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The University of Utah Receives $1.5 Million Grant for the West Valley College2Career Initiative to Support Student Success

This three-year grant from Strada Education Network will help learners succeed during and after completing their degree or other credentials.

This week, the University of Utah was selected to receive a $1.5 million grant through the Strada Education Network’s Beyond Completion Challenge. The grant will help develop and scale the West Valley College2Career Initiative, improving long-term outcomes for many more students, especially those who have historically faced the most significant barriers in education and the workforce.

“We are honored to receive this grant award and partner with Strada to improve student outcomes,” says Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, MD, MSPH, Associate Vice President of Health Sciences Education at University of Utah Health. “ University of Utah’s West Valley College2Career initiative is committed to providing community-supported and industry-needed degree opportunities for people in the West Valley area. The program will create opportunities for westside communities by establishing and reinforcing pathways to colleges, careers, and beyond.”

The $10 million Beyond Completion Challenge partners with higher education institutions and provides vital funding to launch, test, and scale initiatives designed to ensure that students—especially people of color, first-generation students, and those who struggle to pay for their education—are positioned to succeed long after graduation.

University of Utah’s West Valley College2Career initiative supports the community by providing college and career navigation services, career pathways, and financial aid support for in-demand health care careers. The program creates clear and supportive pathways for students and adult learners to pursue health careers. Building on University Neighborhood Partners’ place-based approach, the partnership between the West Valley community, University of Utah, and University of Utah Health will serve at least 3,600 students from low-income communities and communities of color.

In addition to the University of Utah, three other institutions received grants: Arizona State University, Rio Salado College, and the University of Texas.

“These four institutions have already found ways to support the success of their learners beyond completion,” said Stephen Moret, Strada Education Network president and CEO. “We are excited to provide these grants so they can reach more learners than ever before and expand to new communities and even other institutions that are joining their efforts. We are honored to have the opportunity to support such forward-thinking and acting partners.”

Learn more about Strada’s Beyond Completion Challenge here.


About U West Valley

In partnership and collaboration with the residents of West Valley, the University of Utah is building a new model to support and collaborate with communities for a positive long-term impact. U West Valley began as an initiative to build a hospital and outpatient health center offering University of Utah Health’s world-class care, and it has now evolved to include an academic campus, workforce development programs, and economic development strategies—all designed to build on existing community assets and the vibrancy of the West Valley area. Learn more at  West Valley Utah University.

Strada Education Network is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people take advantage of education and training after high school that helps them secure a good job, do meaningful work, contribute to their communities, and lead a fulfilling life. Strada helps students succeed beyond completion of a certificate or degree through its research, charitable grants, and social impact investments, as well as through the work of Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, CAEL, Education at Work, InsideTrack, and Roadtrip Nation, which directly serve learners and workers. Learn more at Strada Education.