NAU campus, which is located in the Prescott Valley Library building at 7351 E. Civic Circle, started this past August with a weekly evening class that prepared teachers to educate children whose primary language is not English. NAU-Yavapai occupies space that the town government had planned to lease to Yavapai College.

Working in conjunction with the town government and Yavapai College, NAU opened the campus with the goal of graduating students in three years and training them for careers targeting the regional economy. The college eventually will have a stand-alone site with a goal of enrolling 5,000 students in 10 years, according to Susan Johnstad, assistant vice president and campus executive officer.

Johnstad said the new school year with begin small by welcoming freshmen in cohorts of 20 students at a time with starting points in August, October, January, March and May.

The Prescott Valley campus, which will not offer masters' classes in the new school year, will provide majors in entrepreneurship, service industry management, and community development and sustainability, Johnstad said. NAU officials are working on creating the fourth degree program: applied human behavior.

Johnstad said about15 students enrolled as of Thursday morning for the first cohort group.

"It is not too late to enroll," she said. "We can talk to new students anytime of the year."

Aspiring students must supply high school transcripts but do not have to take college entrance exams, Johnstad said.

For more information, visit the campus or call 771-6144 and ask to speak to an adviser.

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