Many members of the Church are well aware of BYU and Ricks College. What many may not realize, however, is that the Church also owns and oversees the operation of LDS Business College, near downtown Salt Lake City.
This two-year institution offers its students a range of certificates and degrees primarily in business-related fields, while also providing a religious environment and one-on-one instruction."The mission of the LDS Business College, as a member institution of the LDS Church Educational System, is to motivate each student to think clearly, to develop personal judgment, and to acquire professional business skills in an atmosphere of intellectual excellence and spiritual enlightenment, in order to be informed, ethical, productive citizens of the community," reads the official mission statement of the college.
Kenneth H. Beelsey, president of LDS Business College, said, "The college is Church owned and we report, the same as BYU and Ricks, to our own board of trustees."
He noted that the college is the "only institution of higher education owned by the Church that has some room for enrollment growth."
The ceiling for enrollment is 1,500. Pres. Beesley pointed out that the fall enrollment for 1990 was 751. "We could double," he said.
A large majority of the students attending LDS Business College are between the ages of 18 and 22. The majority come from the western United States. About 70 percent of the college's students are women, explained Camille Fronk, dean of students.
About 100 foreign students, representing some 30 countries, attend the college, mainly from South America, the South Pacific and Asia.
There are many reasons students seek the benefits of an education at the college, Pres. Beesley told the Church News. "Many students here major in business with some sub-specialties," he said. These students are preparing to enter the job market with entry-level skills.
"There are also those who plan to attend the college for two years and then transfer to another school. Then there are those who attend other institutions and transfer to LDS Business College," he added.
The college attracts not only young people who are preparing for future careers but also many who desire to upgrade their current job skills or make a change in their careers. Pres. Beesley said "empty nesters" - women who have raised families and want to get back into the job market - also enroll.
"A large percentage of our students want the LDS atmosphere," he added. "I would say, based on information we have, that as many as 75 percent of our students have had three or four years of seminary. They choose us because they want the environment here. We have the same dress standards and behavioral standards as BYU and Ricks."
Pres. Beesley explained that LDS students at the college can attend the same wards as LDS students at nearby University of Utah. Students at the business college are also required to enroll in at least one religion course per quarter at the college's Institute of Religion, Sister Fronk added.
A chapter of the LDS women's sorority, Lambda Delta Sigma, is located on the campus of the business college, and students may attend devotionals twice per quarter, Pres. Beesley noted.
Educational opportunities in business-related fields vary at the college. Dr. Carolyn Brown, dean of academics, explained that the main programs offered are: accounting, computer information systems, fashion merchandising, health services, interior design, marketing-management and office administration.
"We have a stronger component of computers with accounting than almost any program in the state," Pres. Beesley noted. "We have about 140 personal computers on campus and six labs."
Degrees students can earn at the college consist of an associate in science degree , for those wishing to complete much of their general education requirements before transferring to a larger school, and an associate in applied science degree (AAS), for those with an area of specialization. Also offered are graduation certificates, for those completing the three to four-quarter programs.
Pres. Beesley pointed out, however, that although general education credits are transferable to other institutions, "if students plan to transfer, they need to work closely with us. We need to work out what is referred to as an articulation agreement. Not every course offered will fit into a particular degree program at another institution, even though all of the credits would be acceptable."
To apply to LDS Business College, Ross Derbidge, director of admissions, explained a candidate must be a high school graduate or the equivalent. He added that the college has an open admissions policy, but students must have an ecclesiastical endorsement and commit to observe the honor code.
"We don't require the ACT (American College Test), but we strongly recommend that the student take the ACT," he continued.
He added that international students must take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the equivalent Michigan Test, offered nationally.
Students may apply to LDS Business College up until the last day of registration for a particular quarter, which is Jan. 15, 1991, for winter quarter.
A variety of scholarships are available at the college. These range from $100 to full tuition, said Sister Fronk. She added seminary attendance weighs toward the review of scholarship applications.
"We don't want to communicate that we are a comprehensive community college, because we're not," Pres. Beesley noted. "I think LDS Business College may not be the right place for every student but I want to make sure that students understand what we are and what we have to offer. For many students out there, this is an excellent option."
Colleges provide balanced training
With the growing concerns LDS parents and their college-age sons and daughters have about achieving a well-rounded education - one that combines secular and spiritual truths - it's not uncommon for members to look at Church-owned colleges and universities for the answer.
A fast-growing Church membership, however, has made it more difficult for most Church institutions to continue providing for the needs of all LDS college-bound students.
Limitations in facilities and staff have made it necessary to establish enrollment ceilings to better serve the students with the resources available.
And because of enrollment ceilings, these institutions continue to look for creative and productive ways of sharing their unique educational experience with as many Church members as possible.
Not all college-bound LDS students wish to attend Church schools and many take advantage of the institute program instead. But for those who do, it helps to know beforehand what it takes to get in. And now is not too early to begin the admissions process for the 1991-1992 school year.
While all Church schools have honor codes and certain standards that must be adhered to, admission policies vary among the institutions. Details not found in the accompanying articles may be obtained from each institution.