After two years of research on the Utah Women and Education Project, principal researcher Dr. Susan R. Madsen and her team presented their findings at Utah Valley University on Friday, Nov. 12.
Utah currently has the lowest percentage of women attending a college or university in the U.S. The purpose of the UWEP is to lead efforts within the state to understand and then motivate more young women to enter and stay in school long enough to obtain college degrees, Madsen said.
Findings of the study show that many young women from Utah believe they are encouraged to go to college, but not necessarily to graduate.
“We need to educate young women and parents in Utah of the broad value that higher education can have in their lives,” Madsen said. “Higher education is not just focused on helping students get jobs. Although this is important, higher education has so many other benefits.”
Utah Women’s Value of Education
96.3% – Economic, financial, and/or job
54.3% – Knowledge, learning, intelligence and being smart
40.8% – Self-esteem, self-worth, self-knowledge, accomplishment
32.2% – Better life, be successful, opportunities in the future
26.5% – Self-development and self-improvement
26.1% – Equity with men/respect for women
21.2% – Independence
20.0% – Teach children or be an example to them
14.7% – Influence society/world, to make a difference
11.8% – Social benefits and/or improving social skills
9.8% – Helping others
8.6% – Competencies