Women and Education in Utah
The importance of education has always been highlighted and stressed throughout the history of the United States. From an early age, children are sent to preschools and kindergarten. When they become older, elementary and middle schools become a place of learning and educational growth. By the time these children become adolescents, high schools come around. It is after this stage of secondary education that becomes the defining line between high school graduates who go on to achieve and receive a college degree or end their educational careers as it stands. And it is essentially this difference that creates the distinction between what are considered high and low wages.
Throughout the United States of America, there are thousands of institutions available for those seeking higher education and a college or university degree. Many students from the fifty states make the choice to continue their education when they apply to their college or university of choice. However, there is one state in particular that is drawing attention in their higher education statistics, and not in a good way.
Recently, the state of Utah has been falling behind in the number of women applying to and attending a college or university. A study commissioned by the Utah System of Higher Education revealed that Utahans believe that the male gender should receive more education that women. Similarly, only a low amount of 35 percent of women and 39 percent of men believe that the female gender should attain a bachelor’s degree in the state of Utah.
There are several ideas as to the low number of women attending college in Utah. One student from the LDS (Latter Day Saints) Business College Ayesha Magalvi states: “I think in our religion it’s easy to just get married and just have the guy take care of us.” However, this is not the viewpoint that many of the other students at LDS Business College take. Raquel Lamb tells us: “I want to go to the U, start pre-nursing and then get into the nursing program… My parents have raised me to finish school.” Likewise, Abby Brammer is working to: “Get a degree in English literature and a minor in biology or history, and then go to law school.”
Another approach to why Utah is last in the nation for the percentage of female students enrolled in colleges or universities comes from economist Lecia Parks Langston. She believes that:
“culturally a lot of women think they are not going to work and then they end up working.”
It is important to note that whether single, divorced, married, with kids or without kids, most women in Utah will work. In response to the negative statistics, the state of Utah has launched a two-year long project with goals of understanding and motivating younger women to enter and remain in education long enough to obtain a college or university degree.
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