By ELIZABETH SUMMERHAY
Just 45 minutes north of BYU’s Provo campus lies the Salt Lake Center, an extension program of BYU. Its vicinity and many services are meant to benefit BYU students.
“We have students with scheduling problems on campus (BYU) who find an evening class at the Salt Lake Center to their liking so they travel from Provo to Salt Lake and take one or two classes,” said Lee J. Glines, the director of BYU’s Salt Lake Center. “It supplements their day schedule.”
In fact, full-time students taking 12 or more credits in Provo make up 25 percent of the enrollment at the Salt Lake Center, Glines said.
“The majority of students who take classes at both the Provo campus and the center are full-time students in Provo who get to Salt Lake and take one or two classes at the most,” Glines said. “By doing that they are able to take advantage of their full tuition.”
During fall and winter semester, if a student is attending full time on the Provo campus, they can take up to four hours per semester without additional cost. During spring and summer, if a student is attending full time on the Provo campus, they can take up two hours per term without additional cost, Glines said.
“Students may take up to four hours at the Salt Lake Center for free as long as they are enrolled full time in Provo,” said Sue DeMartini, the director of scholarships. “The Provo campus pays for those four hours.”
Academic scholarships awarded to students at BYU do not apply to the Salt Lake Center.
“Because there is a limited funding for scholarships, we reserved those funds for students enrolled full time on the Provo Campus,” DeMartini said.
“The experience students receive in classes in the Salt Lake Center may not be the same as experience they have in classes on the Provo campus,” DeMartini said. “As students compete for continuing student scholarships, we want to do all that we can to make sure students compete fairly in classes of similar rigor.”
However, students have the option of going to the Financial Aid Office in the ASB and petitioning for their scholarships to transfer to the center, Glines said.
“There are some times when those petitions work through,” Glines said. “But it is all handled by the financial aid office.”
“We are in no way in competition with either an individual class, course, major or anything else here on campus,” said Duane Hiatt, the head of Editorial and Media Productions for the Department of Continuing Education. “It is strictly a supplement. I guess we would frankly feel a little nervous if any chairman of the department or faculty member down here felt like they were competing with the center in any way. We are strictly a service to the campus and to the community.”
“We don’t want the students to think that it is easier up at the Salt Lake Center,” Hiatt said.
“When the Salt Lake Center was put into Salt Lake, we had to go to considerable lengths to reassure the University of Utah that we were not trying to compete with what they were doing up there,” Hiatt said.”BYU has a unique philosophy in many ways and many people like that. We will continue to offer that without taking over anyone’s turf or territory.”
Those living at home in the Salt Lake Valley are welcome to take a semester or term at the center, Glines said.
“I’m glad I had the opportunity to take classes at the Salt Lake Extension,” said Michael Gardner, a senior majoring in accounting from Kaysville. “By going to the Salt Lake Extension, I was able to work fulltime during the day and still take classes at night. I was also able to live at my parents home, which saved me a lot of rent and food expenses.”
Students taking Independent study can benefit from the Salt Lake Center.
“Students that are taking independent study and are not in the Provo area need a proctor, a person who administers the exam. We have worked it out with the Salt Lake Center so they will be the proctor,” said Kaylene Anderson, a student employee in the Department of Independent Study who is also a junior majoring in business from Lubbouck, Texas.
“Students need to request the test here at Independent Study, then we send the test to the Salt Lake Center,” Anderson said. “After the student takes the exam, the Salt Lake Center sends the test back to us.”
“Students take the test inside the testing center at the Salt Lake Center,” Anderson said.
Being admitted to the Salt Lake Center is not the same as being admitted into BYU.
“You have to meet one of two criteria to be able to attend classes at the Salt Lake Center,” Glines said. “One, you have to be admitted into BYU as a degree seeking student. If you are not currently admitted, you must be 23 or older going part time.”
“This does not constitute admission into the university. If anyone wants to seek a degree from the University, they end up having to be admitted into the University,” Glines said. “The 23 age policy allows for residents of the Salt Lake valley who don’t want a degree or who already have a degree to take a class or two to refresh their skills without having to be admitted into the university.”
“Current needs being met are mainly for students who live in the Salt Lake Valley who are continuing their education after having left the Provo campus for one reason or another,” Glines said. “Jobs or marriages take them away from Provo. If they haven’t quite finished their degrees, they finish them at the center.”
This allows for a large variety of students at the center, Glines said.
“I went to the Salt Lake Extension because I was home for the summer, it was convenient, the classes were easier and the classes were smaller,” said Steven Gardner, a senior majoring in accounting from Kaysville. “The smaller classes allowed us to go one on one with the professors.”
“One of the beauties of the Salt Lake Center is that the class size is such that you have a great deal of interaction with your instructor or professor,” Glines said. “One of the risks associated with the class size is that if we don’t get enough students enroll in the class to make it viable, we will not carry it.”
“We work very closely with the academic department to make sure we are offering classes that are in high demand,” Glines said. “There are classes, a few, cancelled each semester, and getting fewer each semester.”
“We will hold a class open until the first night of classes, because we also hold registration until the first day,” Glines said. “We don’t want to cancel prematurely. We want to give everyone the possible chance to let it carry.”
To find out more information about the Salt Lake Center, the courses it offers and other available services, a copy of their catalog can be obtained on the main floor of the Harman Continuing Education Building.