Students look to UVU as a catalyst –not a temporary step—to their future. Shane Maryott/UVU Review

UVU: path to your future

Remember those days when students used to say, “Yeah, I’ll only be at UVU for a semester, maybe two. Then I’ll go back to BYU or the U to finish”? Well, that’s not really happening now.

The institution has changed quite a bit from a vocational center of schooling to a fully functioning university with plenty of potential, while keeping its traditions of being involved with educating the community.

Many students still come in with the intention of receiving a bit of credit and then transferring to their original school of choice. There are, however, many who are enrolling at and transferring to UVU with the intent of earning a Bachelor’s degree and developing their college resume. In fact, the retention rate for both part-time and full-time students has risen in the past year by close to 20% for full-time students and 10% for part-time students.

We do, however, have to be careful in understanding that before becoming a university, this institution had been attended by students who made it their choice to come here. It hasn’t always been the “stepping-stone college” for everyone. It has been a facility that could meet the demands of a growing population in need of skills and learning in Utah Valley since the 1940s.

Julian Smit of College Success Studies described UVU as a teaching institution that fulfills the necessity for higher education by providing communities south of the point of the mountain with more options besides BYU. He described the growing student diversity in this area and the desire students have to also stay close to home. In this situation, UVU holds a tremendous appeal and is perfectly situated for paving the road for increased education beyond undergraduate degrees.

It has always been a great place to go to school, providing a higher education for many. UVU has become a center that promotes the principles of engaged learning within the community and includes strong components that enhance cultural and economic development. It is also empowering itself with the diversity that is rapidly approaching Utah County.

Adding to the testament that UVU is becoming the university that we all want it to be is its improving quality of education and its number of opportunities. The university can be proud of a rapidly developing academic arena that has introduced a number of opportunities to the system. The number of bachelor degrees went from 31 in 2003 to 58 in 2009. Since 2008, the school has added three master’s degrees, with the current offerings being Nursing, Education and the new Master of Business Administration program.

As a result, the student body is becoming more proud of their involvement and work. Not too long ago, I went to a meeting with four friends who are also Wolverines. We met a lady who was from the East Coast, and as we talked, she asked us where we went to school. One friend told her she was attending UVU then another said, “Yep, I’m all green too.” As they all claimed green, I walked into the conversation and they all proudly introduced me and said, “And he’s green too!”

As a student, I am proud to say that I love attending and being enrolled at UVU. I love the feel of Utah Valley in general, but studying at UVU provides me with the perfect pinch of cultural diversity that makes the experience well worth it, especially for a higher education. Its academic programs are serious (take anatomy from Dr. Shively and you’ll see what I mean), preparing me for post-undergraduate work or a multitude of career paths in the global sense. Go green!