One of the benefits of Salt Lake Community College most often quoted by students is the small, local environment that the school provides. While it’s true that no single campus is monstrously large on its own, with all of them put together, SLCC is the largest learning institution in the state.
There are currently 13 SLCC locations spread throughout the Salt Lake Valley, and even those don’t always stand still. This last year saw the closing of the Rose Park Center and the opening of a new Westpointe location near the Airport Center.
“We don’t ever mean to confuse people, but there are people that literally do grow up their entire life looking at one of our campuses and think that’s the whole thing,” said Joy Tlou, SLCC’s Director of Public Relations. “We know students tend to go to the closest location of a community college that they have. Whenever anybody wants to talk about the whole thing, it’s a hard thing to do.”
The first step to understanding SLCC’s layout is to start with the five “official” campuses.
The Taylorsville Redwood Campus, located at 4600 South on Redwood Road, is the largest campus in terms of acreage as well as student population. It also houses the school’s central administration. If a student is looking for any particular general education course, they can most likely find it at Taylorsville Redwood. The campus is also home to many of the traditional education departments, such as the School of Business.
The South City Campus, located at 1575 South State Street, boasts the second highest student headcount. South City offers a hearty selection of general education courses, along with courses from the School of Applied Technology. It is also the home of the Globe Theater, which serves as both a resource for students as well as a venue for professional-quality theatre.
South City is currently undergoing a number of renovations, including construction of a new building for the School for New Media, which will bring various arts and communication programs under one collaborative roof.
“There is a whole lot of construction going on and I’m just looking forward to the day that it’s completed. We’re going to have a brand new building and everything is going to be wonderful,” said Ahmad Varedi, Manager of Student Auxiliary Services at South City. “There are going to be a lot of new students and new programs and it’s going to create a lot of jobs for the college.”
As of now, the completion date for South City construction is January of 2013.
The Jordan Campus, located at 3491 West and 9000 South is also fairly large. Like Taylorsville Redwood and South City, it offers a decent selection of general education courses, but its claim to fame is the Health Sciences program.
“[Jordan Campus is] the home of our Health Sciences Building, and that houses all of the Health Sciences programs. It’s a brand new facility, at about four years old. It’s just like one of those shining lights,” said Tlou.
The future of Jordan Campus is indeed looking bright. With the valley’s population density shifting further south year after year, SLCC is looking to Jordan Campus to keep the college accessible for southside residents.
“It might only have like four or five buildings right now, but the long term plan is for it to be as large, if not larger, than [the Taylorsville Redwood] campus,” said Tlou.
The Miller Campus, located at 300 West and 9750 South, is a relatively new campus. It hosts the Automotive Technology program, the Criminal Justice department, and the SLCC Culinary Institute. Miller also houses the School of Professional and Economic Development, which is a kind of incubator for small business. Miller doesn’t offer as wide of a selection of general education courses as any of the previously mentioned campuses, but it does offer at least one from almost every category necessary for earning an associates degree.
The Meadowbrook Campus, located at 250 West and 3900 South, is the smallest of SLCC’s campuses. Like the others, some general education is available, but Meadowbrook’s focus is on the School of Applied Technology. Meadowbrook students earn career-oriented, technical training in fields such as truck driving, diesel engine repair and heating and air conditioning installation.
The remaining eight sites are mostly solitary buildings that aren’t considered full campuses. They consist of a smattering of specialized education centers and technical institutes spread throughout the valley, such as the Airport Center, the Jordan Applied Technology Center and the Granite Technical Institute.
One site of note is the Library Square Center, located at 231 East and 400 South, across the street from the Main Salt Lake City Public Library. While the site isn’t an official “campus,” the building does host a good number of general education courses. It is also the home of SLCC’s Paralegal program, Interior Design program, and Fashion Institute.
One final “site” not included in the official 13 is SLCC Online. The SLCC virtual campus’ student headcount is beaten only by Taylorsville Redwood and South City.
The spread-out nature of SLCC’s facilities is a result of both opportunity and design.
“Because we’re a community college, we have to be nimble and we have to be ready to make changes as certain parts of the valley become manufacturing sites, and other places become service sites, and other places become other sites,” said Tlou.
Just as it was for many of its current locations, SLCC’s future planning is geared toward reaching the most Salt Lake Valley residents in the most efficient way possible.
“There’s growth going south. We’re opening a Herriman campus in the future, and we just made arrangements to purchase that property,” said Tlou. “Our big challenge is to make sure that we’re spending the state’s money wisely. That’s the gist of many of the decisions that we make.”