November 28, 2023

Statewide | CHaSS

Growing Their Own: Collaboration Between USU Uintah Basin and Northeastern Counseling Creates Career Path for Local Social Workers

Northeast Counseling

One of most recent cohorts of the master’s of social work program at USU Uintah Basin.

At Utah State University, Statewide Campuses play a pivotal role in higher education by promoting accessibility and inclusivity. They serve as educational hubs that cater to a diverse array of students, including those from remote or underserved areas. These campuses help bridge the gap between urban and rural communities, ensuring that individuals across the entire state have access to educational opportunities and services from a world-class university.

The presence of USU in the Uintah Basin significantly enhances the quality of life for its residents. The university collaborates closely with local industries and businesses to drive economic development, aiming to cultivate a highly skilled workforce tailored to the region’s unique needs. Kyle Snow, a proud alum who earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in 1996 and 1997, is a firm believer in the university’s land-grant mission. His dedication to this mission was so strong that he chose to leave the Wasatch Front and return to his roots in the Uintah Basin, driven by the desire to make a meaningful impact in his community.

USU Associate Vice President James Taylor, NCC CEO Kyle Snow and NCC Clinical Director Robert Hall.
USU Associate Vice President James Taylor, NCC CEO Kyle Snow and NCC Clinical Director Robert Hall.

Kyle grew up in Roosevelt, Utah, and was influenced by his father, Gordon Snow ’70, and grandfather, Alva Snow ’44 (deceased), both strong supporters of USU in the Basin. Growing up as an Aggie, Kyle came to Logan for college where he would earn a bachelor’s in accounting and an MBA from the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business. After graduation, Kyle worked for Bear River Mental Health in Logan and then moved his family to Davis County, where he worked for Davis Behavioral Health. But Kyle knew he always belonged in the Uintah Basin, so, in 2000, he moved his family home and started as a financial officer at Northeastern Counseling.

Established in 1997, Northeastern Counseling is an Interlocal Agreement between Daggett, Duchesne and Uintah counties to provide mental health and substance abuse services to the citizens of Northeastern Utah. As CEO of Northeastern Counseling, Kyle feels it is important to “grow your own.”

A dynamic collaboration between Northeastern Counseling and USU Uintah Basin has effectively enabled the development of in-house social work professionals. USU students enrolled in the social work program are given the opportunity to work with trained professionals at Northeastern, and are also able work with actual patients in a clinical setting, all while receiving feedback and direction from a mentor.

“The partnership has been such a success that we decided to put our money where our mouth is,” Kyle said. “We created the Northeastern Counseling Center Aggie Family Scholarship Endowment in the Social Work program at USU Uintah Basin.”

Northeastern is proud to sponsor two scholarships for students pursuing social work studies at USU Uintah Basin. These scholarships serve dual purposes: one is designed to support students in need, regardless of whether they are at the undergraduate or graduate level, while the other is specifically aimed at master's students engaged in a practicum.

These scholarships go beyond just alleviating the financial burden of tuition; they play a pivotal role in bolstering the essential practicum component of a student's education. Whether the practicum takes place at Northeastern or another organization, these scholarships enable students to fully leverage their educational experience while also receiving a stipend for their dedicated hours. Furthermore, the practicum model offers a unique benefit by allowing Northeastern, or another participating organization, to effectively engage in a year-long, on-site interview process, helping to identify and nurture emerging talent in the field of social work.

Many rural areas in Utah face challenges in developing qualified workforces. USU Uintah Basin offers a variety of degrees so that graduates create a qualified workforce to support the delivery of improved public services, including education, healthcare and local government.

“Having a campus here in the Basin is extremely important to the quality and success of our community,” Kyle said. “In-person instruction had a huge impact on me when I was a student, as I was able to create better connections and receive immediate feedback from my professors. Students who are taught and mentored here in the Basin, usually stay in the Basin after graduation at a benefit to all who live here.”

By providing exceptional education to everyone who walks through the doors, USU’s Statewide campuses are equipping students with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the ever-evolving job market.

“In 30 years of educational leadership, I have never worked more closely with an industry partner who cares about their organization, the partnership and the university more,” said James Taylor, senior associate vice president and associate professor of sociology and anthropology at USU Uintah Basin. “It helps that Kyle is a multi-generational Aggie, but that is not his motivation. He is a service-oriented leader that takes organization stewardship seriously and does all he can do to support the university, Northeastern Counseling and the community. He is a true friend of Utah State University.”

The social work program at USU Uintah Basin is helping meet the demands of this fast-growing industry by creating skilled social workers who are so needed in rural communities.

“Kyle and the rest of the Snow family want to see Aggies thrive here in the Basin,” said Robert Peterson, associate campus director and director of students at USU Uintah Basin. “We are so grateful for their commitment of both time and resources to make our campus a strong and vibrant place.”

As for Kyle, he says his affinity for USU is in his blood, and he remains a steadfast supporter of the institution. Currently, he serves as the chairperson of the USU Uintah Basin Advisory Council, a position held by his father before him. The third-generation Aggie, along with his wife, Mindy ’96, have literally grown their own by continuing the tradition and sending three of their four children to Utah State.

“There is such a special feeling around Utah State,” he said. “The camaraderie and cohesiveness of life as an Aggie is unmatched anywhere in the state.”



Michael Bowen
Associate Vice President, College Development

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