With the start of the fall semester, the Salt Lake Community College and University of Utah joint Herriman Campus, which had been in planning for more than a decade, finally opened its doors on Aug. 22 to prospective students living in the south end of the Salt Lake Valley.
The 91,000-square-foot campus occupies a pocket of the valley in which SLCC’s Taylorsville Redwood Campus resides some 15 miles away, and the U. campus 30 miles away. According to both schools, the goal of Herriman Campus is to offer an accessible educational pipeline to residents in and around Herriman, which the U.S. Census Bureau found to be the fastest-growing city in the country.
Because SLCC and the U. jointly administer the campus, students who decide to attend classes there can obtain various associate degrees in select disciplines from SLCC and then continue their studies at the U. — all under the same roof.
“[It gives me] opportunities to study close to where I live and more opportunities for the stores around it to grow,” explained Jenniffer Mayer, who signed up for ESL (English as a Second Language) classes at SLCC last year.
Mayer initially started taking classes at SLCC’s old Herriman location, a small annex that was a 10-minute commute from her home. The old campus lacked all of the student services generally found at other SLCC locations, but now, at the brand-new campus, Mayer can access everything in one place.
Erika Shubin, director of strategic communications and public relations at SLCC, said the new Herriman Campus will provide students with more associate and bachelor’s degree options, but it’s the resources that will help the most, she added.
“The transfer process between SLCC and the U. will be similar to the process today, but the biggest difference is that students will be able to [both] attend the U. and access university services from one location,” Shubin said.
Such resources include a STEM learning center, a writing center and a new computer lab, along with academic advising and career services — all working to support students in their pursuit of two-year associate degrees in economics, education, psychology and general social and behavioral science. The new Herriman campus is also home to the curriculum composing four-year degree programs in economics, elementary education, accounting and business.
According to Shubin, the degree programs were chosen based on insights from SLCC’s data science and analytical team, who looked at enrollment trends in specific courses and student scheduling preferences.
“From there, most of the decision-making was made at the programmatic level (major or area of study), with the courses flowing from there,” Shubin said.
David Brower, SLCC’s director of scheduling and academic systems, explained that program popularity at both schools played “a big part.” He went on to say that other programs, such as nursing, were not feasible because they require expensive lab space and equipment that is also already available at the Jordan Campus.
For Mayer, the new campus offers more ESL classes, including one at the intermediate level that she’s taking this fall — the completion of which will bring her one step closer to completing her degree.