SUU creates Office of Community and Academic Enrichment
Photo courtesy of SUU

In 2018, Southern Utah University will launch a series of community programs. Housed in SUU’s School of Integrative and Engaged Learning, the newly created Office of Community and Academic Enrichment, or CAE, has been tasked with reaching out to community members by extending academic experiences beyond campus boundaries to local and regional communities.

“Our role at Southern Utah University has always been to extend our reach to our off-campus community,” SUU Provost Dr. Bradley Cook said. “We are in a unique position where we can draw on our on-campus experts to contribute to the continuing education for all residents, and the School of Integrative and Engaged Learning is continually making a concerted push to elevate the lives of others in our community.”

Five unique programs have been placed under the direction of new CAE’s new director, Melynda Thorpe, to provide cultural, intellectual, and skill-based learning opportunities for the entire community through a variety of interactive outlets.

Community Education

Classes begin spring 2018 for the purpose of creating community partnerships and generating fun, cultural, educational opportunities and experiences for those who love to learn. Subjects including culinary arts, hiking in southern Utah, outdoor photography, and blogging will be taught by local professionals for the purpose of increasing participant knowledge and developing new skills.

Community Professional Development

Also launching spring 2018, participants will have opportunities to customize professional portfolios by earning an SUU Institutional Certificate. Classes are designed to increase marketability and teach new career-enhancing skills. Both community education and professional development courses will be offered throughout the year in a combination of boot camps, seminars, short-term classes, and workshops, giving participants several options to fit their schedules.

Community on the Go

This program offers safe, affordable travel for the community to international and domestic destinations. All trips are led by SUU faculty who share their expertise while touring with travelers in a group environment. Activities are flexible and designed using community feedback. Recent trips include Operation Overlord: The D-Day Experience, where travelers visited France and stood on the beaches of Normandy on Veterans Day, and Christmas in London. Trips in 2018 will include trekking to the Inca Empire of Peru in May, Halloween in Transylvania, and Christmas in the Alps.

Summer University

This program will highlight Cedar City as a summer destination for travelers from other communities. Participants will be able to tour the area’s national parks, participate in SUU faculty-led excursions, attend Shakespeare Festival activities and on-campus educational experiences, and stay in student housing for affordable rates.

Road Creek Inn

Community members can book an educational vacation to Road Creek Inn, SUU’s Capitol Reef field station in Loa. Located near Capitol Reef National Park, Fishlake National Forest, Canyonlands National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, the historic hotel serves as a retreat option for any of the four programs at the Office of Community and Academic Enrichment at SUU. Originally built as a Zion Canyon Mercantile Institution co-op in 1912, the property offers a quaint atmosphere for taking in the region.

More information on programs in SUU’s Office of Community and Academic Enrichment is available at, or by calling (435) 865-8259. The office is located at 136 W. University Blvd., office 003, in Cedar City.

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