May 23, 2013
This December, Anton Burman, a resident of San Diego, California, will be one of the first PathwayConnect students to graduate with an online bachelor’s degree from BYU-Idaho, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway.
Like many PathwayConnect students, his journey to graduation has been unique.
“When I first started college, I was a non-member and went to San Diego State University (SDSU) and partied like crazy. It wasn’t until I tore my ACL, MCL, and fractured my femur playing soccer that I ran out of money and couldn’t go there anymore,” said Burman.
After dropping out of SDSU, he attempted community college.
“I ended up going to community college because it was way cheaper. I still goofed around in community college and got bad grades and didn’t really care,” said Burman. “But then I took an oceanography class and met a girl.”
This girl would teach him about the gospel and introduce him to the Church. He was later baptized, and the couple married. Burman’s new family situation contributed to his decision to join PathwayConnect.
“Before starting PathwayConnect, I did not know what I wanted to do with my life. I also felt a little helpless because I wanted to get a college education but could not afford one,” he recalls. “My wife and I were going to have a baby, and I needed to build myself up in order to be a provider for my family.”
Completing PathwayConnect transformed his life, and gave Burman the academic skills and GPA to apply to BYU-Idaho. He explains, “PathwayConnect gave me an opportunity to pursue my goal of getting a college education at a great school. It also changed me as an individual because I was able to incorporate my religious values with my education and become a stronger follower of Christ.”
After completing PathwayConnect, Burman enrolled at BYU-Idaho as an online student pursuing a degree in business.
“The biggest things that motivated me to continue my education were the cost, the online BA in business, and the time I was able to save from not having to ‘go to class,'” he remarked. “As a father and husband and sole provider for my family, it is extremely valuable to be able to learn the same information in the comfort of my own home on my own time.”
Anton Burman’s story is an example of how the PathwayConnect and Online Degree programs at BYU-Idaho enable students to succeed in college, despite their individual challenges.
“There are so many students living where it may not be possible for them to ever attend a CES campus, but their hope for a better life is fulfilled through online options at BYU-Idaho,” said Kendra Justesen, who was one of Burman’s academic advisors. “Getting to hear their stories and triumphs is the best part of my job.”
Taking advantage of opportunities available through PathwayConnect and online learning, Burman not only has the skills to start his career, but a new outlook on life.
“After completing my program and earning my degree, I would describe myself as confident, driven, and educated,” he reflects. “I used to be a man who was lost and did not know where he wanted to go in his life. Now I am confident that I will be able to succeed in a career that fulfills me.”