Students call their school Stoker State in fun, but they are serious about their education and about their alma mater, the Bountiful/University of Utah Program for Higher Education.

This year, more than 1,500 students are expected to attend the U. satellite campus at Stoker School, a former Davis County grade school at 75 E. Second South, Bountiful. That puts the university extension school ahead of Snow College, Ephraim, or the College of Eastern Utah, Price, in enrollment.Oakley Gordon, U. dean of continuing education, and Thom Kearin, assistant dean, said the Bountiful program will offer students more than 120 different courses when the school's fall quarter starts Sept. 26.

"Students can earn a full two years college credit or more in Bountiful," Kearin said.

Bountiful officials asked the U. in 1973 to set up a program of higher education in their city as a service to residents. "We've had good relations with the community since we started and, since 1981, we've been for the most part self-supporting," Kearin said.

"The U. satellite program in Bountiful started at the Bountiful Arts Center, moved to a former LDS meetinghouse on Fifth South for several years, then held classes at Bountiful High School and the Arts Center and finally moved to Stoker School, which had been vacated by the Davis School District, in 1981.

"At that time, we had 430 students and offered 25 courses," Kearin said. "We have come a long way. By the time school ends next summer, we will have offered more than 300 separate courses and had 5,500 students enrolled."

Kearin said the Bountiful/U. program begins at 7:45 a.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. each weekday, and classes are held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. "We are getting a lot out of Stoker School.

"In the future, we'd like to utilize the school building even more. We'd like more students enrolled Saturday afternoons, on Friday nights and during the day."

The Bountiful/U. has no library, no sports or intramural programs and no fraternities or sororities. It does have a solid academic program, small classes, well qualified teachers and 20 IBM computers available for students to use.

The typical student is working, married and seeking a degree, Kearin said. "We have about 100 instructors, more than 90 percent of them have graduate degrees and half of those have doctorates. Our classes generally have only 15 students to each instructor."

Students can take courses at the main Salt Lake campus, use the university's library there and avail themselves of university services offered students on the regular campus.