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LDS Church Expands Online College Program To Have Global Reach

Intellectual Reserve, Inc
Clark G. Gilbert, current president of BYU–Idaho, will oversee this new organization. ";

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expanding its online college courses to reach more students worldwide.

The announcement came during a press conference Tuesday morning at the church’s Salt Lake City headquarters.


The program formerly known as Pathway will now be BYU Pathway Worldwide. Students complete coursework online and also take part in weekly meet ups with their peers in the program.


Eventually they receive a professional certificate or transfer the credits to a local or church owned university.


Elder Kim B. Clark of the Quorum of the Seventy said a key factor of the program is low cost. Currently, students in the U.S. pay $69 per credit hour and price will be adjusted dependent on the income level of a student’s country.


"So, for example, in Ghana the cost is about 10 dollars a credit hour," said Clark.

There are currently 37,000 students enrolled in Pathway and that number is expected to increase dramatically.

Clark said the number one challenge in expanding the program is English proficiency. He said that as they’ve held information meetings in various countries, hundreds of people typically show up.

“But of those hundreds only I would guess 20 percent have the English ability required to do the program," Clark said.

So for those students, their curriculum will also include English language instruction.

BYU Pathway Worldwide will be based in Salt Lake City and overseen by current BYU-Idaho president Clark Gilbert.

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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