OREM, Utah ­­— Utah Valley University (UVU) received $771,550 from the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) to run programs in the University’s Innovation Academy that will give students real-world experience and for Delphinium software that will help students graduate faster.

UVU’s Innovation Academy will use part of the funding to offer “UVU Excelerate,” a project-based summer bridge program designed to prepare 200 first-generation students for their first semester of college and transition 100 first-year students into their second year of college.

“We anticipate that students who participate in Excelerate will become more engaged in their education and establish critical teamwork and problem-solving skills that will be essential for thriving in an increasingly connected global society,” said Tammy Clark, associate provost for Curriculum Innovation.

The UVU Excelerate courses include real-world projects by working with external partners. The program is free to participating students and includes flexible scheduling, peer mentoring, and tailored career activities.

In addition, UVU’s Innovation Academy will use part of the funding for its Excellence and Innovation Initiative (e2i), which is a student-driven program that enables students, external organizations, and faculty to collaborate on real-world projects. Participating students and faculty from a cross-section of majors — for example: engineering, communications, science, business, statistics, and marketing — will work together with outside organizations to solve real-world problems.

“These projects will allow students to work with industry professionals, gain real-world experience that will help the transition to a career after graduation, and collaborate with fellow UVU students,” said Jeremiah Harrison, director of the e2i program.

The funding will also allow UVU to expand the use of Delphinium software that gives faculty and advisors the tracking tools needed to significantly reduce course withdrawals, dropouts, failing grades, and as a result, help improve graduation rates and support program affordability.

More than 3,600 UVU students have used Delphinium in the past 18 months and the program was also recently adopted by Utah State University’s Office of Teaching and Learning Technologies. UVU intends to make Delphinium available to other USHE institutions, courses, faculty, and students.

“We are very grateful for the support that USHE is giving to this project,” project lead Jared Chapman said. “These resources will allow us to accelerate our development and expand Delphinium’s benefits to many more Utah students. We look forward to helping students on their path to career success.”

For more information, see UVU ExcelerateUVU Excellence & Innovation Initiative, and Delphinium.

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About Utah Valley University

At Utah Valley University, we believe everyone deserves the transforming benefits of high-quality education — and it needs to be affordable, accessible, and flexible. With opportunities to earn certificates to master’s degrees, our students succeed by gaining real-world experience and developing career-ready skills. As we celebrate the milestone of our 80th anniversary in 2021/2022, we continue to invite people to come as they are — and leave ready and prepared to make a difference in the world. For more, visit uvu.edu or follow us on Instagram or Facebook.