January 21, 2020
Tanja Crouch is a motivated and inspiring BYU-Idaho online graduate living in Franklin, Tennessee. She grew up in Oregon and met her husband, Kevin, at BYU in the ‘70s. For the past 35 years, she has worked in the music business. Her exciting career has brought her many fun experiences, including a job that allowed her to travel all over the world! She has worked as vice president of global marketing at Roy Orbison Music for most of her career.
Tanja is passionate about music, movies, photography, and writing. She has even written several books about the music industry, one of which has been studied in colleges and universities across the United States! With her professional success and busy life, she didn’t feel a need to pursue higher education.
Tanja first heard about BYU-Pathway Worldwide when she was looking for a way to help her son continue his education. She planned to enroll in PathwayConnect with him, but when his circumstances changed and he wasn’t able to participate in the program, Tanja decided to drop out as well.
Fortunately, the service missionaries for BYU-Pathway in Tanja’s ward convinced her to attend the first PathwayConnect gathering. “I decided to go ahead and go, and I loved it!” she said. She remained enrolled and decided to complete the program.
PathwayConnect changed Tanja’s life in many ways. She created wonderful friendships with her classmates and grew closer to the Lord. “I’m more conscious of bringing Heavenly Father into every aspect of my life,” she said.
Participating in PathwayConnect also motivated Tanja to continue her education. “[PathwayConnect] instilled in me a desire to learn and be curious,” she said. This desire inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in web design and construction online through BYU-Idaho, presented and coordinated by BYU-Pathway.
Tanja loved her experience in BYU-Idaho online classes. She said, “I had really incredible experiences of learning by the Spirit. Everything, no matter what class I took, we could always relate it back to the gospel. I love that mindset.”
Tanja graduated with her bachelor’s degree in April 2019. She is currently working toward a master’s degree and reenrolled at BYU-Idaho to pursue another bachelor’s degree in family history. “I missed BYU-Idaho so much, I reapplied!” Tanja said. She hopes to become an online instructor for BYU-Idaho one day.
One of Tanja’s favorite things that she learned in both PathwayConnect and her online degree is the Learning Model. “It changed my life,” she said. “I learned how to study. I knew I could rely on the Spirit for religious study, inspiration, and direction, but I never made the connection of employing the Spirit for secular learning. Heavenly Father has all knowledge, so of course He will help us. Anytime we learn something, religious or secular, we are becoming more like Him.” She now teaches the learning model to her seminary students to help them learn with their studies and gain a love for learning.
Tanja also loves a quote she learned from Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “Learning has an eternal shelf life.”1 She put it on a sign that hangs in her office to remind herself of this principle. No matter how late in the game it might seem, she won’t quit learning.
“Pathway has opened up so many possibilities for me,” Tanja said. “I am thrilled and grateful that Heavenly Father inspired this program. I gained a love for learning, developed new skills, and discovered talents. I pushed myself to the limit and beyond at times. I made friends that I hope will be in my life forever, going forward. Most importantly, I strengthened my relationship with my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.”
What has inspired you to keep learning? Share in the comments below!