Utah Education Network Serves Unique Statewide Role and Moves State Towards ‘66% by 2020’ Education Goal
In a unique statewide role the Utah Education Network (UEN) delivers educational content through an integrated system of broadcast, broadband, and videoconferencing services and makes professional development and educational resources accessible for teachers and learners of all levels.
UEN provides the broadband and broadcast system network for Utah’s schools, from pre-K through university and adult learning, along with libraries and other public entities. UEN is central to a statewide effort to increase the percentage of Utahns with a postsecondary degree or certificate from 43 percent to 66 percent by 2020.
“Education is our middle name, and collaboration is essential to our success,” said Ray Timothy, UEN’s CEO and executive director. “We connect public schools and colleges, rural and urban areas, and all levels of learners. The collaborative model integrates media and training to provide resources for teachers and better education Utah’s students of all ages.”
UEN was formed in 1993 to coordinate telecommunications in public and higher education throughout the state, but traces its roots back to educational closed-circuit television and the founding of public television station KUED, licensed to the University of Utah in the late 1950s. UEN’s infrastructure connects Utah’s educational institutions and UEN-TV, an independent public television station that broadcasts three educational television channels and KUER public radio.
“Although Utah has the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation, through collaboration and economies of scale we are able to stretch every dollar and rely upon strong community partnerships to maximize projects that serve multiple stakeholders,” said Laura Hunter, chief content officer and KUEN station manager. “Our talented and dedicated team keeps innovating for public good with laser focus on our public service mission.”
UEN is moving Utah toward its education goals on numerous fronts:
- KUEN broadcasts instructional television including learning programs for students of all ages; STEM education, financial literacy, how-to programs for after school centers; programming for adults working to obtain their GED degree; and teacher professional development workshops.
- KUEN’s programs include the CPB-supported Arts and SciTech Now programs and Cheese Science, exploring the science of cheese and encouraging pursuit of STEM careers.
- UEN, along with Utah Telehealth Network, leases circuits to provide the broadband data network used by Utah’s higher education institutions, schools, healthcare centers and libraries.
- UEN’s Online Library of newspaper and magazine articles, professional journals and eBooks is available to teachers and students across Utah.
- UEN’s eMedia service provides teachers with materials aligned with state education standards, with more than 20,000 digital videos, images, and documents, including links from PBS LearningMedia, original productions from Utah’s lead PBS-member station KUED, co-located with UEN in Salt Lake City and KBYU, located in Provo, Utah.
- UEN offers credit-based professional development to approximately 10,000 teachers each year through online, web conferencing, videoconferencing, and in-person classes.
- UEN infrastructure supports about 300 credit-based video distance learning courses per day during the school year. Many are dual enrollment courses where students earn high school and college credits concurrently, giving them a jump-start toward post-secondary degrees and certificates.
- UEN is an American Graduate hub station. Through UtahFutures.org UEN produces materials to help school counselors and academic advisors with timely college and career advising.
- UEN is a valued science communicator networked with the state’s research universities and producing websites, events, and videos that communicate scientific findings.
UEN is accessible without charge (or for free) to the general public in Utah through UEN-TV (KUEN) and online at UEN.org.