Historic partnership between SUU, Southwest Tech receives final approval

CEDAR CITY — An historic partnership between Southern Utah University and Southwest Technical College received final approval to become one of the first dual enrollment programs of its kind in the nation, according to a news release issued by both institutions.

A new dual enrollment program will allow culinary arts students like those shown in this photo at Southwest Technical College to receive Southern Utah University credits, Cedar City, Utah, photo date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St George News / Cedar City News

For students at SUU, the dual enrollment program means they are admitted to Southwest Tech and are entitled to enroll in certificate programs for which they earn SUU credit while paying the significantly lower tuition rate at the technical college. A flexible schedule and a wide range of career-preparation and technical courses at Southwest Tech will also allow SUU students to broaden their career options.

“This is a proud moment for us,” SUU President Scott L Wyatt said in the news release. “I think this is one of the great moments in the history of SUU. Everything about this partnership speaks to our commitment to putting students first.”

The program received approval from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has received the attention of the Utah Legislature, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other institutions across the nation for its innovative approach.

The commission’s approval letter reads:

The advantages to this model are clear: students from STECH receive university credit not currently available to them, using the flexible, open entry scheduling model already in place, while paying the much lower UTECH tuition rate … The benefits to students at both schools are significant, and the lack of a merger of the two institutions causes less consternation in the community.

Participating students at Southwest Tech can receive university credit in the following areas of study: accounting, agriculture, art and design, business, culinary arts, engineering technology, graphics and media, information technology and nursing.

Additional articulation agreements between the schools in automotive technology and professional truck driving will also be available by the time the program begins in fall 2019. As a result of the new enrollment program, students pursuing a certification program at Southwest Tech can also choose to pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree at SUU, and they will have already earned a significant number of university credits toward that goal.

See the story behind the program’s formation in the video top of this report. 

Southwest Technical College President Brennan Wood and Southern Utah University President Scott Wyatt sign documents relating to new dual partnership program between the two institutions, Cedar City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Southern Utah University, St George News / Cedar City News

Steve Meredith, assistant to the president for planning and effectiveness at SUU, coordinated the effort between the two schools, but he said it was a team effort.

“Without the vision and leadership from President Wood and President Wyatt, along with a dedicated and highly experienced consultant in Gary Wixom, and the support of the academic affairs departments at both institutions, we never would have gotten it off the ground,” Meredith said. “In fact, if there are any real ‘heroes’ in the story, they must be the SUU and STECH faculty members, who looked beyond the cultural, operational, and procedural differences between our campuses, which were significant, and focused on the best possible academic pathways for students.”

Southwest Tech President Brennan M. Wood also expressed appreciation to the many people who made the program possible.

“We are grateful to President Wyatt and SUU for their determined collaboration in this monumental effort,” Wood said in the news release. “It has been amazing to witness administrators and faculty members placing students in priority over institutional and personal interests.”

For more information, visit the Dual Enrollment website.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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