Institutional Roles & Program Approval

Institutional Roles & Missions

One of the Utah Board of Higher Education’s core responsibilities is to “establish, approve, and oversee each institution’s mission and role.” The Legislature establishes basic categories of roles, and the Board expands and clarifies those roles through policy. The statutory and expanded policy roles are listed below, along with statutory definitions, each institution’s mission, assigned service regions, and institutional partners.

Statutory Definitions

Academic education means an educational program that is offered by a degree-granting institution. Academic education does not include technical education but may include Career and Technical Education.

Career and technical education means an educational program that is designed to meet industry needs, leads to a certificate or a degree, and may qualify for funding under the Carl D. Perkins Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.

Degree-granting institution of higher education or degree-granting institution means an institution of higher education described in 53B-1-102(1)(a) as follows:

·      The University of Utah

·      Utah State University

·      Weber State University

·      Southern Utah University

·      Snow College

·      Utah Tech University

·      Utah Valley University

·      Salt Lake Community College

Technical college means an institution of higher education 53B-1-102(1)(b) as follows:

·      Bridgerland Technical College

·      Davis Technical College

·      Dixie Technical College

·      Mountainland Technical College

·      Ogden-Weber Technical College

·      Southwest Technical College

·      Tooele Technical College

·      Uintah Basin Technical College

Technical education means career and technical education that leads to an institutional certificate or is short-term training. Technical education does not include general education.

General education means a required set of shared essential learning outcomes across degree programs and the individual courses and subject areas that comprise those requirements, including written communications, quantitative literacy or mathematics, American Institutions, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, life sciences, and physical sciences.


Roles and Missions


Statutory Role (53B-16-101): Provide undergraduate, graduate, and research programs.

Policy Role (R312): A research university’s role is to advance knowledge, drive innovation discover, create, and impart knowledge through research, teaching, and service. A research university provides academic programs at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level with an emphasis on research. The research institutions contribute to the quality of life and economic development of Utah, the nation, and the world. Many research efforts generate grants and contracts that also expand economic development. Research Universities have a responsibility to provide access to students from all parts of the state and to foster interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships to address complex challenges and social problems. 

University of Utah

Mission: The University of Utah fosters student success by preparing students from diverse backgrounds for lives of impact as leaders and citizens. We generate and share new knowledge, discoveries, and innovations, and we engage local and global communities to promote education, health, and quality of life. These contributions, in addition to responsible stewardship of our intellectual, physical, and financial resources, ensure the long-term success and viability of the institution.

Service Region (R315): Salt Lake County, Summit County (Park City Only) for physical facilities. 

            Utah State University

Mission: The mission of Utah State University is to be one of the nation’s premier student-centered land grant and space grant universities by fostering the principle that academics come first; by cultivating diversity of thought and culture; and by serving the public through learning, discovery, and engagement. Utah State University delivers associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees throughout its state-wide system as well as credit and non-credit technical education in the Southeastern region of the state. The institution also has a robust non-credit continuing education program.

Service Region (R315): Cache, Rich, Box Elder, Duchesne, Uintah, Daggett, Tooele, Carbon, Emery, Grand, San Juan for physical facilities.

Technical College Partners (53B-2a-112): Bridgerland Technical College, Tooele Technical College, Uintah Basin Technical College


Statutory Role (53B-16-101): Provide career and technical education, undergraduate associate and baccalaureate degrees, and select master’s degree programs to fill regional demands.  

Policy Role (R312): A regional university’s role is to offer academic certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and select master’s degrees to meet regional demand; offer degrees that build upon certificates earned at technical colleges; through its community college role in its service region, offer open admission for students and provide developmental education when needed; provide scholarly and creative activity to supplement the teaching role and contribute to the intellectual and cultural life of the region; engage in discipline-based scholarly activity; provide concurrent enrollment in partnership with secondary schools; provide community outreach and continuing education; contribute to the quality of life and economic development of the community, the region, and Utah.   

Weber State University

Mission: Weber State University provides transformative educational experiences for students of all identities and backgrounds through meaningful personal connections with faculty and staff in and out of the classroom. The university promotes student achievement, equity and inclusion, and vibrant community relationships through multiple credentials and degree pathways, experiential learning, research, civic engagement, and stewardship.

Service Region (R315): Weber, Morgan, Davis

Technical College Partners (53B-2a-112): Davis Technical College, Ogden-Weber Technical College

Southern Utah University

Mission: Southern Utah University is a dynamic teaching and learning community that engages students in experiential education leading to personal growth, civic responsibility, and professional excellence.

Service Region (R315): Iron, Garfield, Beaver

Technical College Partners (53B-2a-112): Southwest Technical College

Utah Valley University

Mission: Utah Valley University is an integrated university and community college that educates every student for success in work and life through excellence in engaged teaching, services, and scholarship.

Service Region (R315): Utah, Wasatch, Summit

Technical College Partners (53B-2a-112): Mountainland Technical College

Utah Tech University

Mission: Utah Tech University is an open, inclusive, comprehensive, polytechnic university featuring active and applied learning to advance students’ knowledge and skills while fostering competent, resilient, lifelong learners to success in their careers and personal lives as creators, innovators, and responsible citizens.

Service Region (R315): Washington, Kane

Technical College Partners (53B-2a-112): Dixie Technical College; Southwest Technical College


Statutory Role (53B-16-101): Provide associate programs.

Policy Role (R312): A community college’s role is to offer academic certificates and associate degrees, focused on lower division teaching and training, that either lead directly to the workforce or prepare students to transfer to baccalaureate programs; provide open admission for students; provide concurrent enrollment in partnership with secondary schools; provide developmental education when needed; provide community outreach and continuing education; and contribute to the quality of life and economic development of the community and the region.

Snow College

Mission: Snow College continues a tradition of excellence, encourages a culture of innovation, and cultivates an atmosphere of engagement to advance students in the achievement of their educational goals.

Service Region (R315): Sanpete, Sevier, Wayne, Piute, Millard, Juab

Salt Lake Community College

Mission: Salt Lake Community College is your community college. We engage and support students in educational pathways leading to successful transfer and meaningful employment.

Service Region (R315): Salt Lake for certificate, applied associate and associate degrees



Salt Lake Community College

Statutory Role (53B-16-209): Provide technical education with an emphasis primarily on open-entry, open-exit programs at low cost to adult students and no tuition cost to secondary students that will result in appropriate licensing, certification, or other evidence of completion of training, and qualification for specific employment, with an emphasis on high demand, high wage, and high skill jobs in business and industry.

Secondary Service Region: Salt Lake

Snow College

Statutory Role (53B-16-205): Provide, through the Snow College Richfield Campus, for open-entry, open-exit competency-based technical education programs, at a low-cost tuition rate for adults and at no tuition cost to secondary students, that emphasize short-term job training or retraining for immediate placement in the job market.

Secondary Service Region: Juab School District, Millard School District, Tintic School District, North Sanpete School District, South Sanpete School District, Wayne School District, Piute School District, and Sevier School District

Utah State University

Statutory Role (53B-16-207): Provide for open-entry, open-exit competency-based technical education programs, at a low-cost tuition rate for adults and at no tuition cost to secondary students, that emphasize short-term job training or retraining for immediate placement in the job market

Secondary Service Region: For Utah State University Eastern, the Carbon School District and the Emery School District; for Utah State University Blanding, the San Juan School District; and for Utah State University Moab, the Grand School District.



Statutory Role (53B-16-101): Provide technical education. 

Policy Role: A technical college’s role is to offer technical education programs that either lead to technical education certificates or provide short-term occupational training; generally admit students year-round, with opportunities to begin most programs at any time on a flexible schedule and advance as they attain competency; provide technical concurrent enrollment in partnership with secondary schools; provide developmental education when needed; meet the needs of Utah’s economy and employers by providing market-driven technical education to secondary and post-secondary students; prepare students to enter or advance in the workforce; and contribute to the quality of life and economic development of the community and region.

Only technical colleges or statutorily authorized institutions may provide technical education without authorization from the Board.

Bridgerland Technical College

Mission: The mission of the Bridgerland Technical College is to deliver competency-based, employer-guided career and technical education to both secondary and post-secondary students through traditional and technology-enhanced methodologies. This hands-on technical education provides occupational education, skills training, and workforce development to support the educational and economic development of the Bear River Region.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Box Elder, Cache, Logan, Rich

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Utah State University

Davis Technical College

Mission: We are a trusted learning community embracing technical education to promote student development and economic growth.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Davis, Morgan

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Weber State University

Dixie Technical College

Mission: Dixie Technical College provides students with training that enables them to master essential, hands-on skills they can take directly to the workforce, empowering them to support their families, strengthen the community, and contribute to local industry while advancing their careers.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Washington

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Utah Tech University

Mountainland Technical College

Mission: To enhance the employability of individuals through market-driven career and technical education.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Alpine, Nebo, Provo, South Summit, North Summit, Wasatch, Park City

Regional Post-Secondary Partner (53B-2a-112): Utah Valley University

Ogden-Weber Technical College

Mission: We build a prosperous community by creating a technically-skilled workforce one student at a time.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Ogden, Weber

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Weber State University

Southwest Technical College

Mission: Southwest Technical College provides education and job skill training through individualized competency-based programs in response to the needs of students, employers and the communities we serve.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane

Regional Post-Secondary Partner (53B-2a-112): Southern Utah University

Tooele Technical College

Mission: The Tooele Technical College provides rewarding, competency-based, affordable, and accessible career preparation for youth and adults to meet the needs of Utah employers.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Tooele

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Utah State University

Uintah Basin Technical College

Mission: Uintah Basin Technical College provides technical education and training for secondary and adult students, to fulfill labor market needs, and promote economic development in the Uintah Basin.

Secondary Service Region (53B-2a-105): Daggett, Duchesne, Uintah

Regional Degree-granting Partner (53B-2a-112): Utah State University