University of Tennessee and Arizona State University Forge Partnership to Expand Access to Higher Education


Chancellor Donde Plowman of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Arizona State University President Michael Crow have unveiled an ambitious partnership aimed at revolutionizing access to higher education. This collaboration, announced at the ASU+GSV Summit, signifies a significant step towards offering innovative digital learning opportunities to millions of residents in Tennessee and Arizona.

University of Tennessee and Arizona State University Forge Partnership to Expand Access to Higher Education

(Photo : WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / Gage Skidmore)

Addressing the Needs of Modern Learners

The partnership between UT and ASU is a response to the diverse needs of modern learners. By leveraging digital platforms, the universities aim to cater to individuals who are unable to participate in traditional campus settings, as well as working adults with families seeking to further their education. This initiative is not only about expanding access but also empowering learners on their educational journey and aligning educational offerings with the evolving needs of the workforce.

According to Chancellor Plowman, the partnership is deeply rooted in the mission of both institutions to serve their communities. "For us, it's all about helping the state in terms of economic development on all levels," she emphasized. This collaboration underscores UT's commitment to academic excellence and dedication to providing flexible educational options that are increasingly in demand in today's higher education landscape.

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A Comprehensive Partnership

The agreement between UT and ASU encompasses a wide range of initiatives designed to enhance educational offerings and support services. It includes course exchanges, joint technology solution efforts, and operational advisory services from ASU. These efforts are intended to accelerate the development of UT's infrastructure and operational capabilities, enabling the university to offer a broader range of online degree and certificate programs.

UT currently provides over 70 fully online degree and certificate programs spanning almost 80 areas of study. With the support of ASU, UT expects to launch additional programs later this fall, with more programs slated to begin next year. This partnership not only expands the reach of UT's educational offerings but also enhances the quality of its online programs, leveraging ASU's expertise in digital learning.

A Mutual Learning Opportunity

President Crow emphasized that the partnership is a two-way street, with both universities benefiting from each other's strengths. "This alliance is a way for us to learn from UT Knoxville and for them to learn from us. This is part of a process in which we all benefit," he stated. ASU, known for its global leadership in digital learning and high-quality academic programs, is eager to collaborate with UT to expand access to higher education and drive social outcomes.

The partnership between UT and ASU represents a groundbreaking initiative that has the potential to transform higher education. By leveraging digital technologies and sharing best practices, these institutions are poised to revolutionize access to higher education and empower learners to achieve their academic and professional goals.

The collaboration not only addresses the immediate needs of residents in Tennessee and Arizona but also sets a precedent for future partnerships between universities seeking to expand access to high-quality education. As the landscape of higher education continues to evolve, initiatives like the UT-ASU partnership will play a crucial role in shaping the future of learning and ensuring that education remains accessible and inclusive for all.

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