BYU offers a scuba certification class through Dive Utah. This six week course teaches its participants all of the skills to be officially open water certified through PADI, the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. Under student activities, you can register for STAC 175 in either Fall, Winter, Spring or Summer semesters.
Dave Mohowski, part owner of Dive Utah in Holladay, Utah and PADI Master Instructor, teaches the scuba class on BYU’s campus. The class is broken up into two separate parts, an in-class portion and a water portion.
After going over safety procedures in the classroom, the class goes to the Provo Recreation Center to practice the skills in the water. The last two classes take place at the Homestead Crater Resort in Midway, Utah.
“We certify about 450 students per year between the various levels, from Open Water all the way to Instructor,” Mowhoski said. “That doesn’t include the 95 we have done at BYU this year or the 298 who are signed up for the Summer and Fall classes. Due to the demand, we have added Friday class in the fall.”
Scuba diving in Utah seems foreign but there are a lot of places to go diving. Some of the most popular spots are the Homestead Crater, Sand Hollow Reservoir (near St. George), Blue Lake, Seabase, Bear Lake and Flaming Gorge.
“I wouldn’t trade my certification for anything, it was such a great experience”, Alecandria Ader, from Charleroi, Pa., majoring in Marine Biology, said.
Four instructors from Dive Utah helped teach the class so there was a lot of one on one training.
“The instructors were extremely patient and made sure we understood everything,” Ader said.
Dive Utah plans multiple trips a year so divers can continue to use their certification.
“We do 3-4 warm water ‘exotic trips’, 2-3 Southern California weekend trips and 4-5 local weekend trips per year,” Mohowski said. “Coming up we are headed to the Bahamas in August and California in September and October. Next year we are headed to Indonesia and the Cayman Islands.”
Most importantly the divers are able to network in the class and find people to go diving with after the class.
“I loved meeting everyone in my class and we just had a good time,” Ader said.
After 16 years of instructing the scuba certification courses, Mohowski’s favorite part of diving is still the people he met and interacted with.
“My favorite thing about diving is the people you meet,” Mohowski said. “We are “under” achievers. It sounds corny but scuba is fun and that fun is contagious.”