January 2, 2017
As we begin the new year, BYU-Pathway looks forward to building partnerships with other Church organizations to offer ever-expanding horizons and new opportunities for students as they find their path.
While I was serving as the bishop of a Young Single Adult ward on a recent Sunday afternoon, a new member of our congregation was settling in for an interview. She had recently moved to Rexburg, Idaho, from California. As part of her introduction, she casually mentioned that she had been a PathwayConnect student. As she did not know my involvement with the program, I took the opportunity to find out a little more about her PathwayConnect experience.
What impressed me most about this young lady was her confidence that she had found the right path. Many young single adults struggle with feelings of doubt, lack of motivation, and uncertainty regarding what the Lord has in store for them. However, on this particular afternoon, I sat and smiled as a young woman bore testimony — knowing she had found her path.
But the path she had chosen may be different than some might expect. She had finished PathwayConnect eight months previous, and having passed every course and attended institute faithfully — she was fully eligible for BYU-Idaho’s online programs. However, that’s not the path she took. “So, why are you in Rexburg?” I asked. “Are you hoping to attend BYU-Idaho on campus?” She said no, but instead had moved to the area to work as a dental hygienist. She had already found a job — a good one — and would become a licensed hygienist in another year.
Following this interview with such a bright and hopeful young woman, I was reminded of this simple truth at the heart of this program: BYU-Pathway’s purpose is to help students find their path. Not all students will attend BYU-Idaho. Not all students should attend BYU-Idaho. And BYU-Pathway will continue to open a variety of doors to even greater opportunities for our students by Extending the Reach of BYU-Pathway.
PathwayConnect’s purpose is to help students find their path.
During the coming year, we look forward to extending BYU-Pathway’s reach by partnering with other Church universities and organizations in an effort to develop additional programs and opportunities. These efforts will allow even more students around the world to access the blessings of higher education while building the skills and confidence to make meaningful and lasting change in their lives. Two notable efforts already underway explore English-language training and non-credit skills-based courses, which are only possible thanks to these growing partnerships.
As I consider the remarkable growth and success our students experience, I am humbled by the efforts of so many people who make this great work possible: our students, support teams, Church-service missionaries, online and institute instructors, local priesthood leaders, financial donors, and many more. Thank you for all you do to support BYU-Pathway. May the Lord continue to bless you as you help others find their path.