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BYU-Pathway Worldwide President Hears Education Success Stories from New Zealanders

"PathwayConnect taught me how to invest in the time I had instead of wasting it"

Speaking at an August devotional in Auckland, New Zealand, Dr. Clark G. Gilbert, the first president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide described to those in attendance the process by which PathwayConnect, a low-cost education program that helps people start or return to college, came into being.

Through events President Gilbert described as “miraculous,” the concepts and ideas for the PathwayConnect program came quickly as he and Elder Kim B. Clark, then the 15th president of BYU-Idaho, worked together on a proposal that would allow students across the world to have access to life-changing education from a computer and in the comfort of their own home.

In addition, those enrolled would have the benefit of peer support and faith-based teachings through a weekly gathering.

Gene Hayes, who oversees the international field operations for BYU-Pathway Worldwide, said this was “one of the most exciting announcements ever made in Church education.”

He continued, “The PathwayConnect design is simple in its conception. It teaches life skills, applied math and reasoning along with basic writing and communication skills.”

“It addresses the difficult constraints of education which are cost, fear and access, and it does so through affordable offerings.”

“Spiritual and academic confidence comes through the once-a-week gathering and through a gospel-based curriculum, students receive the support needed; and of course, because it is online, it is very flexible.”

“But that is just the beginning,” said Mr. Hayes. “PathwayConnect prepares individuals to start on their life’s path, and more than anything, it motivates those enrolled to keep going. Pathway is just the first step then the next steps will come.”

Currently, the PathwayConnect program is in over 80 countries and 500 locations across the globe, including many in the Pacific area.


Meleane Fisiihoi, a PathwayConnect completer from Auckland, commented, “For many years, I have been waiting for a program like this. I had a desire to continue my education, but it was impossible for me because of my current circumstances. I feel this program was tailor-made for me.

“Because Pathway taught me how to invest in the time I had instead of wasting it, I was able to complete the program and move ahead. I’ve completed my certificate of marriage and family studies and now I can study from my home on my computer at BYU-Idaho for an associate degree.”

“PathwayConnect was my pathway to university,” she said.

In the beginning, Sione P. F. Pulu, president of the Auckland, New Zealand Otara Stake, signed up for PathwayConnect to be a good example to his stake members and leaders.

“It was difficult for me, but because of the support from those in my group and the desire to set the standard for my stake, I fought on. Furthering my education is what the Lord wants me to do,” he said.

After sharing many success stories of PathwayConnect, President Gilbert commented, “These stories are happening over and over across the Church and the unifying characteristic of every one of them is that our PathwayConnect students find their confidence when they know who they are, and they know what they can do.”

He added, “If there is one defining characteristic of PathwayConnect it is one of hope and confidence, not because you suddenly become more skilled, but more importantly you understand and know your own divine potential.”

View a broadcast of a similar recent meeting in Sydney, Australia here.

Watch a short video on PathwayConnect:


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