Arizona State U to Break Ground on Honors College

PHOENIX

Arizona State University is one of the nation’s biggest. Now, school officials want to show it can be among the best.

The university Monday will break ground on a $120 million complex that’s exclusively for honors students.

It’s the only one of its kind in the nation at a public university, ASU officials said.

Once it’s completed in 2009, Barrett, the Honors College will have double the on-campus housing for honors students and its own dining facilities, computer lab and fitness center.

The school wants the honors college as an incentive for more top students to live on campus all four years.

“Our model is a model of lots of little colleges within a big university,” ASU President Michael Crow said.

The Barrett school will be patterned after residential colleges like the ones found at Cambridge, Yale and Harvard universities. The idea is that giving students a place to live, eat and study together strengthens learning and their connections to the university.

“That’s the magical interaction we want,” said Barrett Dean Mark Jacobs, who recruits students from around the country.

ASU officials hope the honors campus is a selling point to attract high-quality students, especially as ASU grows toward an expected enrollment of 90,000 over 15 years.

Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com



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