At the north end of the Heber Valley sits the Utah Valley University Wasatch Camps. The building houses education course for students looking to begin college course work in Summit and Wasatch Counties. Many people may not realize is that despite a quiet façade, the Campus offers many different opportunities for traditional college students, as well as the community.
Take for example how some 500 students use this regional campus to complete courses in one of three two-year associate degrees in business, behavioral sciences, and general studies, or participate in a four-year degree in Elementary Education – all of which never having to leave the valley.
Then consider two powerful programs for high school students, an automotive tech program and the Wasatch Center for Advanced Professional Studies that help students not only earn college credit but help them become job ready by graduation. People who walk through those doors are learning skills and creating experiences that will shape the rest of their lives.
For campus administrator, Tom Melville, helping students achieve their goals and career ambitions is what make the job worthwhile.
“It’s rewarding to help folks. We have any number of students say if it wasn’t for the Wasatch campus and the atmosphere here they wouldn’t have been able to succeed and do the things they have done,” said Melville.
Education is the primary function of the UVU Wasatch, but according to Melville taking an active role in the community is also vital to their mission.
Community involvement comes in many different forms said Melville. It comes in the form of education beyond college course work. Each year the campus provides a variety of community education courses and an Elder Quest program to help people continue lifelong learning.
“We have a wide range of community education courses from photography, art, and cooking to robotics at affordable prices,” said Melville.
Additionally, Melville and his staff work hard to make sure to use as many local talents as possible to teach the course work.
“We think it’s important to have local faculty, and we have a lot of local talent,” said Melville. Local teachers, such as Mayor Kelleen Potter who is teaching a local government course this semester, give the students more real-life education.
In 2003, the UVU Wasatch Campus opened. With ample parking and spectacular views of the Heber Valley, Melville said he and the staff have been working hard as of late to make the building more open to the community. They have revamped some of the spaces to make them more available to the public. Events, meetings, weddings, and so on can be held at the campus at a stunning location.
“We want the community to feel more welcome in the facility so making it more available helps us reach this goal,” said Melville.
Utah Valley University continues to shine as great example of true community partnership, whether it’s sponsoring youth in the Rotary with scholarships, to hosting chamber meetings, the staff at UVU are always eager to serve. For these reasons and many more the Heber Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to recognize Utah Valley University Wasatch Campus as the May Business of the Month.