Academic Programs


The School of Community Resources and Development is centered around the systematic study of leisure-related phenomena, including human behavior and development, resource use, social issues and public policy. The Department is strongly committed to research, teaching and public service that results in analyzing and disseminating leisure information and technical assistance to the community at large. It features full exposure of students to this multifaceted concept of the leisure-service profession.

The School of Public Affairs serves the public policymaking needs of Greater Phoenix, the State of Arizona and the nation; prepares students for leadership in public service in a diverse, interdependent and dynamic world; and advances research in discovering, integrating, sharing and applying knowledge of public affairs. The School identifies emerging public issues, applies research to public problems, disseminates information and proposes solutions.

The School of Social Work is committed to investing in human potential. The School prepares competent and effective social work practitioners who understand the underlying structure of social problems, who respect social and cultural diversity, and who practice effectively for the promotion of social justice and the common good. The School of Social Work contributes to the development and dissemination of social work knowledge and skills and to the affirmation of professional values. It addresses the changing needs of the diverse communities and populations of the State of Arizona and the Nation. Special emphasis is placed on a commitment to the original cultures and populations of the Southwest, including tribal governments, to the historical needs and mobility patterns of the border populations, and to the School’s responsibility to this part of the country. Therefore, community partnerships are essential to the achievement of the School’s mission.

Centers, Institutes, Programs

The Advanced Public Executive Program (APEP) is a continuing education program designed to provide public-sector executives with analytical approaches and skills in reengineering, leadership, policy analysis, total quality management, media relations, organizational development, team-building and communication. Located at the ASU Downtown Center, APEP sponsors the Arizona Leadership Academy, Certified Manager Program (CPM), Institute for Public Executives, Fire Service Institute, Arizona Municipal Clerk’s Institute and County Elected Officials’ Certification Program. It also presents custom-tailored professional development programs for public-sector professionals.

American Humanics is a unique undergraduate program of education and preparation for leadership and management positions in nonprofit organizations. Administered through the School of Community Resources and Development, students may pursue a B.S. Degree in Recreation with an emphasis track in nonprofit management, or they may pursue any major at ASU and cross into AH program for its curricular and co-curricular offerings. Upon completion of the program, successful students earn national certification through American Humanics, Inc., the national leader in nonprofit education.

The mission of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership and Management is to help build the capacity of social sector organizations to improve the quality of life in communities. The Center facilitates a broad portfolio of research, education, technical assistance and conference activities that provide knowledge and tools that enhance the effectiveness of those who lead and manage nonprofit organizations.

The Center for Urban Inquiry interrogates the unique features of the new urban West, particularly the intersections of new forces of growth and development with patterns of exclusion and inclusion and of maldistribution and redistribution. It harnesses the unique resources of the University and engages in partnerships to affect patterns of inclusion and of redistribution.

As an integral part of the School of Public Affairs, the Morrison Institute for Public Policy conducts research on public policy, informs policymakers and citizens about issues and advises leaders on choices and actions. In partnership with government officials, university faculty and the private sector, the Institute conducts research, policy forums, program evaluations and strategic planning for public, private and nonprofit clients. It produces publications on a wide range of topics, including urban growth, education, natural resources, governmental systems and relations, healthcare, social services and quality of life.

The mission of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC) is to conduct multidisciplinary community-based social work research on family and youth drug use prevention and services under two priority areas: culturally grounded drug use prevention and culturally responsive and resiliency-focused drug abuse services research. We study the strengths, competencies, and other protective factors that buffer against drug use and risk behaviors of families and youth. We focus on the diverse cultural communities of the Southwest and the way that drug use is connected to ethnic, gender, developmental, geographic, and other social identity variables.