Tutor the People – Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona as well as its largest city with almost 1.5 million residents, was founded in the late 1860’s as a small farming community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila rivers. Located in the northeast corner of the Sonoran desert, Phoenix has a hot desert climate. However, a series of canals built originally by the Native American Hohokam tribe, who occupied the area for 2,000 years before European settlement, irrigates the land around Phoenix, making it excellent for farming. Until the arrival of the technology firms like Motorola in the 1940’s, agriculture was the major driving factor of the Phoenix economy. Agricultural products like citrus fruits, cattle, and cotton were shipped to both eastern and western markets, along with minerals like copper from the local mines. The 20th century brought massive uninterrupted growth to the Phoenix from World War II onward, and today it is a thriving corporate and commercial hub with the 6th largest population in the United States. Much of this economic growth was fueled by state investments in higher education, particularly at Arizona State University which has six campuses across the Phoenix metropolitan area, and is known for its high research output, including collaborations with NASA.
In addition to excellent academics and a bustling metropolitan setting, Phoenix area colleges and universities also attract many students because of the breathtaking natural beauty of Arizona. Students at Phoenix area colleges and universities are a short drive from some of the nation’s most beautiful natural parks, such as the Grand Canyon, the Petrified Forest, or the Painted Desert, as well as some of its most interesting historical sites like Tombstone, the site of the famous “shootout at the OK corral”. The city of Phoenix itself maintains a massive park system which is designed to maintain many mountain, forest, and desert landscapes that would otherwise have been developed. Needless to say, Phoenix is a great place for nature lovers to pursue a higher education.
Top Universities in Phoenix, AZ
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Arizona State University
Arizona State University, or more commonly “ASU” or “Arizona State”, is located in Phoenix, Arizona. It is spread across five campuses in the greater Phoenix area. When the first classes were held in 1886, the school had only 33 students. Today, ASU is the largest university in the United States in terms of enrollment, with over 67 thousand undergraduates and almost 16 thousand graduate students. Founded in 1885 as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe, as a school for training teachers, ASU has grown into one of the largest, and most active, public research universities in the United States today. ASU offers over 250 bachelor’s degrees, and there are over 100 master’s or doctoral programs. With 5 campuses spread out over the Phoenix area, ASU is unique in that there is no “main campus”, rather the different schools each have their own identity and serve a particular educational mission. A system of shuttles and light rails help students travel from campus to campus. Many of ASU’s academic programs are internationally recognized for their excellence. The University’s doctoral program in Philosophy, for example, is considered one of the world’s finest. Some of Arizona State’s other highly ranked programs include earth sciences, journalism, physics, psychology, many programs in the arts, and law. The Wall Street Journal recently ranked Arizona State grads 5th in the nation for workforce preparedness upon graduation. ASU is also internationally recognized for its faculty, who have made major contributions to many fields, for example Professor Donald Johanson, who discovered the famous australopithecus skeleton “Lucy”, one of the most important archeological finds in history.
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University, or “GCU”, is a private Christian college located in Phoenix, Arizona, accredited by the Higher Education Commission to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in health care, education, and the liberal arts. Originally conceived by Arizona Southern Baptists as a local alternative to Baptist colleges “back east”, in Texas and Oklahoma, Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and today offers a quality liberal arts undergraduate education to its 15,000 students on campus, as well as the nearly 60,000 students it serves online.
Arizona Christian University
Arizona Christian University is a small private Christian college located in Phoenix, Arizona. It was founded in 1960. Today it has an enrollment of 683 students. Arizona Christian University offers a number of traditional bachelor’s degrees like psychology or political science, while at the same time focusing on biblical study. Starting in 2011, ACU began a push to integrate the use of technology more broadly in the educational process and, amongst other efforts, began issuing iPads to incoming freshmen.