New BYU-Pathway Worldwide Program will make higher education access easier for Mormons.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced it will be launching an online higher education program soon. The program is believed to have been designed with the intention of helping Mormons around the world gain access to affordable higher education.

The program will be referred to as BYU Pathway Worldwide.

The announcement was made by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, a member of the church’s First Presidency at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints HQ, located in Salt Lake City. The President, in his announcement, referred to the program’s launch as a “historic day.”

The organization will be overseen by Clark G. Gilbert, who currently serves as the President for BYU-Idaho. BYU-Pathway Worldwide will be located in Salt Lake City, Utah and commence operations on May 1.

The organization takes root from the existing BYU-Idaho Pathway Program, which was set up in 2009. The program, in the initial period, had 50 students enrolled, who were spread across 3 pilot sites, namely, New York, Arizona, and Idaho.

Now, the program has spread to 500 sites with 57,000 in 50 countries with more than 50,000 enrolled students.

Gilbert was chosen as the program’s president due to his experience in leading large organizations and working with communication technology. He also occupied a faculty position at Harvard Business School, until he left to take up the position at BYU-Idaho in 2006. He has even served as the president of Deseret News in 2010 and as CEO of Deseret Digital Media in 2009.

According to Gilbert, the new program couldn’t have come at a better time, considering factors such as the program’s own growth rate, the Church’s educational needs, and the need to collaborate with other churches in realizing this program’s success. He also added that, was part of the global Church and there were several members across the globe who were prepared for this.

According to a description on the Pathway website, the program is a one-year, low-cost educational opportunity that brings together local gatherings and online courses. The idea of the program is to help members acquire useful skills that will aid them through their professional and non-professional lives. The program will also focus on a gospel-focused education.

Costs for the program are determined according to the average income earned in various countries. For example, students in the U.S. will have to pay $69 for every credit hour, while Ghana students will only pay $10.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter