March 12, 2020
EnglishConnect is a collaboration between BYU-Pathway, Welfare and Self-Reliance, and the Missionary Department to help individuals develop English proficiency in a gospel-centered environment. Learning English can increase educational and employment opportunities. Enrollment in EnglishConnect 1 & 2 increased to 72,000 students, 13% of which are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. EnglishConnect 3 piloted in 14 locations in Asia, Asia North, Brazil, Central America, Mexico, Philippines, South America South, and the United States, with additional locations being added in 2020.
Partnership with Welfare and Self-Reliance
BYU-Pathway partnered with Welfare and Self-Reliance to increase worldwide awareness of educational opportunities available through BYU-Pathway by working closely with local priesthood leadership. Training materials were created for local leaders worldwide, and several new PathwayConnect locations were launched by Welfare and Self-Reliance managers under the direction of BYU-Pathway area managers.
Returned Missionary Preapproval
BYU-Pathway began pre-approving all young returning missionaries, including early-release and service missionaries, for admission to PathwayConnect. This opportunity makes affordable higher education more accessible to returned missionaries, provides them with a gospel-centered learning environment, and eases their transition from life as a missionary.
Returned Missionary Scholarships
BYU-Pathway expanded its scholarship program for returned missionaries. Missionaries in select areas who have returned in the past five years are eligible to receive a 25% or 50% tuition discount for PathwayConnect. These scholarships are currently available in nine areas and will expand to additional areas throughout 2020.
As a result of missionary preapproval and scholarships, the number of returned missionaries enrolled in PathwayConnect has increased 78% from September 2018 to September 2019.
BYU-Pathway received significant media coverage during 2019, including a feature article in the Ensign, several Church News articles, as well as coverage in LDS Living, Deseret News, and a variety of other media outlets.
A Special Invitation from Elder Uchtdorf
In a message to BYU-Pathway students, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encouraged students to invite their friends and family to enroll in BYU-Pathway. He promised students that the people they invite to “come and see” what BYU-Pathway has to offer will feel the Savior’s love and experience spiritual and academic progress.
PathwayConnect Student Portal
BYU-Pathway launched an enhanced version of the PathwayConnect student portal, where students can access and register for courses, see information about their gathering, pay tuition, and more. The personal assistant within the portal was also enhanced to send messages based on student demographics.
Applicants previously had to earn a minimum of 15 credits at a Church-sponsored university to be eligible to earn a BYU-Idaho degree online, presented and coordinated by BYU-Pathway. The residency requirement was lifted, allowing more people to enroll directly in a BYU-Idaho online degree program. Tuition for this path was also reduced to just $125 per credit. (PathwayConnect remains as an alternate path for students to begin a degree at an even lower tuition rate.)
Increased Retention through Predictive Analytics
Throughout 2019, BYU-Pathway used predictive analytics personalized at the student level to help mentors proactively reach out to students. BYU-Pathway tested interventions on randomized student groups to evaluate how receiving automated help, support calls, or mentor outreach impacted them. They also interviewed employees, missionaries, instructors, and mentors to learn how predictive analytics can be improved to increase student success and retention rates.