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Nine Students Complete BYU-Pathway Worldwide Program in French Polynesia

“We are Pathway Pioneers”

Nine alumni of the BYU-Pathway Worldwide program were honoured during a commencement ceremony and fireside at the Fautaua Chapel in Papeete, Tahiti Sunday evening April 23.


According to the BYU-Pathway Worldwide website, the program is "designed to give students the confidence and skills needed to succeed in college."

"Pathway is a low-cost educational opportunity that combines online courses with local gatherings. Students earn college credit that is eligible for transfer to BYU-Idaho and some other universities. The program takes one year (or three semesters) to complete and can lead to professional certificates and degrees."

Several of the French Polynesian alumni, who represent six different stakes (a collection of congregations) from French Polynesia, expressed appreciation for the program and its leaders. One of the program’s goals is to help students improve their English language skills.


“We are the pioneers of Pathway,” said Sister Maheata Tua.

The event was attended by Elder Benjamin T. Sinjoux, an Area Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the keynote speaker for the ceremony.

The program participants were told to make positive use of their knew knowledge. “Seek to serve others and search to bless others. That is what the Lord asks us to do,” Elder Sinjoux told them.

Receiving certificates of completion were Rainui Ariipeu, Hititatua Ellis, Moeata Hunter, Mihimana Tauru, Patricia Tchan, Huanai Tetopata, Maheata Tua, Emile Tunutu, and Jeanne Varney.

Mihimana Tauru, who helps direct the young women’s (ages 12 to 18) program in Parea, Tahiti, said she participated in the program to set an example for those she leads.


“It doesn’t matter how much you know, you can always learn more,” said Tauru, who has already earned a bachelor’s degree and is currently working on a master’s degree in public administration.

BYU-Pathway Worldwide is a distance-learning program created by Brigham Young University-Idaho (USA). In February 2017, the program became an official part of the worldwide education system of the Church. The program’s purpose is to create flexible, low-cost opportunities for higher education throughout the world.

The program is now available at more than 500 locations in more than 60 countries and territories around the world including French Polynesia, Australia and American Samoa. Thirty students are currently enrolled in the program in Tahiti and a new formation will begin soon for the first time in Bora Bora.

Because all academic courses are taught in English, students complete an English-language assessment, as a part of the application process, to determine their proficiency at speaking, reading, and writing in English.

To help students improve their English skills, the program includes 30-minute weekly online learning sessions with native English speakers using online video chat technology, such as Skype. Students are also encouraged to practice their English with other student partners throughout the week.

“Pathway gave me a way to learn another language (English),” Maheata Tua said.

“When you can understand English, there are many things in the Church that you can understand better, such as the writings and teachings of the prophets, great Mormon writers, and apostles,” Elder Sinjoux told the alumni.

Participants in the one-year program take three academic courses online, which are designed to help students learn basic workplace skills and to gain the confidence and abilities need to succeed at the university level. These courses, which are taught by BYU-Idaho professors, include “Life Skills and English,” “Basic Writing and English,” and “Introduction to Algebra, Finance, and English.” Each course costs about $213 US, or about 27,000 CPF.

In addition to the academic courses, students (under the age of 31) complete three religion courses during the year at their local Church meeting house or at an LDS Institute of Religion.

Students also gather once a week at their local Church or Institute of Religion building to meet with other classmates and Pathway Worldwide representatives to participate in social and leadership activities.

Students who complete the one-year program are then eligible to enroll in the online degree programs through BYU-Idaho at a reduced tuition rate. In addition, they are not required to take the standard entrance examinations. BYU-Idaho offers more than 130 online courses leading to a several different Bachelor’s degree options.

Watch a video about BYU-Pathway Worldwide:


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