In and around Utah Valley, anyone can go back to school - even if they already have a degree and a full-time job.
Utah Valley Community College is offering classes for college credit in various locations throughout Utah Valley for those who need or want the opportunity to be educated a little more.It's called continuing education, said Roger Porter, UVCC director of off-campus education.
"We found that there was a desire for general education course offerings," he said. "All we basically do right now is provide core classes that will help people get where they need to go in higher education."
According to Porter, UVCC's goal for the future is to be able to offer a complete off-campus degree program in general education for those who cannot attend a regular school.
"We are nowhere near that yet," Porter said. "But we are looking toward it in the future."
This fall, UVCC is offering classes at the University Mall, American Fork Junior High School and Spanish Fork High School, and are planning to begin a new new program in Park City in January.
Porter said this will cover the geographic area for which UVCC is basically responsible and it shouldn't interfere with the other community education programs organized by other school districts.
Janet Sanders, community education manager for the Alpine School District, said she appreciates the program UVCC has put together.
"We aren't able to offer any courses for credit," Sanders said. "Our job is to facilitate community education in any way possible, so we offer the schools to UVCC for its college-credit programs."
They are very easy to work with and they offer a good program, she said.
Porter said the college's off-campus programs are in a general upward growth mode but may fluctuate according to economic factors.
"If there is a trend toward higher unemployment, there will be more people registered for our classes," Porter said.
The classes are not always full, but when they do fill up, there are professors waiting to teach them.
"We have a waiting list for professors, even in math and physical sciences where teachers may be harder to get," Porter said.
One of the drawbacks to UVCC's program is that people who register for classes may not know whether the class will be dropped until the first day of the course.
Porter said it is something they are trying to eliminate, but for right now there must be at least 10 people registered for a class to "carry," and they don't always know that until the first class.
According to Porter, the winter semester registration is generally heavier because other things, such as sports, will not conflict.
But, there are always reasons why people will go back to school, he said.
"Many people go because they need credit to further themselves in the business world or to assure job security," Porter said.
Some professional groups require ongoing training, and other people attend for self-improvement motives, he said.
Whatever the reason, Porter said, as long as people are interested in the off-campus continuing education programs, UVCC will offer and expand them.