|In addition to teaching Institute, these two wonderful |
CES specialists oversee 20 Pathway students in NJ.
In partnership with Institutes of Religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young University–Idaho has introduced Pathway, a program that will give young adults opportunities in higher education regardless of where they live or where they may ultimately obtain their degree.
“Historically, we’ve brought students from around the world to BYU–Idaho,” said Rob Eaton, associate academic vice president for academic development at the university. “Pathway, on the other hand, brings BYU–Idaho to the students. For those who can’t come here or aren’t ready to come, it can be a blessing.”
Combining BYU–Idaho’s innovative online courses with the resources of local institutes, Pathway is currently operating at 24 sites—one in Ghana, one in Mexico, and 22 in the United States. Tentative plans to introduce additional sites worldwide are in place, said Andy Cargal, BYU–Idaho news services manager. The current goal, pending approval from the board of trustees, is to introduce 10 new sites each year as the program grows.
BYU–Idaho has created over 100 online courses for the program and plans to create an additional 500 in the next few years.
Because Pathway targets students not already enrolled in college, the first year of the program—called Academic Start—helps provide students with the skills and confidence they need to succeed in college. Of the students who have participated in Pathway, 95 percent feel more optimistic about their ability to provide for their families or future families, according to a Pathway student survey.
During Academic Start, students gather each week at an institute building under the direction of a volunteer Church service missionary couple. While the couple does not provide formal instruction, they do help facilitate weekly discussions regarding student coursework.
To be eligible to participate in Pathway, students need to have completed high school or obtained a GED or other high school equivalency certificate. Students take only two courses per semester during Academic Start, allowing them to work full time while participating in the program.
Students who successfully complete Academic Start with at least a B average may matriculate as BYU–Idaho students online and may take as many or as few courses as they like. They can earn a certificate (consisting of roughly five specialized classes), an associate’s degree, or even a bachelor’s degree—all online.
Students may also choose to transfer to BYU–Idaho’s main campus in Rexburg, Idaho, USA, or to another college at any time after completing Academic Start.