The New U Student Experience and My "U" Signature Experience (MUSE) Programs in the College of Nursing

The Student and Community Engagement (SACE) Program at University of Utah College of Nursing provides unique and valuable opportunities for students and faculty to partner with our university, local, national and global communities to create signature learning experiences. The purpose of the SACE program is to enhance environments for learning in ways that foster the development of life-long learning and community engagement. In addition, SACE programs encourage students to fully embrace their future roles as health professionals empowered to improve the health of individuals and communities through scholarship, inquiry, community engagement.

SACE Programs

Bennion Center Scholars

For over thirty years, the College of Nursing has partnered with the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, engaging students and our communities in projects that promote lifelong service and civic participation. The Bennion Center Scholars Program is designed for students who crave intellectual and personal challenges and for students who are, or want to become, actively involved in their communities. As Bennion Center Scholars, students address real community issues by working with and learning from people with pressing needs. Personal and academic knowledge deepens as students critically reflect on their civic participation in a society of great strengths and vulnerabilities.

Community Engaged Learning

Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs, together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of CEL.

The College of Nursing offers a variety of CEL-designated courses in nursing and gerontology, coordinated through the Bennion Center. We partner with multiple community organizations to provide services that align with student learning objectives and faculty engagement. Current partnerships include: Granite Technical Institute, the Community Assistance and Resource Event (Care Fair) sponsored by the Junior League of Utah, and the International Rescue Committee in Salt Lake City.

Global and International Health Learning

The College of Nursing Global and International Health program seeks to create opportunities for nursing and other health sciences students to learn about health care in low resource settings. Through academic and community partnerships, students engage in learning experiences that are immersive and experiential, with a focus on health care delivery by local providers, public health education and research, capacity building and creating sustainable change.

Undergraduate Research

The College of Nursing works closely with the University of Utah’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) to provide undergraduate students the opportunity to work with faculty on research or creative projects. The goal is to promote research in nursing and gerontology among undergraduate students through faculty mentoring and to support students working towards the Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation (USRD).

Honors College

The mission of the Honors College is to “promote an enriched academic environment for talented and highly motivated students.” The Honors Program fosters values of social responsibility, inclusiveness and academic quality — in short, a community of excellence. No honors course exceeds an enrollment of 30 students, and class instructors are selected on the basis of their demonstrated teaching excellence.

The College of Nursing offers a departmental honors track that promotes academic excellence, intellectual exploration and community engagement in nursing. To graduate with an ‘Honors Degree’ the student must complete seven (7) honors courses and an honors thesis including presentation of thesis at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, while maintaining a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

Capital Encounter

Capital Encounter is a one-week program in Washington, D.C., offered by the University of Utah Hinckley Institute each year between the spring and summer semesters. This unique course allows students to learn in a series of on-site intensive “classrooms” in which the learning occurs at the epicenters of Federal Government power, where public policymaking takes place, and where the three branches of government function.

College of Nursing undergraduate students accepted into the Capitol Encounter Program are eligible to participate in the College of Nursing Capitol Advocacy Day. Nursing students in this program are accompanied by a faculty member and college alumni and learn how to apply nursing knowledge and skills as effective advocates for the profession and for the health of patients and communities.

MUSE and New U Student Experience

The University of Utah MUSE (My "U" Signature Experience) and Student and Community Engagement (SACE) projects are dedicated to helping all undergraduate students create a genuinely personal education. MUSE provides opportunities for mentored learning across campus and educational experiences that help students develop their unique potential for intellectual and imaginative work and to develop personal educational relationships with professors, community leaders, and distinguished national guests.


Sara Hart, PhD, RN
Director of Student and Community Engagement

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