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live. learn.

Our motto reflects our commitment to each and every student.


We understand adolescence can be difficult and often painful.


At Sundance Canyon we help our students identify their strengths and develop purpose in their lives as they look to the future with a strong foundation and leadership structure to guide them.


Our Mission

In partnership with students, parents and community, our mission as educators and counselors is to empower young men to overcome emotional, behavioral, and academic challenges, develop resilience, and learn to self-advocate and appropriately communicate their needs. We provide a safe, healing, and empowering environment for young men to discover their authentic self, true potential and prepare for a successful future.


At Sundance Canyon Academy, we are committed in our belief that all young men are capable of making positive changes in their lives, regardless of the nature of their problems.


We believe that all of our students are worthy of a physically and emotionally safe environment. A safe and structured environment provides direction as our students to begin their trek towards making good and proper decisions.


We believe that there are certain behaviors and skills in which our students should demonstrate competence. For example, we believe that all people should be respectful to each and every member of society, no matter what their race, creed, age, gender, religion, political affiliations, etc. We try to instill in our students the value of treating people warmly and genuinely without compromising their own values.

We believe that marvelous changes can and do take place as the student becomes aware of his many strengths and limitations. For these significant events to occur in the lives of our students there must be a time commitment. We believe that the time in a program may vary, as boys learn to eliminate inappropriate behaviors, which in the past have often lead to unhappiness in their lives and that of their families.

Our philosophy is that as these young men are redirected and begin to practice appropriate personal and social skills, they begin to feel of their own personal worth. As their own self confidence builds, they begin to verbalize their feelings and needs to others in a constructive manner. They are then ready to make giant leaps in the direction of commitments and becoming capable, caring and contributing young men to their families and in society.

Our 7 keys to success



Increases emotional aptitude through specific therapeutic approaches and considerations including; identity, communication, and commitment.



Builds empathy by putting others before self.



Plays a key role in health and wellbeing and self-management.



Provides opportunities for team building, competition, and acquiring new skills.



Improves confidence and increases optimism through achieving academic needs and goals, thereby contributing to present and future successes. Learning becomes a ‘Life-long’ endeavor.

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Life Skills

Furthers independence through the development of practical skills and passion. Competence and maturity enhances one’s ability to navigate life’s obstacles and promotes interpersonal relationships, negotiation, and community involvement.



Aids anticipation and appreciation for the ‘next steps’ and opportunities now and in the future.


Our therapeutic program is administered by licensed professionals and qualified staff. We provide therapeutic intervention in the following three forms: Group, Individual and Family.

Our milieu includes the Why Try Model, a program that was originally developed as a one-on-one counseling tool. The Why Try visual analogies provide a practical guide for discussing personal challenges and solutions to problems that youth face at home, at school, and with their peers.

The program utilizes a strength based approach to counseling and is infused with empirically sound theories and techniques including:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

  • Solution Focused Brief Therapy

  • Relationship-based (CPRT) Therapy

  • Multiple Intelligence Theory

The program is also used nationally by clinical social workers, psychologists, and other mental health clinicians in both group and one-on-one settings.

We provide a nationally accredited curriculum in partnership with Alta Independent. In addition to our academic offering, we provide an experiential education program that may be used for certification or education credits. Our program provides social situations and environments that teach new behaviors, responsibilities and awareness.

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Our Fine Arts programs and Recreational Education create additional learning environments for exploring creativity and relationship building.

Personal Chef
Music Gear

Culinary Arts

Knife skills, cooking preparation, menu selection, food handler’s permit, and all line cook positions.


Music Theory and Practicum.


Recreation, service, and sports team instruction.


This function can possibly prevent the need for sending a teen away for weeks, months, or even years to an out-of-home treatment facility. If you are feeling like you have exhausted your options and weekly therapy isn’t working, you may want to try the next logical step which is bringing intensive help into your home first, before you commit to the separation and cost of an adolescent treatment program. Many of our parents comment that they were surprised how much they didn’t know about parenting!


The transition process supports both the student and their parents in creating a plan and the environment to help them hold on to the positive changes and progress made while attending Sundance Canyon. We help them transition back to their natural surroundings of school, friends, and family, or independent living. Think of it as physical therapy after surgery. There is a lot of work to be done at home to get back to functionality and health. Transition makes sure that the changes, structure and education are happening at home in preparation for the reunion and return to regular family life. It’s also the crucial support for the months following discharge and the “honeymoon phase,” to keep the “testing phase” crises to a minimum and total relapse unlikely.


Team work


From the owners to direct care staff, SCA is committed to excellence and positive outcomes for both students and their families. This commitment is made possible because SCA is operated and directed by its Owners: Sheri Pearce, Simon Timms, Nate Stoddard, Jillian Bates, Nickie Molaire, Gary Hooper, and Shawn Pearce. Collectively, the owners have served youth in need for more than 100 years.



The staff at SCA is highly trained, dedicated, experienced and fully licensed or certified. Additionally, SCA offers board certified, child and adolescent psychiatry through the University of Utah Neuro-Psychology Center, as well as other medical and educational professionals to meet the needs of our students.



The entire treatment team meets and reviews each youth’s progress every week in order to tailor treatment plans to each youth’s individual needs and abilities. Since parents are required to be members of our treatment team we communicate with them through weekly conference calls and our Parent Learning Center to measure student’s progress and reach treatment goals.

Our Program

In addition to our therapeutic and academic offering, we provide an experiential education program that may be used for certification or education credits.


Our program provides social situations and environments that teach new behaviors, responsibilities and awareness.

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