This archived article was written by: Marsha Jensen
Last year the Utah state legislature granted colleges across Utah $1 million to help fund higher education. The College of Eastern Utah was one of these schools who received the funding. Most of the money will go towards hiring new professors for Utah State University. As some are aware, CEU has a USU branch on campus.
According to Mike King, CEU’s Provost and vice President of Academic Affairs, this partnership agreement will allow the expansion of existing programs and make some new degrees available. Students enrolled at CEU will be able to more easily transfer credits from CEU to USU. As soon as next fall, students will be able to begin taking USU classes to get their Bachelor degrees. The areas of focus for the partnership include education, business, and natural resources.
USU, in cooperation with CEU, will hire six new professors that will be teaching students who are seeking their bachelor degrees in these areas. This is not only a smart move for both schools, but a great addition to the community. Now people from Price and the surrounding areas are able to take their education further without having to leave the area.
Although there are only three programs, King elaborated on how this change would greatly affect the community as a whole. By bringing in these specific areas, King said, this would change Price and CEU for the better. The extended areas have been strategically chosen to help boost our state and community as a whole.
In addition to local students being able to stay local and pursue their degree, the college anticipates that out-of-area students will also come to Price for these programs. Thus, it would increase the business of local stores as well as the school itself.
In the education program, the course will focus mainly on elementary education with a special emphasis in early childhood education, an area in which well-schooled instructors are in high demand. This would allow the Carbon School District to hire teachers from our own community- teachers who know our children and who care about nurturing their minds.
The business program would mainly focus on entrepreneurship, or rather the process of running a business. This would help the economy of Carbon County by helping more businesses to start up in our area. Also, it would make people more inclined to stay in and live in the area.
As for the natural resources program, King said “This is a perfect area for it.” The city of Price is still small and surrounded by thousands of acres of range and forest land, deserts, and in close proximity to several national parks. This program would train new people to fill the jobs of tending to our natural resources. Though not widely known, these jobs are in high demand. Unfortunately with the coming years, many of the employees of the Division of Wildlife Resources, the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service will be retiring.
Many of the new classes will also be available to students at several sites, like CEU’s San Juan campus in Blanding, Snow College and USU branch campuses in the Uintah Basin, Tooele and Brigham City via live camera feed into classrooms.
Although CEU has several classrooms that are broadcast ready, some of the appropriated money will go towards making more rooms available for the live feed transfer. This would allow the instructors to teach more students without having to drive to each place, which they have been doing. This also provides classes taught in other places in the state to be broadcast to our school as well, thus widening the school curriculum altogether. What is this going to cost us? King said the tuition for the first two years at CEU would not change, but as students moved on to their third and fourth years, they would need to begin paying USU tuition; which is more expensive than CEU. However, one needs to consider how much they will be saving by not having to move to Logan, and the cost of time and travel.
Why did CEU partner with USU and not any other large university in the state? King said, “Utah State is what they call a Land Grant Institution. They have the mission to extend education throughout the state. They are the only ones that have that mission. They do this through their extensions offices in every county in the state, as well as regional campuses, like here in Price, Blanding and Moab. They were uniquely positioned to increase the number of programs going out into rural areas.”
Anyone can see that Price and the surrounding areas are changing rapidly; from new businesses to the reforming of our education system (i.e. the merging of East Carbon High with Carbon High). Luckily for our small, yet growing community, we have representatives thinking about our future and our education. With CEU taking on these new additions, the citizens of Price will see that it is changing for the better. More news and information about these new programs will be coming out soon, as the plans are finalized.