The Lehi campus of Mountainland Technical College hosted “Get the Scoop on Career and Technical Education,” an annual joint activity for Wasatch, Summit and Utah Counties on Monday, September 19. Junior high and high school students from seven school districts, including Alpine School District,had an opportunity to tour the MTECH buildings and learn more about the school’s programs and get a scoop of ice cream.
“Each of our occupational areas is represented at this event,” explained Clay Christensen, President of MountainlandTechnical College (MTECH) since 2006. “The commissioner challenged us years ago to do something to inform the community and get the word out and we’re the only region that has kept doing the event every year.”
MTECH has grown exponentially in the last several years. “We opened up our electronic enrollment registration for this fall and automotive filled up in four minutes,” said Christensen. “Our cosmetology program has had to move to a lottery system. We have students waiting to get into that program. We don’t have to recruit students, but we do have student counselors to help point students in the right direction and make proper career choices. We’re not trying to build a kingdom here; we’re trying to wisely use taxpayer dollars to help people better their lives through the education process. We show them what the possibilities are.”
High school students come to MTECH tuition-free, and adults pay a low tuition rate. In 2021, 99.2% of MTECH graduates graduated debt-free. “They can start with an industry certificate,and they can go immediately to work. If they want to continue their education we have stacking programs – they don’t have to repeat courses,” Christensen continued. “We’re completely competency-based here. Students can step into the curriculum and continue from where they are in the process. We don’t have them repeat anything. For example, if they do the welding program at the high school, that covers about a third of the curriculum that they take here at MTECH.”
“If students are a bit intimidated to go from high school to a big university like UVU, we have a transition specialist to help them, to kind of hold their hand through this process,” said Christensen. MTECH has also focused on inclusion in recent years. “We have a Director of Inclusion here at MTECH. We’re concentrating on diversity and equity and financial barriers. We want to know how to help everyone be successful. It’s our job to eliminate or at least reduce the barriers to education for everybody.”
MTECH is breaking ground on a new campus in Payson soon and they have campuses in Orem, Provo, and Spanish Fork.