SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State University and Salt Lake Community College have announced a new partnership between the two schools' business programs, citing a goal to equip more Utah adults with a four-year college degree or more.
In the agreement, USU will provide extensive academic advisement to students at SLCC, ensure no business credits are lost in transfer and dovetail the two business school curriculums. Advisers and professors can counsel the students about their academic plans via video conferencing at one of two specially-equipped rooms on SLCC’s main campus.
“Our overall goal is to increase access to baccalaureate degrees and other grad programs for residents of Salt Lake Valley,” said Utah State Senior Vice Provost Ronda Menlove, who was the university’s main coordinator in the agreement. “We’ve had in the past a lot of students transfer from Salt Lake Community College and we wanted to assist in that transition.”
Menlove, who is also a state legislator representing Box Elder County, said the partnership will have a positive effect on several local economies.
“We chose the business program because it’s a highly requested degree and also an economic driver,” she said.
According to census data from 2010, 28.5 percent of Utahns 25 or older have attained a bachelor’s degree or higher, placing the state 20th nationwide. Christopher Picard, who brokered the agreement with Menlove, said creating a way for students to continue their education beyond an associate’s degree is essential to the college’s purpose.
“As one of our missions, we prepare students to transfer to four-year universities," Picard said. “The catalyst for us as we discussed (forming a partnership) for the past year, was the need to fulfill our mission of increasing two- and four-year degree transfer opportunities for our students.”
The two universities are also considering a future expansion of the partnership to other fields of study.
“We’re looking at other programs such as education that would match our strengths with their strengths, which we think is important,” Menlove said. “We think they would do a great job of creating an appropriate pipeline.”
SLCC has set up similar partnerships with Utah Valley University and Weber State University, and USU has one established with Snow College.
“It’s great when universities come together and cooperate rather than compete,” Menlove said. “It’s a very ‘Utah way’ to approach higher education.”