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Level up your summer plans with ASU

April 27, 2020

From K-12 creative programs to an early start for incoming students, these programs make the lazy days of summer anything but

Arizona State University is offering more than 5,000 courses this summer for every type of learner — from admitted first-year students who want to get ahead on credits to “visiting students” from other institutions to K-12 pupils.

All classes will be offered through online modalities, including ASU Online as well as live, virtual instruction taught by ASU’s top faculty. Classes have two start dates, Monday, May 18, and Wednesday, July 1, with more than 20 of ASU’s most popular classes offered with multiple start dates throughout the summer.  

Everything that ASU is offering is gathered onto one platform, Summer 2020 Academic Experiences.

“We want to be of the greatest service possible to as many learners as we can regardless of their ages, locations or circumstances,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow.

“ASU’s 2020 summer offerings provide a wide array of learning pathways, including valuable options for those interested in getting a jump-start on college, accelerating their time to degree, or in reskilling or upskilling to move their career plans forward.”

ASU is offering financial incentives to assist learners with their educational goals:

  • Currently enrolled international and nonresident on-campus ASU undergraduates can receive a $700 Summer 2020 Award for every three credits taken. Arizona resident rates remain lower, with financial aid available to eligible students.  
  • Undergraduates who receiving their bachelor’s degrees in spring 2020 can receive a $500 Summer Award for every three credits taken if they take 500 level courses as a nondegree student or enroll in an on-campus master's degree program.
  • New first-year and new transfer students who are planning to be on ASU’s campus in fall 2020 will receive a $500 New American University Summer 2020 Award for every three credits taken.
  • Visiting university students in good academic standing from other community colleges, universities and colleges have access to the same classes, with an affordable tuition rate set at $530 per credit, saving them over $750 for a three credit class.
  • K-12 learners and anyone exploring college are invited to pursue online open courses this summer. ASU is offering several 100- and 200-level open courses, such as English Composition and Introduction to Engineering, and students can then pay as low as $99 per course, instead of $400 per course, to convert them to credit toward a degree.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many of ASU’s summer programs for young people have made the switch to virtual programs as well, including:

  • The School of Film, Dance and Theatre Summer Institute for middle school and high school students, with workshops in creative writing, flamenco dance, hip hop theater, puppetry, auditioning and more.
  • The Young Adult Writing Program for kindergarteners through high schoolers, with workshops on activism, fantasy and horror, college essays and a family literacy camp.
  • Veterinary Science Exploration for high school students, with online modules in animal body language, behavior and surgery.

ASU for You, the university’s vast collection of online resources curated onto a single platform, is also will be available throughout the summer. That content, much of it free, is for all learners, from elementary school students to adults. It includes:

  • Free online course materials for high school students from ASU Prep Digital, including art history, chemistry and economics.
  • Free self-paced modules in areas such as entrepreneurship, healthy aging, caregiving and sustainability.
  • Professional development courses created by ASU experts in topics including human resources, marketing and organizational diversity, some free with many priced at $149.

ASU has partnered with the producers of the popular Crash Course videos on a new YouTube series that covers subjects like writing composition, algebra, chemistry and data literacy. The videos are meant to be fun and engaging for young people while covering key points in each subject.

“While classes may be offered differently than in past summers, one thing remains certain – ASU has the renowned faculty, technology and commitment needed to ensure that all learners can continue toward their goals,” said executive vice president and university provost Mark S. Searle.

“We are focused on staying true to what is at the core of our ASU charter — making our high quality education accessible to any qualified learner who wants to use their summer to get on track, accelerate their degree, or pursue personal enrichment.”

Learn more at

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now


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Outstanding Herberger undergraduate inspired by indigenous culture

Herberger Outstanding Undergraduate wants to focus on public design.
April 27, 2020

Julia Lopez wants to be an advocate for those without a voice in design

Editor's note: This story is part of a series of profiles of notable spring 2020 graduates.

Julia Lopez has kept a close connection to her heritage, which has inspired in her design work.

Lopez, who is earning a BSD in interior design, has been named the Outstanding Undergraduate by the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University.

“I grew up in a small town in Mexico and the indigenous people there focus on building with things they had, because they didn’t have many resources,” said Lopez, whose family is form Chihuahua, where she would spend a month every summer.

“So I want my design to focus on simple materials,” she said.

“The indigenous people feel a connection to the earth and the way things grow and how when you build something, you factor in the place it’s in. They use materials from the earth, like adobe.”

Lopez became interested in the way spaces make people feel.

“I discovered the design was a great outlet for my creativity and that it can enhance emotions and things like that,” she said.

Julia Lopez is the Herberger Institute's Outstanding Undergraduate this semester.

Lopez, who is an active member in the ASU Latino Architecture Student Organization, also has worked as the Kids at Hope program coordinator at Garfield Elementary School in Phoenix, where she helped the young students design rockets.

She answered some questions from ASU Now:

Question: Why did you choose ASU?

Answer: I grew up in the Phoenix area and I chose ASU because of the location and also because The Design School intrigued me. The focus on interdisciplinary collaboration is really important in design because you’re working across different fields, like architecture and landscape.

Q: What’s something you learned while at ASU — in the classroom or otherwise — that surprised you or changed your perspective?

A: One of the major things I learned was how to collaborate with others. I’m a reserved person and quiet but being at The Design School has helped me to open up and work with others and learn from them.

This semester, before everything happened, we were working with Porter Elementary School in Mesa and the Mesa Arts Center on a design/build studio where we were going to create a space for the public to connect with their inner child. We worked with the kids, who really opened our eyes to a different perspective. We learned a lot from them.

It’s unfortunate it never got built. We were a week away when everything happened. But it’s an experience I’ll take away with me.

Q: Which professor taught you the most important lesson while at ASU?

A: Elena Rocchi has been a mentor for the past four years. Even just over coffee she taught me design and how to be a better human. Her classes focused on architecture and learning about the narrative of a place and I discovered myself and my story through her. One class was “The Image of Rome” and I learned about Rome and our own cities and it helped me to discover my passion.

Jose Bernardi was special to me because he’s also Hispanic and it’s important to have someone from the same culture and values. He focuses on design using simple materials and in one of the studios he taught, we designed a homeless shelter, which was an eye-opening project. We got to collaborate with shelters in the Valley like Circle the City and interview people to understand how design can affect people and how to create simple spaces that promote healing and hope.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those still in school?

A: Don’t be afraid. You’re going to make mistakes and want to compare yourself to others. That’s OK, but get past that and don’t be afraid to venture out and discover yourself. Another thing that helped me was learning from my classmates and groups at ASU, like the Latino architecture organization.

Q: What was your favorite spot on campus, whether for studying, meeting friends or just thinking about life?

A: One of my go-to spots is the ASU Art Museum. On the stairs outside, it’s so peaceful and the lighting works well there.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I got accepted into the master’s of architecture program at ASU. I want to focus on public design, like libraries, and being an advocate for people who may not have a voice when it comes to design.

Mary Beth Faller

Reporter , ASU Now