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New Collaboration in Utah Revolutionizes Higher Education Accessibility

The Juniper Building at Salt Lake Community College’s Herriman Campus to provide students a first-of-its-kind collaboration between SLCC and the University of Utah.

Utah's higher education landscape is on the brink of a transformative shift as Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) and the University of Utah (the U) have joined forces to open the Juniper Building in Herriman City. This visionary project marks a first-of-its-kind collaboration in Utah, offering students a seamless journey toward achieving higher education.

University of Utah mascot Swoop, U President Taylor Randall, the Herriman Yeti, Salt Lake Community College President Deneese Huftalin and the SLCC's mascot Brutus plant a Juniper tree at the newly opened Juniper Building at the SLCC Herriman Campus.

By beginning with an associate’s degree at SLCC and effortlessly transferring to the U for a bachelor's degree, students will now have two degrees in one location.

Nestled in Herriman City (14551 S. Sentinel Ridge Blvd.), this 88-acre SLCC campus embodies unity, convenience and boundless possibilities in the rapidly growing southwest quadrant of the valley.

SLCC President Deneece G. Huftalin, U President Taylor Randall and Herriman City Mayor Lorin Palmer shared their hopes for the building during a ribbon joining ceremony held the morning of August 7, 2023. The two ribbons signify the enduring partnership being created at this one location.

Members from both campuses and the surrounding communities as well as state and local leaders toured the expansive three-story Juniper Building, which will be the Herriman Campus hub.

In addition to educational offerings, the Juniper Building will provide all enrolled students with the necessary resources and amenities such as admissions, financial aid and advising. While the Juniper facility is the first completed building, more buildings are anticipated to meet future growth on the Herriman Campus.

“This campus will play a key role in making college more accessible to those who call this area home, and in turn help their families and community thrive and prosper,” said Huftalin. “I also hope this campus will become a central place for community-wide learning and engagement. We are particularly grateful for the partnership and support from Herriman City in advancing access to higher education in their rapidly growing community.”

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At the Juniper Building on the Herriman Campus, SLCC students can begin their educational journey by earning an associate’s degree in Business, Economics, Education, Psychology, General Social and Behavioral Sciences, Family and Human Studies or Computer Science Information Systems.

Students can then seamlessly transfer to the University of Utah and earn their bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics, Education, Psychology (via UOnline), General Social and Behavioral Sciences, Family and Human Studies.

“We are committed to the success of all our students and the partnership with SLCC in Herriman provides transfer students an accessible pathway to achieve their educational goals,” said Randall. “This new campus will combine innovative programming and resources to support students to explore many learning opportunities all in one convenient location.”

The southwest quadrant, where Herriman is located, is one of the fastest growing areas in the Salt Lake Valley and includes more than 20 middle and high schools. About a quarter of Utah’s high school graduates are within three nearby school districts.

The convenience of having access to higher education near home makes it more feasible for students who are working or caring for children. This significant reduction in commuting distances can save time and money and contribute to cleaner air along the Wasatch Front.

SLCC and the U anticipate that within the first year the new campus will serve over 2,000 students and grow to serve some 7,000 students by 2025.

Funding was appropriated by the Utah State Legislature in 2021, with additional support from SLCC, the University of Utah, private donors and infrastructure investments from Herriman City.

“Education is a priority in Herriman. We love the idea that students can receive their entire formal education—from elementary school through a college degree—all within the same community,” said Palmer. “We look forward to working with Salt Lake Community College and the University of Utah as partners in serving our community’s educational future.”