Strategy #2 - Strengthen Student Learning and Societal Impact Through:
Collaboration with Community and Industry

UVU stands at the dawn of a transformative era.

To strengthen its reputation as the most accessible, affordable, and relevant higher education institution in the state, UVU cultivates impactful collaborations and partnerships with industry and the community. Learners, instructors, faculty, and staff inspire innovation and contribute to new discoveries.

UVU will meet local and global needs with agility, and will innovate through partnerships with educational institutions, community organizations, and industry networks.

Priority Initiatives

Students at UVU

a. Strengthen engaged learning and community engagement opportunities for students, faculty, and staff

As a Carnegie-classified Community Engagement university, UVU works with community leaders and local employers to prepare that students to contribute meaningfully to the workplace and society. This includes offering students a comprehensive set of Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs) that reflect the foundational skills and competencies needed to meet the challenges of an ever-changing and complex world, and providing training for current employees of community partners. UVU is dedicated to educating graduates who are both job-ready and civics-ready, thus poised to strengthen the economy and our American democracy.

Support and Expand Engaged Learning and Teaching

UVU is a T1 institution (a teaching-focused university) that prioritizes excellence in teaching. Thus, we invest in faculty training and certification in innovative approaches. Our Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) is a leader in engaged learning, hosting the Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowships, the Learning Technology Exploration and Enhancement program, certifications for online and hybrid instruction, and many other resources that strengthen our faculty. Faculty also connect in Learning Circles and teaching workshops and conferences to share effective practices in engaging students. UVU will continue to (1) utilize advanced technologies and data to assess, realize, and support best practices, and (2) create curricula that excite students and prepare them for life-long learning.

Increase Student and Faculty Connection to and Collaboration with the Community through Engaged Learning Opportunities

Through its Innovation Academy, UVU will expand project-based learning that integrates academic competencies with hands-on experience. In addition to new programs such as Excelerate (a summer bridge program for incoming freshmen and returning sophomores) and Excellence and Innovation Initiative or e2i (project-based learning), students and faculty can connect to companies, nonprofits, and government agencies through internships, service learning, global/intercultural, and education abroad coursework. The Innovation Academy tracks and measures the impact of these experiences with advanced analytics, identifies gaps, and provides insights for personalized advising into engaged learning opportunities.

UVU Excelerate is a project-based summer program designed to propel first- and second-year students. Faculty collaborate with external partners to redesign general education courses with an embedded real-world project. Students network with professionals as they connect their learning to solving real problems, and regional employers connect with and help train their future workforces.

E2i Professional Projects are curated from relationships with local organizations, enabling student teams to work directly with local employers to solve problems in innovative ways. We anticipate that Professional Projects will attract students to e2i and provide the skills and connections that will launch career success. As we launch e2i v2.0, we will expand Professional Projects to formalize long-term, ongoing collaborations with key partners. These agreements will create dedicated e2i teams that tackle longer, more in-depth work. Each of these elite e2i teams will recruit new members as students graduate, creating a continual pipeline of graduates ready to contribute to the workforce.

In collaboration with the university’s Digital Transformation division, we are developing a one-stop app for engaged learning opportunities. Students will connect to academic and co-curricular activities as well as critical funding opportunities.

Align Curricula with Regional Workforce Needs and Readiness for High-Yield, High-Demand Jobs

UVU will continue to create curricula that transfer knowledge and equip students with practical, cross-disciplinary skills. It will also engage active program advisory boards to give feedback on curricula. These curricula can grow the number of UVU job-ready graduates in all degree areas, but especially in programs that lead to high-yield, high-demand occupations.

UVU provides students with numerous programs in high-yield, high-demand occupations through Career and Technical Education (CTE) offerings. Our wide array of CTE certificate, diploma, and associate programs provide students specific skills for their chosen professions.

CTE at UVU continues to thrive, with the number of certificates and associate degrees awarded up 117% from 2012 to 2021. In many programs, CTE graduates have a nearly 100% job-placement rate and above-average earnings. Close partnerships with technical colleges across the state, particularly with Mountainland Technical College (MTECH), provide additional pathways for students to articulate into degree-granting programs at UVU. Each program prepares students for employment while providing a path to further education and a foundation for lifelong learning.

Enhance Engagement with Community Leaders and Employers for Student Support and Sponsorships

UVU academic programs have robust advisory committees involving employers and community leaders who help ensure that instruction is aligned with industry needs and agile when significant workforce changes occur. UVU continues to expand internship opportunities for students in all programs. In high-demand fields, UVU encourages employers to hire UVU students before they graduate and provide employer tuition assistance to help pay for the completion of the students’ degrees.

Modeling and Demonstrating Exceptional Citizenship

As one of the state’s largest employers and the university of choice for more than 40,000 students, UVU endeavors to be a good neighbor and a positive influence in the world. Students, faculty, and staff actively engage in social impact projects that support the needs of the community. UVU’s Center for Social Impact offers academic opportunities and connections to community partner organizations. Student projects range from volunteerism with Utah nonprofits to global engagements, such as academic collaborations between the Center for Constitutional Studies (CCS) and Oxford University. The university actively promotes civil dialogue and discourse through events and engagement offered by the CCS, the Gary R. Herbert Institute for Public Policy, and premier on-campus conferences and summits. Additionally, UVU brings together academic experts, community and industry leaders, and students to engage on issues relevant to Utah and the global community.


Collaboration between higher education, the community, and future employers are critical as we strive to prepare students for future careers and civic engagement. UVU will provide opportunities for all students to hone professional skills, such as communication, critical thinking, and teamwork. We will emphasize these skills in the first and second years of the college experience so students can gain confidence in their career goals and strengthen their drive to overcome obstacles that may hinder completion.

Strengthen and Expand UVU’s Partnerships with Organizations and Community Resources

UVU offers students, faculty, and staff multiple opportunities to engage with business and community organizations. The Business Resource Center, the Small Business Development Center, and the Entrepreneurship Institute offer trainings, classes, incubator/accelerator spaces, and a variety of other resources to connect UVU with industry and make the university an economic catalyst of the region. UVU creates engagement opportunities through its partnerships with Silicon Slopes, World Trade Center Utah, the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, and the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Maintain UVU’s Carnegie Elective Classification for Community Engagement

UVU is a leader in assessing the effect of high-impact practices (HIP) through our HIPs Impact dashboard and SEGO, a tool used to measure the level of engagement in courses. We will continue to refine these tools and share insights that will help retention and graduation rates. Additionally, these assessment methods, data, and analytics are critical to demonstrating to the Carnegie Institution our engagement with the community, enabling us to maintain this elective classification.

Expand Continuing Education

To support a culture of lifelong learning, UVU offers non-credit certificates and micro-credentials for personal and professional growth. We have made a significant impact in our region in terms of youth engagement, senior citizen programming, career development, industry certifications, diversity and inclusion, and women’s leadership development.

In the coming years, UVU will expand the breadth and depth of executive education offerings to address Utah’s growing economy. Continuing Education engages students “where they are” and recognizes that essential skills can be learned in a variety of ways. We will provide “lanes” for career success, further develop current and new programs leading to high-yield and high-demand jobs, support UVU’s dual-mission goals, and maintain lower-cost alternatives to valuable credentials.


Over the past decade, UVU has received increasing support from donors, foundations, and friends of the university. In 2021-2022, UVU celebrated its most successful fundraising year, with $51.8 million raised for facilities, programs, scholarships, and other priorities. We will build on this momentum with the launch of UVU’s first-ever comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Accelerate Donor Support for UVU’s Mission of Educational Opportunity, Engagement, and Achievement

UVU’s inaugural comprehensive campaign will serve as a public declaration of the university’s growing local, state, national, and global impact. It will be an opportunity for faculty, staff, students, alumni, community members, businesses, and organizations to transform lives through giving.

Comprehensive campaigns play an important role in higher education, and philanthropy is essential for UVU’s long-term vitality. While UVU benefits from a supportive state legislature, increasing donor revenue and growing the endowment will benefit students and the community for generations to come. These efforts will also help keep educational costs low.

Through the campaign, UVU will strengthen existing relationships while establishing, cultivating, and stewarding new relationships with donors and key constituents. As a result of the campaign, UVU will reach considerably higher levels of consistent giving each year to advance the university’s mission. The campaign will successfully garner additional funding (annual, endowed, alumni, and planned gifts) and establish and deepen the engagement of new and existing donors. The overall brand of the university will be elevated regionally and nationally, increasing the value of a degree from UVU and, in turn, financial support for the university.