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U of U College of Health continuing to evolve

a group of attendees at the October Saturday Academy flash the U outside of the Spencer F. and Cleone P. Eccles Health Sciences Education Building


Established in 1965, the University of Utah College of Health boasts a storied history characterized by noteworthy achievements and a steadfast commitment to advancing health education, research, and community engagement. It has played a pivotal role in shaping health care professionals, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, and contributing to the overall well-being of individuals and communities.

Mentors and students participating in an activity at the Saturday Academy
A College of Health volunteer guides three Saturday Academy students through an activity with a checkerboard.

With a legacy spanning over 55 years, the college has consistently offered a diverse range of health-related programs, adapting to the dynamic nature of health care and the escalating demand for skilled professionals in various health-related fields.

In a strategic response to the evolving health care landscape and the recognized importance of a multidisciplinary approach to address complex health issues, the College of Health established the Division of Health Sciences in 1968. This move brought together a spectrum of programs, including nursing, public health, and allied health sciences, under a unified umbrella, promoting collaboration and synergy among disciplines.

As the demand for health care professionals escalated, the College of Health responded proactively by introducing new programs and expanding its facilities. Presently, the college offers a comprehensive suite of over 40-degree programs, comprising 18 Baccalaureates, 16 master’s, three clinical doctorates, and five Ph.D. programs across multiple disciplines. This extensive academic portfolio reflects the college's commitment to meeting the evolving needs of the health care industry and providing students with a robust education that aligns with both modern and future health care demands.

a Physical Therapy mentor times a student in a balancing activity at the Saturday Academy
In a balance and stability activity, a College of Health volunteer times a Saturday Academy student standing on a block with one leg.

Continuing the College of Health’s evolution of addressing the future needs across the health care profession, the departments of Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy were the recent focus of Saturday Academy held on October 21, 2023, with over 40 staff, faculty, and student volunteers participating. Student Volunteers, under the watchful eyes of faculty experts, conducted lectures and hands-on activities designed to educate and encourage the nearly 100 fourth through twelfth-grade students in attendance to gain the skills and knowledge required to graduate from two prominent programs within the College of Health. With an extensive array of disciplines able to be showcased, the college will also be featured in the Saturday Academy event on March 16, 2024, further demonstrating its commitment to “Leading the transformation in health care from primarily caring for the sick empowering people to be healthy, active and resilient through proactive, preventative, and rehabilitative care” (The College of Health, n.d.).

University Health Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion office presents the Saturday Academy, with the goal of fostering inclusivity on campus and increasing applicants to health science programs. This platform enables departments to showcase their field through scholarly activities while offering professional development to graduate and undergraduate students serving as mentors in higher education, with a focus particularly on health sciences. Departments with an interest in collaborating should reach out to Chris Harris at

Photos by Jasmine Harris, MSIS

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Chris Harris, MBA

Dec 20, 2023 12:18 PM