November 25, 2014
“Create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities.”1
“Achieve excellence in the interrelated areas of undergraduate education.”2
“Serve … the world through the discovery, creation, and application of knowledge.”3
These are all excerpts from mission statements of well-known U.S. universities. And while they all differ slightly, they share a common theme of nurturing students to reach their individual potential — PathwayConnect is no different.
But unlike most other educational programs, PathwayConnect’s benefits extend beyond the blessing of education alone. PathwayConnect serves as a catalyst in students’ lives academically, economically, — and most importantly — spiritually. Guided by the overall purposes of BYU-Pathway Worldwide, PathwayConnect aims to:
- Get the gospel down into students’ hearts
- Help students become capable learners
- Prepare students to lead and support families
The blessings of participating in PathwayConnect affect students not only during their time in the program, but throughout the rest of their lives.
“We have heard stories from many students who hadn’t studied the Book of Mormon in detail, or who said they only had a surface-level knowledge of the Church teachings,” said Bryan Justesen, director over PathwayConnect’s efforts in the U.S. and Canada. “The study of the gospel is producing very deep and personal changes in students’ lives. In their courses and gatherings, they are sharing experiences that show true conversion.”
Getting the gospel down into students’ hearts is anchored to…local priesthood leaders.
The purpose of getting the gospel down into students’ hearts is anchored to the objective of local priesthood leaders. These leaders want Church members—no matter their level of personal conversion—to draw closer to the Savior and His teachings. Doing so will enrich students’ lives and provide great blessings.
In a talk given in 2009, Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “The acquisition of knowledge is a lifelong, sacred activity, pleasing to our Father in Heaven and favored by His servants.”4
PathwayConnect eases students into higher education and helps them build confidence in a supportive environment. Every PathwayConnect course utilizes the BYU-Idaho Learning Model, which encourages students to prepare, teach one another, and ponder and prove in their learning processes. This framework for education serves as an everlasting cycle for lifelong education.
PathwayConnect can provide students both spiritual and temporal blessings. Throughout their education, students gain skills, learn doctrines, and strengthen values that will enable them to gain meaningful employment as well as become better parents, providers, citizens, and Church members.
Those who complete PathwayConnect have many available options. With the principles learned in PathwayConnect, students receive experiences and skills that will prepare them to continue their education through a BYU-Idaho online program, presented and coordinated through BYU-Pathway, or a local university or trade school. Whether students only complete PathwayConnect or continue to earn a bachelor’s degree, the values they learn in their studies will help them grow significantly in the workplace and in their homes.
In the years since PathwayConnect first launched in 2009, students have shared countless inspiring stories of personal and spiritual growth. Those stories truly show how PathwayConnect is achieving its purposes. Following is some data collected from PathwayConnect students as they’ve completed the program:
Despite PathwayConnect’s success over the years, we pause only briefly to reflect and give thanks for what has occurred in the lives of our students. Much work lies ahead to further enhance the program and provide even better opportunities for those students yet to come.
As the program continues to blossom, different areas of the world present various educational and employment challenges. Quite simply, life for students in Austin, Texas, or Atlanta, Georgia, is much different than that in Accra, Ghana, or Arequipa, Peru. Where a bachelor’s degree might be just what a student needs to succeed in the United States, students in many other countries may benefit more from an academic certificate, an associate degree, or local employment resources.
We will find ways to move the blessing of education from this campus to men and women everywhere.
PathwayConnect plans to continue building relationships with local colleges and employment providers throughout the world, in an effort to open even more doors for educational and employment opportunities after students finish PathwayConnect.
These connections — as well as other Church services implemented locally through priesthood inspiration — will provide PathwayConnect students with options that are better tailored to their individual cultural, professional, and personal needs.
Thanks to rapid technological advancements, inspired leadership, and consecrated efforts from priesthood leaders, service missionaries, and BYU-Pathway employees, President Eyring’s prophecy is being fulfilled.
To learn more about how PathwayConnect can bring you closer to God and your degree, visit byupathway.lds.org to apply today!