Ensign College

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Mormon LDS Business College

Background

Former Church president Gordon B. Hinckley said the following about the importance of education:

You are moving into the most competitive age the world has ever known. All around you is competition. You need all the education you can get. Sacrifice a car; sacrifice anything that is needed to be sacrificed to qualify yourselves to do the work of the world. That world will in large measure pay you what it thinks you are worth, and your worth will increase as you gain education and proficiency in your chosen field. You belong to a church that teaches the importance of education. You have a mandate from the Lord to educate your minds and your hearts and your hands (Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Prophet’s Counsel and Prayer for Youth,” New Era, Jan. 2001, 4).

In addition to stressing the great importance The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints places on education, the Church offers a number of educational opportunities, both religious and secular, through the Church Educational System.

Ensign College

Ensign College is a college operated and owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The name of the college was changed officially on February 12, 2020. According to the Deseret News, the name change did not come as a direct result of the Church dropping acronyms like "LDS."

“We were the catalyst for suggesting that our name should change, because there was some confusion about what we did as an institution,” President Kusch said. “It was not uncommon for someone to hear our name and say, ‘Well, I’m not interested in business, therefore I won’t consider LDS Business College,’ when there are other programs, other things that we do besides business.”
The discussions began in earnest six months ago, spurred by two developing changes at the school. First, the two-year LDS Business College would add several four-year degrees. Second, it would begin to provide much of its curriculum to students around the world via BYU-Pathway Worldwide.
“The First Presidency concurred that with these other adjustments, if there was to be a name change, that this was the right time to change the name, as a part of all these things that we were going to be doing,” Kusch said. . . .
“We settled on Ensign College because we felt that it symbolized so much of what we do, that it would be something that we would be able to use as an anchor and a rallying point for what we hope to achieve as an institution. We hope that wherever our students go, they are a standard of righteousness and goodness and everything that the gospel represents.”
Kusch said school leaders considered naming options and reviewed them with members of the school’s board of trustees, which consists of the First Presidency, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and general authorities and general officers of the church.[1]

Located in Salt Lake City, Utah, the campus used to be located on South Temple. It is now housed on 300 W. in the Triad Center. The College also offers two on-campus housing for students (by application) and provide a list of other nearby rentals.

Ensign College has been distinguished as one of the best schools of its kind. It has a 95% job placement rate at graduation and the students can expect personal attention and good learning environments because the average class size is 19 students. Some of the school’s other credentials and awards include:

  • Microsoft designated then LDS Business College as a “Microsoft Academy” due to program excellence.
  • The National Center for Competency named the college’s medical secretary program as a national testing center for its excellence as “one of the best in the nation.”
  • LDS Business College students swept the four-year division of the International Interior Design of America (IIDA) 2002 and 2003 portfolio competition. In 2001 they swept the two-year division of the same IIDA competition.
  • LDSBC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team was a regional winner in 2003, awarded second place in regional competition in 2002, regional winner in 2001, and runner up in 2000.
  • LDS Business College is the only commercial school in America conducted by a religious body to be admitted to the National Association of Accredited Commercial Schools (Taken from a report given on LDS Business College by the Utah System of Higher Education).

History

LDS Business College has been in operation for 117 years and started out as a school for elementary grade levels with one room and one teacher. From those small beginnings it grew to include teaching grades 9-12. In 1896 another addition was made to the curriculum of what was then known as Latter-day Saints’ University, a business section was added and called LDS Business College. In 1931, during the Great Depression the high school, and junior high curriculum were closed (the elementary school had been closed some years before this point) because of financial reasons and the LDS Business College was all that remained.

The LDS Business College had a distinct identity as a junior college. From 1922 until present, the University of Utah has accepted credits earned at LDS Business College. In 1893 the college colors of blue and gold were selected and the school song was adopted. The song is titled “Blue and Gold,” and the text was written, as a poem, by James William Welch. E. P. Kimball wrote the music.

Recent Events

Bruce C. Kusch became the 13th president of LDS Business College on April 17, 2017, where he had been serving as its chief academic officer since March 2016.

On October 13, 2009, J. Lawrence Richards served as the 12th president of the college from October 2009 to April 2017. Prior to 2009, Stephen K. Woodhouse filled that position for 17 years.

In November 2011 the college celebrated its 125th anniversary. To commemorate the event, the college held a Founder's Reception featuring three of the school's presidents. LDS Business College held special events all year with a variety of activities ranging from creating an award-winning Days of '47 parade float to a large-scale, ping pong ball drop. The students also participated in a "125 days of service" event beginning July 14 and ending November 15, which included a blood drive, a canned food drive, craft projects involving blankets and knit caps and a letter-making project for U.S. soldiers. [2]