July 14, 2015
There are plenty of reasons students wouldn’t be able to attend BYU-Idaho on campus — especially after completing PathwayConnect.
Some may be unable to leave their home city or country. For others, the change may be too much of a financial burden. Many have jobs and families that require them to stay home. And some may simply wish to avoid the icy Rexburg winters.
But despite the difficulties of coming to campus, hundreds of former PathwayConnect students have decided to make the journey to Rexburg to continue their education. See what led three of those students to their decisions.
JOE HEDRICK | Corona, California
Joe Hedrick, a junior studying business management, completed PathwayConnect in 2010. He had no previous college experience and never expected to get a college education.
“In high school, my motto was ‘D’s get degrees,’” Joe admitted. PathwayConnect gave him the confidence to pursue an education, and after PathwayConnect, he knew he should attend BYU-Idaho to get a degree. There are several factors that contributed to this decision.
The Online Degree Program was not an appealing option for Joe. “I did the math,” Joe explained. “If I worked toward an online degree at the same pace as I did PathwayConnect, I would be working on my degree for seven to eight years.”
He also wanted a social experience with his studies. “I’ve always personally enjoyed a classroom atmosphere in my learning,” Joe said. Being on campus offered him invaluable academic and social interactions.
The decision to come to campus wasn’t an easy one, but Joe retains a positive attitude about the change. “It doesn’t hurt to come back to school. Our life is here for us to try new things,” he said. “Some people are afraid of change, but that’s not me. I just had to do it.”
Coming to BYU-Idaho after PathwayConnect is not without sacrifices. When a PathwayConnect student matriculates into the Online Degree Program, they keep their discounted tuition. However, that is not an option for students who come to campus.
For Joe, hard work earned him a full-tuition scholarship.
“I knew if I treated school like I treated my job, I could work hard and get a scholarship,” Joe explained. “Even if I didn’t get a scholarship, I would still come to campus. The experience is worth it.”
Along with preparing students for their future careers, BYU-Idaho also helps students learn how to support families.
“I look at my little boys and wife at home, and I know they are the reason I go to school.”
While studying on campus isn’t for all PathwayConnect students, it has blessed Joe and his family.
CLAUDETTE LAMPLEY | Palmer, Alaska
Claudette Lampley finished PathwayConnect in Anchorage, Alaska, a 45-minute drive from her home in Palmer. Her plan was to complete her degree at the University of Alaska Anchorage, but she was led to Rexburg instead.
With previous professional writing experience and several years of education under her belt, Claudette decided to pursue a degree in English. However, the problem she encountered is that the Online Degree Program doesn’t offer an English degree.
“Coming to BYU-Idaho was not the plan,” Claudette laughed as she recounted why she came to Rexburg. “But I’m glad I came.”
Like Joe, Claudette also benefited from the opportunity for a social experience on campus. BYU-Idaho allowed her to gain meaningful relationships with class members, roommates, and ward members.
“I’ve definitely made a lot of friends on campus,” she explained.
Completing PathwayConnect and attending BYU-Idaho has also helped her reach out to her family. As the only Church member in her family, she has the unique opportunity to share the gospel with them. Claudette feels that studying the gospel through Church-based curriculum has better prepared her to teach its principles.
“My family understands how important the Church is to me because I give up so much for it,” Claudette said.
While Claudette has been at BYU-Idaho, her family’s hearts have been softened and they are more receptive to learning about the Church and its teachings.
“My dad is reading the Book of Mormon now!” Claudette shared with excitement. BYU-Idaho has given her the circumstances and resources she needed to pursue her desired degree and be an example to her family members.
ANDERS GRILLONE | Mine Hill, New Jersey
Anders Grillone, studying construction management, participated in PathwayConnect before serving a mission in Santiago, Chile. After his mission, he knew he needed to go to college to earn his degree. For him, BYU-Idaho was always the plan.
“I had friends here, and I wanted to get the college experience,” Anders shared.
Some of the appeal has also been the spiritual preparation that BYU-Idaho offers. He likes that the curriculum and atmosphere — both online and on campus — prepares students to be disciples of Christ, and he appreciates that the courses teach with the Spirit.
When explaining how PathwayConnect and BYU-Idaho have been enriching experiences, Anders said, “It’s not just preparing you for a career — it’s preparing you for life.”
For Anders, education is about opportunity. “Education opens up opportunities for a better career so you can support your family.”
Not only is Anders working on a degree in construction management, which will prepare him for the workforce, he is also preparing to support a family of his own with his new wife, Bryndi. The two met while working a summer job for a company that recruits BYU-Idaho students. They continued dating upon returning to their studies and were sealed in the Mount Timpanogos Utah Temple in March of 2015.
The social aspect that university life provides is not only a great way to make new friends, it also serves as an opportunity for unmarried students to date and marry.
The Choice is Yours
Attending BYU-Idaho on campus is not the best option for everyone finishing PathwayConnect. One of the purposes for PathwayConnect is to help students become capable learners in whatever capacity or location they choose. But for those who are in a position to do so, completing a degree at BYU-Idaho on campus is always an option.
For these three students, and many more, attending BYU-Idaho on campus has played a key role in their education, and they have been uniquely blessed for their decision.
Benefits of Attending Campus
Is coming to BYU-Idaho the right choice for you?
- Walking distance to the Rexburg Temple
- Great opportunity for social interaction
- Opportunity to attend student wards
- Student-led campus activities
- Intramural sports and access to playing fields
- Free access to the BYU-Idaho fitness center and swimming pool
- Opportunity to attend campus events (plays, concerts, dances, workshops, etc.)
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