Why Utah Higher Education Is Worth It
Higher education in Utah is evolving to meet the needs of all learners, not just those seeking a college degree.
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Without a doubt, America’s public education system has been a pillar of the American economy and democracy. For universities in particular, the post-World War II period was a period of rapid enrollment of millions due to social and political support. Since then, American universities have become research and innovation giants, generating the workforce for the knowledge and technology economy of the 21st century.
Despite the achievements of America’s education, many today question the value of higher education. Parents, students, and politicians alike ask if higher education is worth the time and money. Does it meet the needs of non-traditional learners and learners for whom a four-year degree is not the answer? The answer is yes.
Utah County’s K-16 Alliance is a key collaboration that creates and enhances the value of the K-12 educational pathway. Consisting of Utah Valley University (UVU), Mountainland Technical College (MTECH), and seven K-12 school districts in Utah, the alliance aims to “ensure that every student has access to postsecondary opportunity, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning.” Let us help you succeed on your path to education. Learn.”
Through the Alliance, Chancellors and Superintendents work to provide students with a seamless educational journey. K-12 provides a foundation specifically for quantitative literacy and reading comprehension. In high school, students can access her UVU College credits through concurrent enrollment, offering a very affordable price ($5 per credit hour) and a convenient way to revitalize your post-secondary education. . Alternatively, you can prepare for a tech career by taking courses at MTECH.
Over the past few years, UVU and MTECH have put together 15 articulations. This allows MTECH graduates to complete their degrees at UVU. This includes Associate’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Entrepreneurship, Nursing, Information Technology, etc. These partnerships between educational institutions save students time and money in getting an education and ensure a better ROI (return on investment) from taxpayer money.
Higher education itself is evolving to meet the needs of all learners, not just undergraduates. Technical certificates, associate degrees, and bachelor’s degrees all benefit individuals and society. In addition, online programs are growing for those who want to complete their education but have family and professional responsibilities that cannot be completed in a traditional face-to-face setting. From 2017 to 2022, UVU will increase its fully online programs from 7 to 44, with more online programs planned.
Utah’s economy has benefited greatly from investments in education. Enrollment in the state’s post-secondary institutions is at an all-time high. Despite declining enrollments nationwide, Utah continues to grow enrollments and is a national leader in higher education attainment. It’s also the nation’s number one economy, with over 17% of the state’s GDP supported by a vibrant and growing technology sector.
A higher education degree is the most proven tool for improving an individual’s finances and health. A graduate with a bachelor’s degree earns an average of 84% more than someone with just a high school degree, increasing her lifetime earnings by $1.2 million. A bachelor’s degree offers career flexibility and advancement opportunities.
Studies show that adults with higher education live healthier and longer lives than those without education. Economic gains, improved health, and career flexibility increase life resilience. An economic analysis of over 30 million students found that public universities offer the highest degree of financial mobility.
Higher education also benefits communities. College graduates are 32% more likely to vote, 42% more likely to volunteer, more likely to pay more in taxes and more likely to give charitable contributions. Graduates are less likely than their uneducated peers to be poor, unemployed, imprisoned, or dependent on social safety net programs. Moreover, education is key to breaking the cycle of poverty and benefiting descendants.
We encourage Utah leaders and all Utah citizens to step up their support for our education system. It depends on understanding and continued investment in a well-educated society.
Astrid S. Tumines, President of Utah Valley University. Clay ChristensenPresident of Mountainland Technical College. Rick NielsenNebo School District Superintendent. Shane FarnsworthSuperintendent, Alpine School District. Paul SweatSuperintendent, Wasatch School District. Jill GildareSuperintendent, Park City School District. Jere HolmesSuperintendent, North Summit School District. Greg MohanSuperintendent, South Summit School District. Jennilyn DurbidgePrincipal, Utah County Academy of Sciences.