OREM — Utah Valley State College President William A. Sederburg is prepared to address a crowd at noon today as he delivers his State of the College address in the Ragan Theater of the Student Center on campus.

Some of the items Sederburg plans to speak on are the school's achievements during the past year, as well as the college's goals as it transitions to a university.

"We've come a long way," Sederburg said in an interview with the Deseret Morning News this morning.

UVSC is preparing to meet the needs of Utah Valley, he said. Right now there are 22 percent more third-grade students than high school seniors in the local schools.

"They are all coming our way," Sederburg said. UVSC aims to be ready for 5,000 additional students by 2017. Many of these students are expected to be Hispanic, he added.

Recruiting and retaining students is of utmost importance, Sederburg said. UVSC officials will be focusing on ways to ensure incoming students are prepared for college, especially in math and writing.

A total of 70 percent of UVSC freshman need remedial math; about 50 percent need help in writing skills, he said. "They're not ready for college-level work," Sederburg said.

UVSC just hired a full-time retention director. The college also received a federal grant to better track and keep students. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Education and is $500,000 per year for three years, he said.

There is a huge effort at the school to increase the number of advisors on campus and reduce the advising ratios. Under the new model, the advisor will contact each student twice a semester and see how things are going, Sederburg said. "It's much more personalized advising," he said.

Fall enrollment at UVSC was 23,840. The college now has 51 bachelor's degrees with dozens of associate degrees plus diplomas and certificates.

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