The UCAS Mission
Our mission is to provide a quality early-college education to a diverse student population emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) with the opportunity to earn both a high school diploma and up to two years of college credit in a safe, supportive, dual-campus environment.
- highly qualified teachers promote student learning by using face-to-face instruction in conjunction with a variety of teaching methods.
- students need to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through solving complex problems and producing high quality work.
- diversified instruction, course content, and a diverse student population provides enrichment that is a valuable asset to education.
- a high quality education provides a solid foundation for the future of the student; it is vital for the growth and success of our society to have lifelong learners and productive citizens.
- a safe, comfortable, and supportive school environment is essential for optimal learning and will promote the building of positive relationships and respect for others.
- many high school students are capable of doing college level work, making appropriate decisions, and becoming confident, self-directed learners.
The Utah County Academy of Sciences (UCAS) is a specialized, magnet public high school that provides an unconventional educational opportunity for high school students who are greatly motivated. UCAS provides a curriculum with emphasis in STEM (Science, Math, Engineering and Technology). UCAS works closely with Utah Valley University (UVU) allowing students who have the interests, ability, and desire to move through their formal schooling at an accelerated rate.
UCAS provides an atmosphere that promotes learning. Teachers are skilled in curriculum development and delivery along with research-based methods. Teachers and administrators carefully plan the curriculum and assessment that align with the Utah state core.
The curriculum is consistent with the goals of Early College High Schools and the Curriculum departments offered at UVU. Two major strands of emphasis are offered by the Utah County Academy of Sciences:
– Medical Science and Health Technology intensive strand (UVU School of Science and Health)
– Computer Sciences and Engineering Technology intensive strand (UVU School of Computer Sciences and Engineering.)
While UCAS has a main focus of technical and scientific inquiry and research, other classes will be offered to fulfill Utah State high school graduation requirements to help students become functional, literate, and well rounded adults.
UCAS will assist students as they:
- Learn to build student/adult associations that develop successfully in school, employment, and daily life.
- Plan for and work in a thorough, in-depth, and demanding course of study
- Expand a love for learning and interest in math, science and engineering.
- Participate in low cost access to higher education.
- Experience a sound transition between high school and the college.
- Accrue college credits by the successful completion of college level courses.
- Graduate from high school with the self-assurance and self-competence of entering into and completing a four-year university degree in a field related to math, science, or engineering.
THE HISTORY OF UTAH’S EARLY COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOLS
The Utah State Legislature upon the urging of the Governor Mike Leavitt passed legislation authorizing the creation of six “New Century High Schools.” These schools were to be smaller high schools that work with existing colleges or universities and local school districts to encourage math, science and engineering. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation along with the Utah Partnership for Education agreed to support the planning and development of these schools.
The first New Century High School, the Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (AMES) opened at Cottonwood High School. The partners were Salt Lake District, Granite District and the University of Utah.
January – May 2004
The Governor’s Education assistant, Darrell White, met with the Three Utah Valley Superintendents, Vern Henshaw, Carl Nielson and Randy Merrill. Together with UVSC President William Sederburg, a plan emerged to establish a New Century Early College High School in Utah Valley.
The three superintendents and President Sederburg met together and selected Clark Baron, a retiring administrator from Provo School District, as the principal of the proposed school and directed him to move forward in establishing the school.
April – June 2004
An advisory board for the Utah County New Century High School was selected and then appointed by the Governor. This board consisted of school administrators from each of the three districts, representatives from UVSC as well as parent representatives from the different districts. The Board agreed that the name of the school would be the Utah County Academy of Sciences.
The Northern Utah Academy of Math, Engineering and Science (NUAMES) opened as a partnership with Weber, Davis and Ogden School Districts along with Weber State University. Jordan School District and Salt Lake Community College opened a third New Century High School called ITINERIS on the campus of the Salt Lake Community College.
July 2004 - July 2005
Two new Early College High Schools, UCAS and SUCCESS Academy have begun planning for a fall of 2005 opening. UCAS with Nebo, Provo and Alpine School Districts will work with UVSC and the SUCCESS Academy has an agreement to work with Iron County School District and SUU.
One additional Early College High School will open up the following year at either Logan with Utah State University or in Price with the College of Eastern Utah.