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Education

Utah has the nation’s youngest population, and the state’s leaders recognize the importance of educating youth to become skilled, competitive members of the workforce. Governor Gary R. Herbert has made education a top priority of his administration, focusing particularly on science, technology, engineering and math fields (STEM), which present the greatest opportunity for employment in the years and decades to come.

Industry Collaboration

Prosperity 2020
Business, community and education leaders have formalized an unprecedented partnership to enhance educational performance and place Utah on the path to enduring prosperity. The movement is called Prosperity 2020 and it sets ambitious goals for public and higher education over the next decade.

Three Big Goals by 2020

  1. 66 percent of Utahns will hold postsecondary degrees or training certification.
  2. 90 percent of elementary students will be proficient in reading and math.
  3. Utah will be a top 10 state for STEM jobs. More than $20 million dollars has been allocated for STEM training alone.

Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR)
The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) is a long-term, state-funded investment that strengthens Utah’s “knowledge economy” and to foster research-related economic development in Utah’s institutions of higher learning. USTAR provides funding that accelerates the ability of the U of U and USU to recruit world-class researchers.

  • USTAR has hired 50 top all-star or “catalyst-type” researchers who have attracted $285 million in federal and industry-sponsored grant funding to the state.
  • USTAR research has yielded more than 280 invention disclosures with 185 patents and provisional patents filed to date.
  • The initiative enabled the construction of two state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research and development facilities at the Salt Lake City and Logan campuses. These buildings have added more than 300,000 square feet to the state’s “innovation infrastructure.”
  • USTAR also operates outreach teams across the state to help entrepreneurs and existing companies commercialize new technology and access the resources available at higher education institutions. USTAR regional outreach has conducted hundreds of projects with emerging businesses in 20 out of 29 counties, helping new companies launch, helping new products reach the marketplace and assisting other small businesses with growth.

Education Agencies

Utah State Office of Education
250 E. 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 538-7500
www.schools.utah.gov

Utah Education Network
801-581-2999
800-866-5852
www.uen.org

Utah Education Association
875 E. 5180 South
Murray, UT 84107-5299
Phone: 801-266-4461
Toll Free: 800-594-8996
Fax: 801-265-2249

Highlights

Education is a top priority for Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert’s administration.

Utah has 10 public and three Utah-based private universities and colleges.

Utah research universities have been extremely effective at commercializing promising technologies.

Approximately 90 percent of Utahns have earned at least a high school degree.

The University of Utah ranked first in 2010 and 2011 for the number of start-ups powered by technology developed by faculty at a U.S. university. In 2012 the University of Utah  took the #2 spot behind none other than MIT.

Utah maintains a major commitment to foreign language “total immersion” classrooms offering instruction in French, German, Spanish and Mandarin. Utah conducts more Mandarin immersion classes than anywhere else in the U.S.

 

 

K-12 Education

Utah has a larger portion of its population in the 5-17 school age group (22 percent) than any other state. Utah boasts a network of public and private schools that offer high-quality primary and secondary education to students across the state. Utah has 41 public school districts, more than 1,000 schools and more than 600,000 students. The state has more than 26,000 classroom teachers and a pupil/teacher ratio of 22.8.

 

Educational Attainment Highlights

  • Utah’s graduation rate is above the national average.
  • Graduation rates increased by 3 percentage points from 2012 to 2013.
  • Graduation rates have increased by 9 percentage points since 2009.
  • Dropout rates decreased by 10 percentage points from 2009 to 2013.
  • 34,577 students graduated in 2013.
  • The percentage of graduates has noticeably increased over the past several years for some subgroups.
  • English language learners’ graduation rates have increased from 25 percent in 2009 to 58 percent in 2013.
  • Economically disadvantaged students’ graduation rates have increased from 58 percent in 2009 to 72 percent in 2013.
  • Total minority graduation rates have increased for the past four years.
  • The number of students who took an AP exam increased from 7,941 in 2003 to 11,269 in 2013.
  • 25.4 percent of the class of 2013 passed an AP exam during their time in high school, the eighth-highest rate in the nation.

Largest School Districts in Utah

  • Jordan School District // 81,485
  • Granite School District //  70,166
  • Davis County School District // 66,614
  • Alpine School District // 62,281

School Enrollment

  • Population 3 and over enrolled in school // 932,634
  • Nursery school, preschool // 59,607
  • Kindergarten // 50,778
  • Elementary school (grades K-8) // 391,403
  • High school (grades 9-12) // 178,812
  • College or graduate school // 252,034

Median Student-Teacher Ratio

  • 22.26 – School District Median
  • 21.20 – Charter Median
  • 22.16 – State Median

 Public Charter Schools

There are currently 96 charter schools in Utah serving 54,900 students. Charter school enrollment accounts for nine percent of all public school students. The combined total of the charter school population equals the fourth-largest school district in the state. Utah has four online charter schools, which serve the whole state. Twelve new charter schools were approved for 2014.

Charter School Demographics

  • 21% Ethnic minority students
  • 11% Students with disabilities
  • 30% Low income students

Utah is home to nearly 180 private and parochial schools that educate almost 20,000 students.

Higher Education

Students pursuing higher education have a diverse and compelling set of educational options to choose from. A wide range of public and private institutions cater to a broad variety of academic interests and career goals from engineering to languages (over 70 degreed language options can be found in the state).

Applied Technology Education
Utah’s applied technology schools provide highly specialized education and training to create a robust workforce for industry needs. The Utah College of Applied Technology (UCAT) is the parent organization for eight regional campuses throughout the state.

Colleges and Universities

Utah students are served by three public community colleges:

  • Utah State University Eastern (Price)
  • Salt Lake Community College (Salt Lake City)
  • Snow College (Ephraim)

Utah colleges and universities offer many bachelor’s degree programs:

  • Southern Utah University (Cedar City)
  • Dixie State University (St. George)
  • Utah Valley University (Orem)
  • Weber State University (Ogden)
  • Westminster College (Salt Lake City; private)

Utah has three major Ph.D.-level research universities:

  • University of Utah (Salt Lake City)
  • Brigham Young University (Provo; private)
  • Utah State University (Logan)

Higher Education Highlights

  • 70 percent of BYU students are fluent in a second language.
  • BYU boasts the 15th-largest study abroad program in the country.
  • University of Utah has a top-25 MBA program.
  • University of Utah ranked No. 1 in the number of spinoff companies produced in 2010 and 2011.
  • Southern Utah University ranked among the Princeton Review’s 150 Best Value colleges for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Utah State University made the list in 2012.
  • SLCC Ranked No. 3 in the nation for associate degrees obtained during 2012.
  • Utah State University’s College of Education and Human Services ranks in the top 30 schools among graduate schools of education in the United States.

Industry Collaboration

Prosperity 2020
Business, community and education leaders have formalized an unprecedented partnership to enhance educational performance and place Utah on the path to enduring prosperity. The movement is called Prosperity 2020 and it sets ambitious goals for public and higher education over the next decade.

Three Big Goals by 2020

  1. 66 percent of Utahns will hold postsecondary degrees or training certification.
  2. 90 percent of elementary students will be proficient in reading and math.
  3. Utah will be a top 10 state for STEM jobs. More than $20 million dollars has been allocated for STEM training alone.

Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR)
The Utah Science Technology and Research initiative (USTAR) is a long-term, state-funded investment that strengthens Utah’s “knowledge economy” and to foster research-related economic development in Utah’s institutions of higher learning. USTAR provided funding that accelerated the ability of the U of U and USU to recruit world-class researchers.

  • USTAR has hired 50 top all-star or “catalyst-type” researchers who have attracted more than $285 million in federal and industry-sponsored grant funding to the state.
  • The initiative enabled the construction of two state-of-the-art interdisciplinary research and development facilities at the Salt Lake City and Logan campuses. These buildings have added more than 300,000 square feet to the state’s “innovation infrastructure.”
  • USTAR also operates outreach teams across the state to help entrepreneurs and existing companies commercialize new technology and access the resources available at higher education institutions.

Education Agencies

Utah State Office of Education
250 E. 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: (801) 538-7500
www.schools.utah.gov

Utah Education Network
801-581-2999
800-866-5852
www.uen.org

Utah Education Association
875 E. 5180 South
Murray, UT 84107-5299
Phone: 801-266-4461
Toll Free: 800-594-8996
Fax: 801-265-2249