The distant drone of passing vehicles on Highway 189 was the only sound as the sun set, casting long shadows across Heber Valley onto UVU’s Wasatch Campus.
Nestled in the Wasatch Mountains just outside Heber, the Wasatch Campus offers a family oriented learning environment with a small-town feel to almost 500 students.
During the “dead time” Wednesday afternoon in between day and evening classes, junior Hillary Dalsing, behavioral science major and one of four student representatives on the campus, was working in the bookstore. In the silence of the nearly empty two-story building, only a handful of students sat studying.
Dalsing, in her third year on the campus, has had to drive to the Orem Campus for some of her classes during the past two semesters.
“It’s ok,” Dalsing said, grinning. “It’s a beautiful canyon.”
Since the faculty is smaller and the need is not as great, fewer classes are offered on the Wasatch Campus and only a handful of mainstream degrees can be obtained exclusively on the site.
The challenge of not being able to start and finish a degree at a single location is one that many of the students at the Wasatch Campus face. Sierra Wardle, a freshmen going into occupational therapy, has plans to transfer to Salt Lake Community College after the 2011-2012 school year.
“I would stay if they offered the occupational therapy program,” Wardle said. “There are always nice quiet places to study with a pretty view of the valley.”
The tranquility and beauty of the campus are not the only selling points, according to another of the student representatives Will Hyde. As a freshman interested in pediatrics, Hyde explained the benefits of attending classes in the intimate setting of the Wasatch Campus.
“All the students are pretty close with the professors. They’re here all the time,” Hyde said. “It is limited, but there are still lots of opportunities here.”
One of the opportunities Hyde referred to was the ability of the students to attend live interactive classes from two of the more than 20 classrooms on the campus. These classes feature a live feed from classrooms on the Orem campus where Wasatch Campus students have the ability to listen and talk to professors as well as other students attending the class.
The Wasatch Campus may be small and out of the way, but with growth in matriculation from high schools around Heber and Park City, the student representatives have big expectations for the future of the campus.
Story and photos by Jeff Jacobsen – Online Content Manager