UVU President Astrid Tuminez on a more accessible higher education

Sep 11, 2023, 8:00 PM

Astrid Tuminez will be Utah Valley University's first female president...

Astrid Tuminez, the President of Utah Valley University poses for portraits and speaks to students and others on the campus of Utah Valley University Thursday April 19, 2018. (August Miller, UVU Marketing)

(August Miller, UVU Marketing)

SALT LAKE CITY — Education, particularly higher education, is a very important part of many Utahn’s lives. As such, many people are calling for higher education in Utah to become more accessible.

This is something The President of Utah Valley University Astrid Tuminez is working towards. She told KSL NewsRadio’s Boyd Matheson that the first step is exceptional care for all who access higher education.

“What we know about the model of higher education is that it’s been traditionally used to weed out the riff-raff,” Tuminez said. “So, you can’t get in if you have a bad ACT or SAT score (and) you can’t get in if you failed high school.”

According to Tuminez, everybody should have access to higher education no matter their background.

“Then, when they are in, we give them the support,” she said. “It’s a surround sound system of support from academic tutoring, support for minorities (and) all sorts of things that help students succeed in a very engaging experience at the university.”

Making accessible higher education for all students

Along with this, Tuminez said the keyword for UVU is relevance. The university works to keep its curriculum relevant so students can enter the workforce as seamlessly as possible.

“If we are not relevant to the community and to the businesses and industry, we would be failing as a university,” Tuminez said. “We have many programs on campus … We just launched a Jobs CEO Council.”

Through the Jobs CEO Council, UVU connected to some of the largest employers in Utah County. According to Tuminez, the council is meant to help identify what skills people are missing when they apply for these jobs.

Beyond the Jobs CEO Council, Tuminez said UVU is working on many other programs. The goal is to have programs that will benefit the community as well as the university. UVU is working on programs that will help students prepare for internship interviews as well as faculty externships.

The university also wants to support and encourage those who may be coming back to school.

“We offer scholarships (and) we offer support so that they don’t feel out of place when they return to the classroom,” she said. “We have many … non-traditional students who, you know, they’ve raised children, they want to return or they lost a job and now they wanna re-skill or upskill.”

It is important for the students to feel welcomed and worthy at UVU, Tuminez said.

Related: Utah Valley University’s leadership in aviation sustainability

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UVU President Astrid Tuminez on a more accessible higher education