USU school of ASTE divides in effort to better serve students

Oct. 9 change takes effect immediately

Bruce Miller

In an effort to better serve students in the largest department in Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, and to advance career and technical education programs, particularly in southeastern Utah, CAAS Dean Ken White and USU President Noelle Cockett announced Oct. 9 that the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education (ASTE) will be divided. The change takes effect immediately.

Professor and head of ASTE, Bruce Miller, will continue to lead programs in the Aviation, Career and Technical Education division, and Associate Professor and Associate Department Head Rebecca Lawver, has been appointed interim head of ASTE. Under the new administrative structure, Lawver will oversee programs that train future secondary school teachers of family and consumer sciences, technology and engineering, agriculture, and business education. She will also lead programs in outdoor product design and development, agricultural communication, agricultural machinery technology, and agricultural systems technology.

Rebecca Lawver

Miller will continue to lead aviation, general technology, technology systems, and an array of certificate, associate’s degree programs in career areas including automotive technology, building and construction management, heavy equipment and trucking operation, cosmetology, health professions, IT support and web development, welding, and general technology. Many programs in the new division are offered at USU Eastern in Price, USU Blanding, and USU Moab.

The change supports President Cockett’s priorities of making post-secondary education accessible to underserved populations and communities across Utah and enhancing student success through experiential learning, according to a press release from the university.

It also bolsters efforts to fulfill a 2019 mandate from the Utah Legislature that USU’s southeast campuses redefine career and technical education (CTE). The senate bill also supports altering the tuition structure for CTE programs, and provides ongoing funding for CTE programs in southeastern Utah.

ASTE currently has 1,432 students. Following the change, Lawver will oversee programs