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Education initiative touts benefits of college degree

Published: Wednesday, May 8 2013 12:50 p.m. MDT

UVU students work in a computer lab on campus Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012. The Utah Women and Education Initiative launched Tuesday. Their goal is to educate and promote post-secondary education for women in Utah to help create a college-going culture for women.

Stuart Johnson, Stuart Johnson, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Education officials in Utah have produced a series of informational one-sheets aimed at educating would-be college students on the benefits of a college degree.

The campaign, created by the Utah Women and Education Initiative, is divided into topics and includes information on how higher education contributes to better jobs and higher pay, healthier and happier lifestyles, self-confidence, intellectual abilities, good parenting and a productive society.

Susan Madsen, senior adviser of the Utah Women and Education Initiative, said the info sheets are designed for use in classrooms, churches, homes and community groups.

The Women and Education Initiative in January released a series of studies that showed Utah having the largest gender gaps for bachelor's degree earners in the country.

The state has one of the highest percentages of adults who failed to complete their college or university degree. In Utah, 27 percent of adults, mostly women, fall into the "some college, no degree" category, compared with the national average of 20.6 percent.

Utah also has the third-largest wage gap in the nation, according to data provided by the Utah Women and Education Initiative, with women being paid 69 cents for ever dollar paid to men.

The initiative is a state-sponsored effort to target the gender gaps in higher education as part of Utah's larger goal to increase degree attainment among adults. Madsen said the informational one-sheets are intended as a resource for all prospective students, both male and female.

— Benjamin Wood

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