See What Our Parents Are Saying – A Community of Learners

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Being a parent is arguably one of the toughest jobs there is. We want what’s best for our children and strive to put their needs first. But parents also need to balance their own growth and development. Read the letter below we received from a mom who is also going to college full time.

“Being a stay-at-home mom and full-time online college student myself with ASU, I started to worry about finding a school for my son as his kindergarten year approached because times are different. When my own Success Coach told me about ASU Prep Digital, I did not have a doubt in their learning platform because it was in the name itself—they were trained for online learning for KIDS. 

It was flexible, advanced lessons, yet they were taught in the simplest and most fun ways, and had the most engaging staff such as their teacher, specials teachers, clubs teachers, and their own Learning Success Coach.

While there is no in-person interaction, there is still a lot of social learning that is introduced. I have noticed how the teachers call on the students, making sure everyone takes a turn. The success coach hosts homeroom every week, and our coach hosts story time every week with each grade. Additional activities online are open for students to participate in with other kids like fun, live walk-through (kid-friendly & safe) experiments, before or after live-lesson clubs, and small groups where 4-5 kids work with the teacher in mini-lessons. Relationships definitely have grown with the students, teachers, parents, and coaches throughout the year. 

It really has been a remarkable year where ASUPD has set the standard for us in our kids’ education. We have learned to adapt, set new routines, and take on a lot of patience with the learning process. It got easier as the year went by where my 6-year-old no longer needed me to direct him with the software and his work.

Online learning sounds intimidating, especially for children, but ASU Prep Digital has proven itself to be the simplest, most educational, and wholesome schooling that the future is ready for.”

Stay-at-home mom and full-time college student, we see you and hear you. Thank you for sharing how ASU is there for you and your family!

It means a lot when a parent shares how ASU Prep Digital is helping their student succeed. We’d love to hear from you. Share your story with us at


Welcome Stephen Rothkopf

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Principal, ASU Prep Polytechnic 7-12

ASU Preparatory Academy is pleased to welcome Stephen Rothkopf to the team. With more than 20 years of international leadership and teaching expertise, Rothkopf has held a variety of executive positions including principal, deputy principal, and director of curriculum.

Rothkopf believes that a principal’s vision and focus must be on empowering student learning. He seeks to lead by example and demonstrates commitment, creativity, and confidence in implementing strategic goals. His innate ability to connect with others inspires students and teachers alike.

Rothkopf holds two M.Ed. degrees: Educational Leadership from Arizona State University, and Educational Technology from Northern Arizona University.  

Principal Stephen Rothkopf can be reached at:

Answering the problem of teacher attrition in America

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Originally published in the Arizona Capitol Times.

Teacher shortages are hardly new, but Covid has accelerated resignations at a rate that is dramatically outpacing other professions. Federal data shows that from January to November 2021, quits in the educational services sector rose 148%. (By comparison, another employment sector beleaguered by the pandemic—retail services—saw a 27% increase in that time period.) 

So many teachers and school support staff leaving their jobs—many in the middle of a school year—leaves a deep mark on students. Beyond the disruptions to student learning, losing teachers creates a dearth of peer leaders within a school. 

According to national surveys, many of the resigning teachers are 15-year educators, often mid-career teachers who commonly serve as new teacher mentors, department chairs and curriculum committee members. Between veteran teachers taking early retirement and decreasing enrollment in teacher preparation programs nationwide, all areas of the teacher pool seem to be drying up at once. 

Faced with the reality of teacher shortages, many states are reducing requirements for teacher credentialing. While doing so accelerates access to the profession, the result is individuals untrained in education. 

There are clear advantages to a local entrepreneur teaching business or marketing electives, or a native Spanish speaker filling a gap in a high school’s world language department. However, professionals new to teaching must rapidly build new skills such as classroom management, ESE and ELL strategies, navigating the social-emotional needs of students, and even developing curriculum for online, hybrid and in-person formats. 

In the context of resignations, fewer applicants and more candidates lacking formal training, teacher mentoring will be more important than ever before. Research has long demonstrated the efficacy of strong mentoring programs on both teacher retention and student achievement. However, in schools already suffering from personnel shortages, asking peer teachers to design and implement a mentoring program for new hires is not practical. 

As the saying goes, modern problems require modern solutions. 

School leaders who think outside the physical school building for solutions to teacher readiness challenges will benefit from resources such as virtual mentors. A virtual mentor can be the personalized connection new teachers need while unburdening a mentoring time commitment from current faculty. Virtual mentoring may include weekly one-on-one meetings, live classroom observation via simulcast, lesson development review, and individualized coaching feedback. 

High-quality mentoring programs rooted in education, not profit, can effectively partner with staff to deliver weekly sessions, lesson planning support, data deep dives and peer-to-peer mentoring. Vetting potential partners for mission alignment and mutually defining expectations at the outset are key for a smooth implementation. 

When executed responsibly, new teacher mentoring provided by remote master teachers can impact teacher retention, job satisfaction and student achievement. In a school environment rife with uncertainty, schools that provide virtual mentoring can rest assured that teachers new to the profession in their school are getting the training and support necessary to deliver high quality instruction all year. 

Teresa King is Director of National Partnerships for ASU Prep Digital, an accredited online K–12 school that also partners with school districts to deliver professional development options customized for their needs, including virtual teacher mentoring. 

ASU’s Biggest Virtual Campus Tour Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

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*This story was originally published on ASU News*

As COVID-19 continues to make visiting college campuses a challenge for prospective students and families, ASU is stepping up and taking an innovative approach to allow students to tour ASU, all from the comfort of their living room sofas. Introducing the ASU College Tour, a 60-minute episode about ASU in the new Hollywood-produced series, “The College Tour,” now streaming on Amazon Prime Video and Roku.

The new series was the brainchild of host Alex Boylan, an Emmy-nominated television personality and producer, most recognizable as a past winner of “The Amazing Race.”

“My niece is now looking at colleges and with her family on a budget, she couldn’t tour as many colleges as she hoped,” Boylan. “I thought, what an amazing opportunity to showcase different universities to place-bound students around the country through a professionally produced television show.”

“The College Tour” was born and ASU is one of the first universities to be featured.

“In a challenging year for many families, we knew that we needed to put in action bold ideas to help prospective students learn about the amazing university experience waiting for them at ASU,” said Matt Lopez, associate vice president of enrollment services and executive director of admission services. “Giving our current students the chance to tell their stories on platforms as far-reaching as Amazon Prime Video and Roku was an exciting way to meet families where most of us are right now – at home.”

Throughout the episode, which provides a sweeping visual tour of ASU, 18 Sun Devils share their personal academic journeys at the most innovative university in the country. One of those students is Lily Baye-Wallace, a mechanical engineering major and dance minor, whose segment on the show provides viewers an overview of ASU’s world-class academics.

“I was thrilled to participate in ASU’s episode of The College Tour,” Baye-Wallace said. “I want to help prospective students understand that while ASU is by no means exclusive, it is home to incredible research and academic options that enabled me to graduate early with experience in a variety of fields by simply asking me to participate. My story is not unique either. I’m surrounded by peers that have multiple majors, minors and graduate a semester or even a year ahead when that’s often impossible — not to mention expensive — at private universities.”

Nikhil Dave, a double major in neuroscience and innovation in society, is another student featured. He narrates his story called, “What kind of university the world needs.”

“Our focus on accessibility is something that’s unique to Arizona State University, not only as a university, but for its students,” said Dave, a recent XPRIZE winner who assisted with ASU’s COVID-19 response efforts through the university’s Luminosity Lab. “In emphasizing inclusivity, our students have the opportunity to encounter diverse perspectives and different backgrounds, challenging their thinking and pushing them to grow.”

ASU’s episode focuses on student choices and personalized learning experiences available on ASU’s distinct campuses as well as through ASU Online. The desire to learn on a smaller, tight-knit campus with a focus on technology is one of the reasons why Rachael Shantz chose the Polytechnic campus. She’s a junior majoring in aeronautical management technology (air traffic management). In “The College Tour,” she explains that she wanted a small college environment with the benefits of a large institution.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that the Polytechnic campus is truly where I belong,” Shantz said. “And I firmly believe that with all of the options and opportunities available to you at Arizona State, you can find where you belong too.”

“We are deeply impressed and grateful for the amazing students that volunteered their time and talents to tell the ASU story so well,” said Kent Hopkins, vice president for enrollment services. “When designing new ways for prospective students to experience ASU, we always want to highlight the stories of the amazing students that make up our university community. Our students are our best storytellers, and these 18 students have created something special for high school students around the world to learn about ASU.”

Boylan, the show’s host, tells ASU News that the crew was impressed by the inclusivity of ASU during filming, as well as ASU’s diversity of locations and experiences available to students.

“Almost every student touched upon inclusivity in the episode and it was so awesome to see it up close and personal while filming on campus,” Boylan said. “The second big takeaway is how impressive ASU students are. I’ve been on many college campuses and after meeting these students, one thing is clear – these young people are going to change the world for good.”

Get a sneak peek of the episode.


ASU Hosted Drive-In Events to Aid Students in Filling out FAFSAs

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*This was previously published on Ed Scoop and written by Betsy Foresman

Arizona State University hosted several drive-in events to help students fill out their Free Application for Federal Student Aid forms last week, setting up Wi-Fi hotspots and printers in a parking lot where volunteers assisted families in the financial aid application process.

Typically, workshops and office hours would provide in-person, individualized help to students and their families who are filling out the FAFSA form for grants, scholarships and federal loans, but university leaders said the pandemic forced it to take a different approach this year.

“If students don’t fill out FAFSA, they leave significant funding on the table for college,” Sylvia Symonds, Arizona State University associate vice president for outreach, said in a press release. “FAFSA completion is so critical for educational opportunities, and it creates a ripple effect in families’ economic futures.”

For the drive-in events, which were hosted by ASU and the Be a Leader Foundation, an organization that supports college applicants, vehicles arrived at several Phoenix-area high schools where ASU staff were waiting to provide assistance. Wi-Fi hotspots in the parking lots allowed applicants to connect to their online FAFSA forms, and printers and personal devices were also available to students and their families if needed.

“Many schools are not doing in-person FAFSA events, and students are missing out on the in-person help,” Shayne Johnson, an outreach coordinator for College Success Arizona, which helped organize the events, said in a press release. “In order to stay safe yet still serve students we felt like a drive-in event allowed us to reach the maximum number of students.”

The drive-in events last week assisted more than 70 cars of students and their families, according to ASU. Several additional drive-in events are scheduled for February.

Students can also receive help through a FAFSA hotline or though the university’s Benji chatbot, a tool the university says can answer more than 600 questions about the federal aid application.

Upcoming Events at ASU Prep Digital and ASU

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As the fall semester comes to a close and we look ahead to the spring, we’re excited to share a list of upcoming events for students, parents, and educators. From networking opportunities to talent shows and everything in between, ASU Prep Digital and Arizona State University are ready to help you fill up your calendar!

Take a look at what’s on the horizon:

ASU Innovation Week 2020

Now to December 11, you’re invited to virtually participate in Innovation Week at ASU. This week is designed to take attendees through the innovation journey—from idea to implementation—while giving you opportunities to network and learn new skills in a range of sessions covering different topics. In fact, ASU Prep Digital will be hosting two of its own sessions: ASU Prep Digital Code Academy and ASU Prep Family University. Each session will feature a different topic and project, so visit the website to learn more and reserve your spot!


On January 9, 2021, ASU will be hosting REMOTE K12, the Connected Teacher Summit. This free, virtual event will provide K-12 teachers with effective techniques, tools, and insights geared toward online/blended learning while giving attendees the opportunity to engage with colleagues from all around the country. Teachers can even earn an ASU-certified Professional Development Credential by attending the event and filling out a post-show survey. Visit their website to learn more about this event and the sessions that will be offered.

ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent

January 14, 2021 will be a night to remember as you cheer on your fellow Sun Devils during ASU Prep Digital’s Got Talent! Stay tuned to our social media for more information as the event gets closer.

Free Meals for Students

Every Friday, ASU Prep and ASU Prep Digital families are invited to pick up 5 free breakfasts and 5 free lunches for children in the household under 18. No proof of enrollment is required. Please visit one of the designated pickup locations listed below:

ASU Prep Phoenix Campus

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

735 E Fillmore St

Phoenix, AZ 85006


ASU Prep South Phoenix Intermediate Campus

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

5610 S Central Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85040

Enrollment Deadlines

Not part of our community of learners yet? There’s still time to join us! Applications are now open for the spring semester, but spots are filling up fast. Check out the deadlines below and begin the application process by visiting our website.

  • December 18 is the last day to enroll early as a full-time student and begin on January 11, 2021. All required documents must be submitted by the deadline in order to have your application reviewed.
  • Interested in taking concurrent courses with ASU? Be sure to submit your course request by the following deadlines for each session:
    • Session A: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
    • Session B: Submit by 2/26/21 for a 3/15/21 start date
    • Session C: Submit by 12/31/20 for a 1/11/21 start date
Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get updates on upcoming events!

ASU Launches Comprehensive Summer School 2020 Program for Learners at all Levels

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(Tempe, Ariz., April 27, 2020) – What does Summer School look like for students in 2020? In a period of economic uncertainty with shifting job markets and employment opportunities that are evaporating in some places and springing to life in others, higher education remains one of the best investments people can make. And for those who find themselves thrust into a new set of circumstances by changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, universities offer a dynamic place to explore options and quench the thirst for learning something new.

To meet the demand for Summer School 2020, beginning May 18 Arizona State University will be offering more than 5,000 courses at a reduced rate to people looking for new learning opportunities and for students at all levels – including students who are currently enrolled in good standing at any university in the United States. Application fees for college students enrolled at other universities will be waived, and scholarships are available for most admitted and currently enrolled ASU students.

Named by U.S. News & World Report as the most innovative university in America for five consecutive years, ASU is stepping up to meet the needs of learners who want to keep pace, get ahead or catch up in the distance learning environment that now defines education in America. Classes will be provided in both the traditional online format and in a fully interactive, digitally-enhanced format for:
  • Learners at all stages can learn through ASU for You, most of which is free, and can take a course in a subject matter of interest with ASU Open Scale, with the option to convert it to university credit if they later choose to do so.
  • Any university student in the U.S. in good standing at their home college or university may enroll in summer courses through a streamlined application process that takes 15 minutes with approval within 48 hours.
  • Admitted ASU students who wish to get started right now on their university education will receive a $500 Summer 2020 Award for every three credit hours enrolled.
  • High school sophomores and juniors who are on track for college and want to begin earning college credit through ASU Digital Prep as well as ASU Open Scale classes.
  • Continuing ASU students will continue to have access to all ASU summer courses. For Arizona residents, financial aid is available.
ASU has also transferred other services for students to a digital environment to ensure continuity of all aspects of the university experience during COVID-19 and during Summer School 2020. For example, ASU’s Career and Professional Development Services is fully virtual, offering drop-in career and internship advising. ASU Counseling Services have moved entirely online and a peer-led Zoom support group has been created, Devils 4 Devils Support Circles, for students to support and connect with each other while taking classes online and practicing social distancing. Many student events and programs have also transitioned to a virtual format, with a wide variety of activities and events still available.
For convenience and to meet varying schedules, ASU will be providing more than 20 of its most popular, sought-after classes in a rolling rotation of new summer semesters offered with multiple start dates, beginning May 18. For more information, please visit:


About Arizona State University
Arizona State University has developed a new model for the American Research University, creating an institution that is committed to access, excellence and impact. ASU measures itself by those it includes, not by those it excludes. As the prototype for a New American University, ASU pursues research that contributes to the public good, and ASU assumes major responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it.