Salt Lake Community College currently has 11 different campuses and is still growing. Westpointe, the most recent campus addition, opened in 2018. The college is currently building on another campus in Herriman slated to open next year.
Joy Tlou, SLCC’s public relations director, says SLCC’s multiple campuses are a reflection of the school’s commitment to the region.
“It’s part of the community college’s mission to be in the community,” says Tlou. “[As the Salt Lake Valley] has grown, we’ve moved to places where there are growth and places where our services are needed.”
Business, industry and manufacturing leaders said they have a need for skilled technical workers, Tlou says.
“The Westpointe campus is in an industrial park with all of the businesses that need those people,” he adds.
The in-progress Juniper Canyon Campus in Herriman will accommodate more than 1,100 students and encompass 90 acres in the southwest region of Salt Lake County, according to “Stepping into Sustainability- Master Plan for the Juniper Canyon Campus in Herriman.”
“We’re already using a building that Herriman City owns. We already have classrooms and we’re teaching students there already,” says Tlou.
“We are hopeful that in this next legislative session we will get funding for the building and planning phase.”
Tlou says SLCC has also proposed partnering with the University of Utah to allow Utah students to attend classes at the Juniper Canyon campus for four years.
“They would start off as a two–year student at [SLCC], and then … they could just go upstairs or across the hall and get two more years of college at the University of Utah,” Tlou says.
Having multiple campuses has also made education at SLCC more accessible.
“More locations make it easier for more students to attend and therefore provide me with more opportunities to engage students from across the valley,” says sociology Assistant Professor Daniel Poole, who has taught for 10 years at the Taylorsville Redwood, West Valley and South City campuses as well as online.
Second–year student Ezequiel Amaral says multiple campuses also make classes more accessible for students.
“More campuses means more buildings, and more teachers who specialize in different [areas],” he says. “It brings more to the individual and more options for the individual. It’s easier for other people to commute from different places if the campus is closer.”
Jim Beatty, an English lecturer with seven years of teaching experience at SLCC, travels between different campuses regularly.
“Having multiple campuses can be a challenge for me, but I am happy to commute between campuses to increase accessibility for students,” he says, noting he has taught at the Taylorsville–Redwood, South City, Library Square, and South Jordan campuses.
“It makes access to education [easier for] diverse students. We should make education as accessible to as many people as possible, especially for students that have limited transportation options.”
While students and staff cite accessibility as a plus, Business student Alexis Baca says she’s like to see more classes were offered across the campus so she wouldn’t have to go to different locations.
“I wish that there was more availability in the different classes at the different campuses,” she says, noting “it isn’t always easy to line up all of her classes on one campus. This semester I almost didn’t get in at this campus, into four full classes.”
Amaral, the second-year student, says he feels SLCC could even add more campuses.
“Depending on where you live in the city or in the state, having access to higher education will only benefit you,” says Amaral, “and if you want to go to a four-year college, there’s a ton of them as well. But they’re all in one main location, so getting your undergraduate [degree] is easier to when it’s closer to you.”