By Kristen Radford
Utah may be above the mark in male/female student enrollment equality, but the state?s not taking any chances.
While recent studies show that American males may be losing inter-est in college life, Utah proves that higher education is just as important to boys as it is to girls.
According to the Learning Re-sources Network based out of Wis-consin, males make up only 35 per-cent of all enrolled college students in the United States, a number that has slipped significantly since 1980, when males made up 50 percent of college enrollees.
But Utah can rejoice in its equal-ity: according to a 2005 report by the ?Education Reporter,? Utah can boast a 50 percent male enrollment in higher education.
Awareness is the key, and currently UVSC is holding a conference aimed at building the academic success rates of Utah males. The confer-ence began Thursday and will extend until Saturday. It will include interna-tionally recognized educators as key-note speakers along with a hands-on career workshop for boys and parents on Saturday.
?This is believed to be the first conference of its kind in the United States,? said Diana Hunter, assistant dean of marketing for the School of Continuing Education at UVSC.
The college already hosts a conference of the same type with a focus on educating females, called ?Expanding Your Horizons.?
?We wanted to do the same thing for boys,? Hunter said. ?Our attention was brought to it by the many articles and research information recently published on how poorly boys were doing in school.?
No one knows more about this trend than William Draves, president of the Learning Resources Network (LERN), who reported the national 35 percent enrollment rate in his book ?Smart Boys, Bad Grades.? Draves will speak at the conference as well as Julie Coates, vice president for infor-mation services for LERN and co-author of ?Nine Shift: Work, Life and Education in the 21st-century.?
“We have 2 million boys who need to be in higher education,” Draves told the Arizona Republic. “This is an issue for everyone.”
And everyone is invited. Parents, educators and young boys are invited to attend the conference, which will be held at the Sorenson Student Center at UVSC.
Among the nation?s trend of fewer boys in higher education are the following factors, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics:
? Boys receive 70 percent of D”s and F”s.
? Girls receive 60 percent of A”s.
? Boys make up 80 percent of high school dropouts.
? Among high school seniors in 1998, 50 percent of boys and 60 percent of girls expected to complete college.
? Among high school graduates, boys” mean GPA was 2.83 in 2000, compared with 3.05 for girls.
The ?Building Boys Success? conference will address what Draves says is the root of these statistics?boys learn differently than girls, and educators and parents fail to understand that.
?Their neurology is just different,? Draves said in his book, ?Nine Shift: Work, Life and Education in the 21st Century.?
For more information on the con-ference at UVSC, contact the UVSC Equity Center (801) 863-8968.