Higher Education in the West Valley

Arizona State University - West


ASU's West campus currently serves nearly 8000 students on its growing, modern, urban campus in northwest Phoenix. The campus features a friendly, supportive atmosphere in the context of a nationally acclaimed, PAC-10 university.

Undergraduate and graduate-level courses lead to a wide range of degree programs and professional certificates offered through the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the College of Teacher Education and Leadership, the College of Human Services, and the School of Global Management and Leadership.

The campus is dedicated to serving the evolving needs of high school graduates, working adults, returning students and continuing students.

ASU West's mission encompasses research and teaching, faculty-student research collaboration, interdisciplinary perspectives, and the development of university-community partnerships.

Campus amenities include a library, cafeteria, child development center, fitness center, bookstore, credit union, computer center, lounges and meeting rooms, a residence hall and the Learning Enhancement Center, which offers an integrated approach to writing and tutoring support.

The campus also offers valuable resources for the community, including fine arts and cultural programs, speakers bureau, business consulting, research reports, workshops, and special events.

ASU's West campus is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. Professional programs in the colleges are also accredited by national boards and associations.

The campus is located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Glendale.

Link: ASU-West

Thunderbird School of Global Management

Thunderbird School of Global Management

The remnants of Thunderbird's history as a former training facility for WWII pilots can still be seen on the modern campus in a number of landmark buildings, including the airfield control tower.

At over 60 years of age, the Thunderbird School of Global Management is the oldest and largest graduate management school in the United States focused solely on preparing international business leaders. It was founded in 1946 following World War II by Lieutenant General Barton Kyle Yount, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Air Training Command.

A pioneer and visionary of his time, General Yount saw a growing demand for international executive talent and had a dream to create the first school of business to focus exclusively on international management. That dream was realized April 8, 1946, when the School received its charter and General Yount became the School's first president. The School was founded as a nonprofit organization known as the American Institute for Foreign Trade. Classes began October 1, 1946, and its first class graduated June 14, 1947. The school has since graduated more than 38,000 students who live and work in more than 140 countries.

The graduate school was built on the site of Thunderbird Field, a historic airbase established to train American, Canadian, British and Chinese pilots during World War II. The remnants of that earlier time can still be seen on the modern campus in a number of landmark buildings, including the airfield control tower, barracks and airplane hangars.

The School's unique curriculum is based on the principle that to do business on a global scale, executives must know not only the intricacies of business, but also understand the customs of other countries and be able to communicate in different cultures. Over the years, Thunderbird has undergone countless changes—including five different names—but has never wavered from its founding principal nor ignored its rich legacy.

Throughout its history, Thunderbird has remained the leader in international business education by offering a cutting-edge curriculum taught by faculty who are recognized as global thought leaders in their respective areas of expertise. The School's uniqueness draws the very brightest and globally minded students from cultures throughout the world. During any given trimester, more than 30 countries are represented among the student body. Over the years, the School has fostered its global presence that now includes operations in the United States, Europe, Latin America and China.

Link: Thunderbird

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon College was born in the wake of World War II as the realization of a dream long held dear by the tiny congregations of Southern Baptists that called the Arizona mission frontier their home. In the fall of 1946, the Baptist General Convention of Arizona voted to organize a college. A few months later, the Convention selected the first trustees for the college, who soon secured an abandoned armory building in Prescott, Arizona, as Grand Canyon’s first campus.

The College was chartered on August 1, 1949, with 16 faculty and approximately 100 students, many of them veterans. In 1951 the College put up its first permanent buildings on a 90-acre tract in west Phoenix. Grand Canyon College was fully accredited in 1968 by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, North Central Association of Colleges and Schools,

The College was first considered primarily a school for preachers, but its reputation expanded rapidly. Grand Canyon College became famous early on for its teacher education program and soon developed outstanding programs in the sciences, nursing, business, music, and the arts, while maintaining its excellence in Christian studies. During planning for the change in institutional organization and status from Grand Canyon College to Grand Canyon University, the institution identified several landmark events that had been and would be pivotal during this transition. These included, but were not limited to, the organization of programs and departments into multiple colleges, the offering of graduate degree programs, the formation of the Grand Canyon University Foundation, and the generosity of several individuals who pledged or gave unrestricted gifts valued at one million dollars or more to launch the University into the next decade and century.

In May of 1984, the College trustees voted to prepare for transition to University status on the school’s 40th anniversary in 1989. Another landmark event occurred at the turn of the century that moved the University away from being owned and operated by the Arizona Southern Baptists Convention to being self-owned by the Board of Trustees. Four years later, in 2004, the University’s ownership once again changed when it was purchased by Significant Education, LLC. At this time, the University became a for-profit institution with a vision for maintaining the strength of its campus-based programs, as well as a strong emphasis on Online program offerings.

Link: Grand Canyon University

Estrella Community College

Estrella Community College

Estrella Mountain Community College is a nationally recognized leader within the Maricopa Community College District. Offering courses since 1990, the college opened its Avondale campus in 1992.

Providing educational opportunities and workforce training for western metropolitan Phoenix, Estrella Mountain serves a burgeoning population of over 285,000 residents. Located in the fastest growing region of the county, the college’s service area population is expected to grow to more than 1.6 million people by 2030.

With growth the driving force and planning for the future a constant necessity, Estrella Mountain has developed unique strengths to meet its challenges. Strengths in strategic planning, campus design, integration of technology, community partnerships, and the cultivation of a customer-driven approach to program development have all contributed to success at Estrella Mountain.

Link: Estrella Community College

Glendale Community College

Glendale Community College

Since the college opened in 1965, over 319,000 students have enrolled in credit courses at GCC. Students, including teens, business employees, community residents, and retirees, are attracted by the small classes, professional instructors, ideal location, affordable tuition and flexible course offerings. GCC is hallmarked by its High Tech Complex and sophisticated technology used to enhance student learning.

Glendale Community College is located at Olive and 59th Avenues in Glendale, Arizona. The mild climate enables students to enjoy informal outdoor social and study areas and open intimate courts surrounded by flowering gardens. The 147-acre campus is distinguished by its southwestern architecture and beautiful palm-lined walkways.

Link: Glendale Community College

Communiversity @ Surprise

Communiversity @ Surprise

The Communiversity @ Surprise is a higher education center organized by Rio Salado College, in partnership with several other colleges and universities. The combined efforts of all participating institutions allow students to pursue educational pathways in one convenient location. Students benefit from a variety of course formats, including in-person, on-line and hybrid. Students are able to complete certificates, associate degrees, bachelor's degrees and master’s degrees through the partner institutions.

Communiversity @ Surprise partners with Rio Salado College, Northern Arizona University, Phoenix College, Glendale Community College, and Ottawa University to offer a total of 40 different certificate and degree programs.

The campus is conveniently located in the new Surprise Civic Center Complex at 15950 N. Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85374.

Link: Communiversity @ Surprise