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Salt Lake Community College

Salt Lake Community College is the largest higher education institution with the most diverse student body in Utah. The College offers online class options and operates 13 locations throughout the Salt Lake valley.


4600 S Redwood Rd
Salt Lake City
Zip/Post Code

Contact Information


Total Undergrad enrollment
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Out State Tuition Fees
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Additional Information

College Type
Religious Affiliation
Campus Housing
Bruin Bear
Royal Blue Gold
Scenic West

College History


Salt Lake Community College began teaching classes September 14, 1948 as the Salt Lake Area Vocational School. A product of the GI Bill, the school evolved out of the War Production Training School established at West High School during the war. After most federal support dried up in 1946, the Salt Lake City School District continued funding the program on its own, which was a burden for the district. The district, with the State Board of Vocational Education, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, the local American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars successfully lobbied the state legislature to create state-supported vocational schools. On March 19, 1947 money was appropriated for establishing vocational schools in all school districts serving populations of at least 140,000. The Salt Lake City School Board selected long-time vocational teacher Howard Gunderson as the school's first president. The old Troy Laundry Building on 461 South 600 East in Salt Lake City was selected as the school's first building, and equipment was donated from Salt Lake area High Schools which had housed War Production Training Schools during the war. Gunderson received authorization from the Salt Lake City, Park City, and Tooele School districts to teach 39 vocational programs, although teachers could not be found for all of them immediately. Newspaper ads for the school carried the slogan, "Learn to Earn", which would be used into the 1970s. In its first quarter, tuition for the school was $78 annually, and 246 students registered in 14 classes. By the following quarter, 948 students were enrolled including 589 veterans. In 1949 J. Bracken Lee became governor of Utah. A fiscal conservative, he opposed the Area Vocational School as duplicating services available elsewhere. When the legislature presented the 1949�1950 budget with expenses projected to exceed revenues by $2 million, Lee used line-item vetos to cut the entire $500,000 appropriated to the school. Lee's veto drew criticism from The Salt Lake Tribune, labor unions, and veteran's organizations, but the supporters of the cut stood firm, alleging wastefulness at the school. Only by scaling back operations to $145,000 annually was Gunderson able to keep the school open. The second President of the school, Jay L. Nelson (1949�1978), referred to the first years of Lee's governorship as "the starvation years". No state funding was provided to the school again until 1951 when it began receiving modest subsidies, and a $312,000 grant to purchase the Troy Laundry Building it was in. Initially the school was seen as a central location for high school vocational education, and the school was thus an extension of public secondary education. The school was guided jointly under the direction of the state and local school board until 1959 when it changed its name to Salt Lake Trade Technical Institute, reflecting the more adult-oriented nature of the school. Governance for the school also moved solely into the state's hands under the State Board for Vocational Education. In 1967 most departments of the school (now renamed Utah Technical College at Salt Lake) moved to the current location at 4600 South Redwood Road in what is now Taylorsville. The state legislature granted money for expansion at the Taylorsville Redwood campus, which is now the primary campus of SLCC. A thriving vocational program existed at the original site well in to the 1980s that served thousands of students seeking basic education and occupational skills. In 1969 the State unified the scattered public higher education direction into the State Board of Higher Education (later called the Board of Regents). However, the Technical College was not placed entirely under this board. Instead, it was jointly governed by the State Board of Higher Education and the State Board of Vocational Education. Turf wars between the boards erupted almost immediately in 1970 and again in 1974 when the boards fought over who had authority to raise salaries (it was decided that the vocational board controlled wages, but that the higher education board dictated budgets). The Board of Higher Education first sought to convert the schools into community colleges in 1970, which the vocational board outright rejected. The Vocational Board eventually relinquished control of the school in 1978 with an agreement that technical school maintain 75% vocational training, which was state law at the time. President Jay L. Nelson believed this was necessary to prevent the school from becoming merely a feeder for the University of Utah. However, in 1987 the school formally became Salt Lake Community College and the old requirement 75% for vocational training ended.

College Specialty


The English department provides courses based in reading, writing and critical thinking, ranging from developmental literacy instruction to advanced explorations of the role of language in society, in academic studies and in our own personal and professional experiences. We emphasize teaching students to take responsibility for how they communicate in a variety of contexts (from academic, to imaginative, to work-related) and for how language may be used to achieve results. Courses are taught as intellectual inquiry, and expose students to diverse reading and writing tasks and address how power may be won or lost through the medium of words. The English department includes several related areas of instruction: Composition and Writing (developmental, introductory, and intermediate), Reading, English-as-a-Second-Language, Creative Writing, Literature, Linguistics, and Gender and Cultural Studies. The English department also offers courses to prepare students for academic success.