March 28, 2019
1. Elevate Awareness of BYU-Pathway Worldwide
In October 2018, BYU-Pathway Worldwide became a separate legal entity within the Church, with a new headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. Although BYU-Pathway served more than 40,000 students last year, it is still a relatively new educational organization within the Church and there remain many members and priesthood leaders who are still less familiar with this powerful resource.
Launch residency expansion
To be eligible to participate in an online certificate or degree program (accredited through BYU-Idaho), students are currently required to have obtained residency by first earning 15 on-campus credits from a Church-owned college or university. But starting this September, the residency requirement will be lifted, allowing students to enroll without having earned any previous CES credits. Tuition for this offering will be reduced from its current $172/credit to just $125/credit.
Deepen awareness and communication across the Church
In an effort to deepen awareness across the Church of what BYU-Pathway offers, more communication and coordination with Church entities will take place. This will include strengthening communication channels with Seminaries & Institutes, the Missionary Department, Public Affairs, Church News, Self-Reliance Services, and more.
2. Strengthen Retention
BYU-Pathway Worldwide is actively seeking ways to help students overcome obstacles that may prevent them from growing academically and spiritually and from completing PathwayConnect. To help these students succeed, the mentoring program for PathwayConnect began in fall 2017 and will expand to help students as they continue on to earn their degree.
Drive PathwayConnect second-semester retention to 80 percent
Student retention between the first and second semesters of PathwayConnect is 75 percent. The goal in 2019 is to increase that to 80 percent (82 percent domestically and 75 percent internationally).
Expand scope of Success Network through matriculation
The Success Network is a vital part of student retention. Comprised of mentors, instructors, and Church-service missionaries, the Success Network encourages students to complete PathwayConnect and continue to an online degree program. Because of the tremendous effect the Success Network has had in motivating students to finish, it will now be utilized not only for their education during PathwayConnect, but also as they begin an online degree program through BYU-Idaho.
3. Strengthen the Online Student Experience
BYU-Pathway Worldwide desires to provide students with a smooth transition between PathwayConnect and an online certificate and degree program. After launching a new portal for PathwayConnect students in 2018, BYU-Pathway is now working on a portal for online degree-seeking students, intended to serve as a one-stop resource. Additional curriculum changes will set online degree-seeking students up for success.
Expand student portal
The new and improved student portal will make it easier than ever for online degree-seeking students to access everything they need in one place. Not only will students be able to access their courses from the portal, but they will also be able to create a graduation plan, pay tuition, view deadlines, access academic resources, and more.
Close experience gaps
Students often experience a gap as they transition from PathwayConnect to an online certificate and degree program. To close this gap, the PathwayConnect curriculum is being redesigned to seamlessly transition students.
4. Improve Curriculum
In 2018, BYU-Pathway Worldwide started an exciting redesign of the PathwayConnect curriculum. This curriculum, which will fully launch for new students in April, links the PathwayConnect and online degree programs, creating a seamless educational experience for students.
Roll out new PathwayConnect curriculum
To better prepare students for their ongoing journey, BYU-Pathway has redesigned the PathwayConnect curriculum to focus on life skills, professional skills, and university skills — as well as better meet the needs of a worldwide audience. This change coincides with a new online degree structure, which uses a certificate-first approach. In their third semester, students will now select a certificate and complete the first course of that certificate while still enrolled in PathwayConnect.
Implement new degree structure
BYU-Pathway is launching a new degree structure offered in partnership with BYU-Idaho, starting in April. The new online programs follow a certificate-first approach, encouraging students who complete PathwayConnect to obtain job-ready certificates on their way to earning a bachelor’s degree. These stackable certificates provide students with the opportunity for better employment as they immediately start building marketable skill sets. Plus, those who earn certificates are 41 percent more likely to continue on to a bachelor’s degree.
5. Drive Awareness of Certificate Programs
BYU-Pathway Worldwide is changing the traditional model for how students earn a degree. Students will start with a job-ready certificate first — layering in general education courses later — all of which build into a bachelor’s degree.
Automate certificate enrollment in graduation plan
Job-ready certificates consist of 12-15 credits and enable students to gain better employment as they pursue their degree. Starting in April, selecting a certificate will be a required part of the application process. All students will start with an introductory certificate and will later earn an intermediate and an advanced certificate — in addition to general education and elective courses — to complete their associate and bachelor’s degrees.
6. Establish Scalable Priesthood Model
As it continues to expand throughout the globe, BYU-Pathway Worldwide is becoming an increasingly vital resource within Church education. The organization coordinates with each area of the Church to provide specific opportunities for its members to grow educationally, temporally, and spiritually.
Create plans for each area of the Church
Each Church area has goals of helping its members obtain higher education, improve their ability to support families, and increase their self-reliance. BYU-Pathway is working with priesthood leaders in all Church areas to create specific area plans that emphasize education.
Launch pre-approval letter for returning missionaries
In an effort to provide educational opportunities to missionaries as they return home, BYU-Pathway plans to pre-approve returning missionaries for admission to PathwayConnect. After completing PathwayConnect, students can then continue to earn job-ready certificates and a degree.
7. Expand EnglishConnect
EnglishConnect is a collaboration between BYU-Pathway Worldwide, Self-Reliance Services, and the Missionary Department to help individuals develop English proficiency to increase their educational and employment opportunities. After the launch of EnglishConnect 1 & 2 in May 2018, expansion of EnglishConnect 3 will occur throughout 2019, with a worldwide launch in January 2020.
Expand EnglishConnect 3 pilot
EnglishConnect 3 is designed to help intermediate-level learners develop the English skills necessary in employment and academic settings. EnglishConnect 3 is currently being piloted in 13 locations in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Additional pilot locations are continually being added.