SAN DIEGO, Aug. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the University of Arizona (UA) announced its intent to create a new nonprofit entity that will bear the name of The University of Arizona Global Campus and will acquire Ashford University from Zovio Inc. The University of Arizona Global Campus will be a fully online university providing access to affordable, high-quality higher education with flexible opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds to achieve their educational and life goals.
The conversion of Ashford to The University of Arizona Global Campus is driven by the institutions' shared missions of providing quality and life-advancing educational opportunities to students no matter who they are, where they are, or their stage of life. The University of Arizona Global Campus will remain as a separate university with its own academic programs, accreditation, and faculty.
"The alliance announced today between UA and Ashford will create new, exciting opportunities that promise to expand the reach of affordable, quality higher education," said Dr. Craig Swenson, Ashford's President. "The synergies that follow the affiliation of UA, a premier research and teaching university, with an innovative online university like Ashford will benefit students, faculty, and staff of both institutions," Dr. Swenson added. "After the process, we look forward to returning to our roots as a nonprofit institution and becoming The University of Arizona Global Campus."
The acquisition transaction with The University of Arizona Global Campus is a positive, strategic opportunity to partner with an institution that is also synonymous with student-centric innovation. The new arrangement will provide significant opportunities for collaboration that will support Ashford's ongoing efforts to improve student outcomes. Both Ashford and UA are recognized as leaders in tracking, assessing, and understanding data related to online student achievement.
Dr. Greg Geoffroy, chair of Ashford's Board of Trustees, indicated that the university's trustees welcomed the obvious benefits that will accompany this affiliation with the University of Arizona. "There is so much potential for cooperation," Geoffroy said. "We believe that both institutions stand to benefit as we work together to further expand access to quality higher education programs."
The University of Arizona Global Campus will bring to the University of Arizona community a strong geographic representation outside of Arizona. The University of Arizona's reach and ability to serve a more diverse student population, more nontraditional students, and new populations of students across the United States and around the world will be expanded through this new relationship.
The University of Arizona Global Campus will maintain its current accreditation with the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). WSCUC is an institutional accrediting commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). In June 2019, WSCUC reaffirmed Ashford's accreditation for six years, with the next scheduled reaffirmation visit in 2025.
Ashford will become The University of Arizona Global Campus upon completion of the transaction. Until that time, it will continue to be known as Ashford University.
This transaction is an important step in Zovio's strategic goal of becoming an education technology services company. Part of the transaction includes a Strategic Services Agreement, under which Zovio will provide specified enrollment, student support, information technology, and financial aid services to The University of Arizona Global Campus.
About Ashford University
Ashford University is a recognized leader and innovator in distance learning and online education. Ashford is designed to meet the needs of working students, offering programs most often sought by those whose primary educational goals relate to developing professional and career-relevant competencies. Flexible schedules, innovative delivery, and accessible academic support tools help working students balance busy lives with academic studies. Ashford offers associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu, www.facebook.com/ashforduniversity, or www.twitter.com/AshfordU.
Zovio (Nasdaq: ZVO) is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, which includes Fullstack Academy, TutorMe, and Learn@Forbes, leverages its core strengths and applies its technology and capabilities to priority market needs. Using advanced data and analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio's purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own. For more information, visit www.zovio.com.
About University of Arizona
The University of Arizona, a land-grant university with two independently accredited medical schools, is one of the nation's top public universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Established in 1885, the university is widely recognized as a student-centric university and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution by the U.S. Department of Education. The university ranked in the top 20 in 2018 in research expenditures among all public universities, according to the National Science Foundation, and is a leading Research 1 institution with $687 million in annual research expenditures. The university advances the frontiers of interdisciplinary scholarship and entrepreneurial partnerships as a member of the Association of American Universities, the 65 leading public and private research universities in the United States. It benefits Arizona with an estimated economic impact of $4.1 billion annually. For the latest on the University of Arizona response to the novel coronavirus, visit the university's COVID-19 webpage.
Ashford Media Contact: Pat Ogden