Access Network

College Access Network of Utah

Our goal by the year 2020 is to have 66 percent of Utahns—men and women in the 25-35 age range—hold a quality post-secondary certificate or degree that leads to a livable wage.  The pursuit of this goal requires an increase in participation by approximately 76,000 students, in addition to the 33,000 new students expected due to population growth.  The state of Utah follows national trends concerning persisting gaps in achievement based on socioeconomic status, race, parental education level, and language of origin amongst its population.  Given these disparities and the growing diversity of Utah’s population, college-level stakeholders and public education administrators have come together to create the College Access Network of Utah (CAN U).


Program Description

The MESA/STEP (Science, Technology and Engineering Program) at Salt Lake Community College is a resource/service program designed to assist students who are underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, and engineering. The program seeks to provide solid role models and activities designed to motivate and encourage ethnic minority and female students. Their objective is to ensure that SLCC students take advantage of the range of exciting educational opportunities available to them.

Contact Information

Service Regions

In Partnership With Salt Lake Community College
Schools Serviced High School


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In support of this goal, CAN U developed the following Core Action Strategies:

  1. Advocacy: Promote equitable access and opportunities for all Utah students.
  2. Professional Development: Identify, share, and support successful practices and programs that meet the needs of individual students congruent with their educational goals.
  3. Partnership Development: Encourage statewide collaboration by bringing together practitioners in settings that allow opportunities to dialogue and share.
  4. Resource Provider: Leverage and connect federal and state financial and talent force resources to strengthen, support, and grow programs and services.

CAN U adheres to the following Guiding Principles:

  1. Asset-based Approach: We believe the potential of underserved and underrepresented students should be cultivated so as to provide all students with the opportunity to be prepared for and succeed in higher education.
  2. Sustainability: We aim to build an infrastructure in the state of Utah incorporating the public/higher education community and business that supports Utah students in preparing for, accessing, and succeeding in college.
  3. Collaboration: We believe working together is essential to our success in reaching and supporting more students.
  4. Accountability: Our partners are committed to reporting on their programs and services, as well as sharing outcomes and student successes that advance our mission and vision.