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Partnership offers UVU elementary education degree at Snow College campus

By Carlene Coombs - | May 16, 2024

Carlene Coombs, Daily Herald

The campus of Utah Valley University in Orem is pictured Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.

Utah Valley University is partnering with Snow College to offer a four-year degree in elementary education at the Snow College campus, starting this fall.

Applications are open for Snow College students who have completed their associate degrees and want to continue their education for a bachelor’s.

“This agreement is an example of how teamwork between schools in Utah’s System of Higher Education (USHE) can benefit all students,” said Michael Austin, provost at Snow College, in a press release. “We see ourselves as partners working to eliminate barriers that keep students from graduating. It will allow students who can’t move to stay at home and earn a bachelor’s degree.”

Students in the program will be accepted to UVU and pay tuition through the Orem school but will take classes in person at Snow College’s campus in Ephriam with UVU faculty and local adjunct faculty.

Krista Ruggle, associate professor and department chair of elementary education at UVU, said classes for the program will be offered in the late afternoon to accommodate students who work during the day, especially those who already work in education.

“We’re really going to target students that complete an AA (associate of art) or AS (associate of science) degree at Snow College or paraprofessionals in that community that already have an AA or AS degree that can transfer into a bachelor’s program,” she said.

Ruggle said students will complete coursework in the classroom over the first three semesters and then finish their degrees through student teaching.

The university plans on partnering with elementary schools in the surrounding community to place students in schools to complete their student teaching.

Ruggle said the program will provide more higher education opportunities for college students, specifically in the classroom, without them having to make the drive to UVU or another university.

“We believe that face-to-face classes are the best way to learn in a teacher preparation program, so instead of taking online classes, they’ll be able to interact with each other in their face-to-face classes and they won’t have to travel so far,” she said.

This fall’s cohort will be smaller, Ruggle said, due to the program being in its early stages, but officials hope to increase how many students can utilize it. Students also will have the option to transfer to UVU’s campus in Orem if they desire.

“The collaboration between Snow College and UVU exemplifies the power of partnership in higher education,” said Wayne Vaught, provost and senior vice president at UVU, in the press release. “By expanding access to quality education, this program will not only produce more qualified teachers for rural schools but also contribute to the overall development of stronger communities in Utah.”

According to the release, Snow College students who receive the school’s presidential scholarship will receive a scholarship award from UVU for their third and fourth years of instruction.

Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 to $2,000 also will be offered to students who participated in the program’s first year. UVU has various other scholarships that Ephriam students can apply for, such as its transferring student, first-generation and returning Wolverine scholarships.


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