Community education classes offer bridge from Utah Tech to community

Tyson Pulsipher, director of Community Education, shares information about Community Education at Utah Tech University. CE provides a way for students to get involved and take courses they are interested in while not fully enrolled in the university. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Community Education offers a variety of classes for anyone. From personal enrichment to continuing education courses to earning certifications, CE has something for everyone.

CE is a partnership between Utah Tech University, the City of St. George and the Washington County School District. They provide non-credit learning opportunities for the community.

Students at Utah Tech and community members can enroll in these classes for a fee. The fee depends on the class and class length. Tyson Pulsipher, director of Community Education, said if the course is longer, the cost would be $70 to $100. If it is a one-night class, those will be $10 to $20.

The personal enrichment classes are offered at low costs, and they don’t include homework, credits, grades or certifications. It is for people who want to learn something new or try activities they are interested in.

The categories of CE are art, photography, business and technology.

Different areas such as certificate programs offer professional certificates that help with career advancement. They offer courses including:

  • Business writing
  • Data analysis
  • Dental assistant

The same courses are offered every year, and CE tries to add new classes every semester.

There is a different area for CE that offers certificates, and they are non-credit. Those are mostly offered through third-party partners called CareerStep, Center for Legal Studies and UGotClass Business Certificates.

Pulsipher said most of their classes come from people who reach out and want to volunteer to teach a course at the center. Other times, CE finds and recruits their own instructors for certain programs.

Pulsipher said the average class size for general enrichment types typically has between 12 to 15 people. He said if you get any bigger than that, then it is hard to give individual attention to all the participants.

Mel Scott, an instructor at CE, teaches art classes. She has been creating art since 1975 and has lived in St. George since 1970. She is one of the founders of the Art Guild and Watercolor Society.

She recently finished teaching CE acrylic and pastel classes but has also taught oil bars and other forms of art.

Scott said: “I’m having so much fun because there’s no limit to what you can do. When you’re an artist, you can do anything you want to.”

If students have an interest in something that they would like to see offered through CE, Pulsipher is open to requests. He said he aims to get ideas from their customers and students on what classes they would like to see.

Lisa Johns, assistant director of Community Education, said, “We’d love for all the community members to try our class and find something that will enrich their lives or something that will make them happy…”