April 27, 2017
Writer: Erin McMahon
The announcement of BYU-Pathway Worldwide marks the beginning of a new experience for all online Church Educational System students.
Though anticipated changes haven't been finalized at this time, the vision for BYU-Pathway Worldwide is to provide students with one secure vehicle for offering online education. The transition between Pathway courses to BYU-Idaho online courses will be a consecutive and smooth experience, making it possible to reach their educational goals without the necessity of switching interfaces at any time.
"From the day they start to the time they graduate, they will be a BYU-Pathway Worldwide student," said Pathway Support and Outreach Communication Manager Andy Cargal. "That's the goal, for students to have one fluid support system throughout the entire experience."
While the face of online educational programs will be BYU-Pathway Worldwide, BYU-Idaho will continue to act as the host for delivering the accreditation for each program.
"BYU-Pathway Worldwide is enhancing the student experience for Pathway and online students," Cargal said. "But without BYU-Idaho, BYU-Pathway has nothing to offer. That relationship will continue to remain strong."
As reported by News & Notes last month, about 50 Pathway employees will make the move to Salt Lake City over the next year, in order to lay the foundation for such a monumental change in the lives of online students around the world and in the Church Educational System.
"The Pathway program, now BYU-Pathway Worldwide, provides the hope of achieving an educational goal and dream that students may have thought was impossible for various reasons," Cargal said. "BYU-Pathway Worldwide will continue to offer that hope for people."
Student employees in the Pathway program have played a significant role in the success of the program thus far. Pathway Support Director Nathan Relken shared that the future of BYU-Pathway Worldwide is foreseen to offer the possibility of part-time jobs and internships for previous student employees as well.
"Because we value what the students have done for us, we wanted them to know that they were needed, as long as we could have them," Relken said. "We didn't know exactly what the needs would be with the move to Salt Lake, so now with an extra year we'll have a really good idea of how to move forward with our student workforce and the future opportunities we'll have available for them."
As BYU-Pathway Worldwide continues to move forward in various phases, the objectives of the program remain constant in the effort to provide temporal and spiritual blessings in the lives of online students everywhere.
"If they have developed confidence in a way that blesses their lives, than that's a success for Pathway students," Cargal said. "Pathway is about helping students gain some sort of educational degree, but it's also so much more than that. It's about blessing people's lives and helping people draw closer to God. That's what the Church Educational System is all about."
President of BYU-Pathway Worldwide Clark G. Gilbert shared something similar in a comment reported by Deseret News.
"BYU Pathway Worldwide opens doors to education," Gilbert said. "One of the ways it does that is by building confidence, teaching the students what they can do and showing them that there is a possibility to do more than many of them thought."