Women at UVU lag behind the national higher education enrollment headcount by 12 percent according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Tara Ivie, senior director for the Women’s Success Center, speculates that women are taking significant breaks from their college experience. She said that the university has a higher enrollment of females than males at UVU between the ages of 18-21, and then that number drops once women reach the age of 22.
Ivie said she has had students mention their disinterest in working after college possibly because they plan to spend their time being wives and mothers. She unveiled current statistical research showing that their plans might not be realistic.
According to Ivie,72 percent of women in Utah are part of the workforce, and of those women, 58 percent are married. Of families with children under the age of six, 52 percent of them have all available parents working and 26 percent of women in Utah are the primary or sole breadwinner. These stats show women who don’t plan to work after college that the need might arise.
“We know the incredible impact that women have on their families and our communities. We want women to engage in their educational experience and earn a degree they will use in their personal, family and professional life,” Ivie said.
Engagement is where the problem arises for many women due to their responsibilities as mothers. The on-campus childcare facility Wee Care Center helps to alleviate some of that stress.
“It takes a lot of stress off of me. It’s a lot easier to handle, and my daughter loves it,” Junior English major Stacey Shillingburg said.
“The Wee Care Center is so good for our campus; I hope we can set an example for universities all over,” freshman communication major and infant teacher at the Wee Care Center Laura Millich said.
This hope might become reality with the decline in child care facilities nationwide. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, two and four-year institutions are either eliminating their on-campus childcare facilities or are making it hard to afford. Despite this trend, UVU’s childcare facility continues to grow.
According to Wee Care director Todd Harper, “the ultimate goal is to have little to no cost for childcare. Right now, we currently have 80 percent of our families at or under the $3 an hour rate for care.”
The Women’s Success Center motto is “Graduating Women, Transforming Lives.” They believe that every woman deserves the confidence, opportunity and knowledge that comes with a degree. Though it doesn’t take away all the stresses that come with womanhood, the Women’s Success Center will try their hardest to help you graduate.