Brigham Young University–Pathway Worldwide
On behalf of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf announced the creation of a global higher-education organization, Brigham Young University—Pathway Worldwide (BYU–PW) (also known simply as BYU–Pathway). It began operating May 1, 2017, under the direction of Clark G. Gilbert, former president of BYU-Idaho who serves as CES Commissioner.
In short, BYU–Pathway Worldwide is a one-year program designed to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college. It is a low-cost educational opportunity that helps students earn college credit that can be transferred. It provides that path or bridge by addressing three major obstacles to college education: cost, fear, and accessibility to campus. “Pathway was created to make college educational opportunities available to those who otherwise would not have them," said President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. "Pathway is a bridge into the world of online college education, and a pathway to opportunities for a successful livelihood.
Beginning in April 2024, BYU–Idaho and Ensign College, with the support of BYU–Pathway Worldwide, will offer 90–96 credit degrees that will allow students to complete an online bachelor’s degree in three years. The new degrees, approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), preserve all required major and general education courses while eliminating elective credits.
The three-year degrees are available to students enrolled in online programs only, offered by BYU–Idaho and Ensign through their partnership with BYU–Pathway Worldwide. Degrees will be offered in the fields of business, technology, communication, health, family services and professional studies. BYU–Idaho and Ensign College will report regularly to NWCCU on the outcomes and progress of students enrolled in the new degrees.
“BYU–Idaho and Ensign College online students serviced through BYU–Pathway Worldwide typically are first-generation college students who work full-time and often struggle to make ends meet,” said Brian K. Ashton, BYU–Pathway Worldwide president. “They need options that help them earn a degree as efficiently as possible. The new degree structure increases the likelihood of graduation while preserving all learning outcomes to prepare them for jobs and careers.” To learn more about the optimized degree offerings, please visit BYU Pathway Worldwide.
BYU–Pathway Worldwide has its roots in BYU–Idaho's Pathway program which began in 2009 with 50 total students at three pilot sites in Idaho, Arizona, and New York. The program has since expanded to nearly 500 sites in more than 50 countries and has served over 58,000 students. The average age of Pathway students is 33. Pathway doesn’t require entrance exams or high school diplomas.
Explaining the program, President Uchtdorf said, "We have felt that now is the right time to give increased focus and direction to Pathway and online higher education in the Church. Pathway was created to make college educational opportunities available to those who otherwise would not have them. Pathway is a bridge into the world of online college education and a pathway to opportunities for a successful livelihood. The program combines online learning with religious education in local institutes or meetinghouses in an environment of faith, grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
BYU–Pathway Worldwide is responsible for Pathway and will coordinate all other CES online higher education certificate and degree programs including English language certification, technical and skills-based certificates, and online degrees. BYU–PW will determine which online courses and programs students need and will coordinate the development and implementation of appropriate online courses and programs by CES institutions. The programs it offers will be accredited through the existing CES institutions that already grant the certificates and degrees offered. A key feature of BYU–PW’s programs will be the combination of online learning and local gathering activities. Students will come together at a local institute or chapel in approved Pathway sites for religious education, group discussions, and workshops.
There are currently 497 active Pathway locations worldwide. BYU–PW will manage those sites and the gathering activities that take place in them. This will involve working with local Church leaders and institute directors to open new sites approved by the Board of Education and to ensure that ongoing programs serve the spiritual and temporal needs of the students.
BYU–PW will also be responsible for local workshops and classes, advising students, and helping them find local internships and jobs.
Brigham Young University Pathway-Worldwide Infographics