Online Degree Programs in Utah

There are 30 four-year colleges and universities as well as 52 community and technical colleges in Utah. The Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) and its various offices are responsible for maintaining higher education in the state. Brigham Young University (BYU) is the state’s largest four-year institution and is among the most notable universities in Utah. It was founded in 1875 and is known for alumni such as Twilight creator Stephanie Meyer and politician Mitt Romney. The university is ranked as No. 68 in the nation by the U.S. News & World Report and operates under Mormon traditions.

The University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) also have some of the largest enrollments in the state. Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the University of Utah was ranked No. 125 in the nation by the U.S. News and is known for alumni such as Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese. Meanwhile, SLCC is the state’s largest postsecondary institution with more than 60,000 students enrolled. It was founded in 1948 and offers 120 academic discipline areas, including online degree programs.

Utah has been a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) since 1953. Today this organization is a compilation of 15 western states which work together to improve students’ access to higher education and thus the overall success of participating states’ residents. As a member of WICHE, Utah is a participant in one of WICHE distance learning initiatives, known as the Internet Course Exchange (ICE). ICE allows college students in participating states to take quality online courses offered by other ICE four-year and two-year educational institutions. The ICE program was created as the result of state budget cuts which caused online learning programs to be cut. An example is the University System of Higher Education’s Utah eLearning Connection, which was a consortium of 10 different Utah colleges and universities offering online education options, was terminated in 2009 due to budget cuts, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Utah Distance Learning Initiatives

Utah also passed initiatives at the K-12 level to provide students with online education optionswhich has led to the creation of the Utah Education Network. Though this network only provides free online courses at the K-12 levels, it will undoubtedly aid students in developing the independent learning skills necessary not only for postsecondary education, but for the variety of online learning options offered by the state’s postsecondary institutions. After all, most colleges and universities in the state offer online college degree programs. Since distance education courses can be completed from any location that has an internet connection, some high school students can opt to begin taking college level courses though schools with online degree programs and course offerings. Some high schools even allow students to take dual-credit courses, which are college courses that also count for high school credit.

State university online degree programs and courses are offered by several Utah schools. One such school is Utah State University, which offers seven online bachelors degree programs, one associate program, and several professional and minor programs. Program disciplines range from communicative disorders to agribusiness. Utah Valley University also offers online degree programs in business, aviation, and public emergency services management. In total, the university offer seven online bachelor degree programs.