“By working with one person at a time, over time, we can change the whole paradigm of a community. You see it happen a lot. It affects students, families, kids and everything else along the way.” — Gary Straquadine, former dean and executive director for USU – Tooele
One of the greatest and progressive gifts a community can give its citizens is to welcome and support institutions of higher education.
Such a gift began here in 1984 when Utah State University took a risk and began a handful of classes in a store-front building on Tooele City Main Street. Three decades and many graduates later, that risk has become Utah State University – Tooele Regional Campus.
In 2009 that gift grew when the Utah Legislature created Tooele Applied Technology College and classes began in three rented local buildings. Four years later, a new $15.5 million permanent college building opened here.
Both USU – Tooele and TATC are located nearby each other on Tooele City’s old west-side airport property. Also nearby is the Tooele County School District’s Community Learning Center, which opened in 2010, and under construction is a new USU Science and Technology Building.
Those institutions of higher learning are also located on a street called Tooele Boulevard, and in an area city officials have dubbed Tooele’s “Education Corridor.”
But we suggest it’s time for a more prestigious name to be given to this area after USU – Tooele and TATC’s recent announcement that promises to make the gift of higher education — close to home — more known and available to local citizens.
In last Tuesday’s story, “TATC, USU – Tooele join forces to recruit students,” leaders at each institution announced a new partnership in which both schools will cross-market their programs and curriculums.
Donna Dillingham-Evans, dean of USU – Tooele, said the effort is to have county residents see TATC and USU-Tooele not as competing choices, but rather just different steps in a single pathway. “Our approach now is to present high school students and graduates with the entire range of options and let them choose the best option for themselves,” she said.
TATC President Scott Snelson said the joint effort is to “Get students to think about what they will do after high school as soon as they start high school. There is coursework students can complete as part of their high school curriculum that transfers to TATC or USU-Tooele. After high school they can continue at TATC to finish a certificate and, if they choose, they can then transfer applicable credits to USU-Tooele to continue their education. It’s all part of the same plan.”
To accomplish that objective, a new web-based landing page with links to different options at both schools will be launched soon. The schools will use a variety of marketing tools to direct future students to the landing page.
This cross-marketing effort should be nothing new for USU – Tooele and TATC to initiate and sustain; both schools already have an established history of partnerships — abundance thinking — on several fronts.
Smart move, USU – Tooele and TATC. Your commitment to further increase the number of citizens in the county to have post-secondary education and training will have only positive, multiplier effects on the community’s quality of life.