Teaching & Learning

Fostering Educational Excellence: USU Moab, Grand County School District Collaborate

A mural composed of Grand County School District fourth-graders' drawings is displayed at USU Moab.

MOAB, Utah — All 4th graders at Helen M. Knight Elementary School enjoyed an eventful field trip to the Utah State University Moab campus during a memorable November visit.

During the field trip, students explored various areas of study, such as nursing, welding, the process of turning cocoa beans into chocolate and cooking. This immersive experience aimed to provide students with an overview of college life.

“Studies show that when we normalize being on a college campus and begin to create positive formative experiences with education after high school, we can plant a seed for our students,” said Jeremy Spaulding, community coordinator for the school district. “This was a fun field trip and one that hopefully demystifies higher education for students who may have never been on a college campus before. We hope that by bringing our students here consistently, we can help them to imagine themselves in educational spaces and help them start envisioning more possibilities for their futures.”

During their visit, students engaged in a collaborative art project — crafting a vibrant mural that now adorns the walls of the USU Moab campus. This visually stunning piece of student artwork serves as a testament to the creativity and unity fostered during the visit.

Samantha Campbell, director of students and associate campus director at USU Moab, was grateful for the collaboration.

“This was such a wonderful opportunity to introduce the 4th graders to USU Moab and to give them a small glimpse into the opportunities of higher education in their local community,” Campbell said. “We thoroughly enjoyed having the students on campus. We are excited about future collaborations with Grand County School District.”

Education plays a crucial role in the robust partnership between USU Moab and the Grand County School District, forming a vital foundation for community development. This collaborative alliance not only emphasizes the dedication to fostering the educational paths of local students, but also serves as a symbol of joint commitment to the holistic wellbeing of the community.

USU Moab’s collaborative efforts with the school district will continue, as 8th graders are scheduled to visit the campus in the spring. The focus will be on introducing students to the college environment, enlightening them about the path to higher education and exploring potential majors and areas of study.

Additionally, as part of the Utah High School Tour, 11th graders will meet on the USU Moab campus to gain insights from representatives from the various colleges and universities in Utah. This initiative aims to provide students with valuable information about different institutions across the state, aiding them in making informed decisions about their educational journeys.

“I'm very excited that GCSD was able to collaborate with USU Moab and arrange a field trip for our 4th-grade students,” said Taryn Kay, superintendent of Grand County Schools. “Field trips to universities are important for 4th-grade students because they can open doors of curiosity and plant seeds of aspiration that bloom into limitless possibilities. Experiencing higher education early ignites dreams and unveils the boundless horizons that are possible as students learn and grow.”

As she reflected on USU Moab’s collaboration with Grand County School District, Campbell said the campus enjoys collaborating with groups in the community.

“We invite people to come visit the campus,” she said. “Our doors are open, and we are excited to share the educational journey with everyone."

In the heart of Grand County, the collaboration between USU Moab and the Grand County School District is a beacon of educational synergy. Through campus visits, collaborative art projects, and upcoming initiatives, this partnership aims to shape the educational landscape for students, instilling a sense of curiosity and ambition. As both institutions continue to prioritize community engagement, the future holds the promise of continued growth, learning and achievement for everyone in Grand County.


Samantha Campbell
Director of Students
USU Moab


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