The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full article, CLICK HERE

An innovative program by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is now helping hundreds of people in the Middle East move toward their educational goals.

An online program called BYU-Pathway Worldwide started in 2009 at Brigham Young University–Idaho with just 50 students in three sites. Today it serves approximately 60,000 students in more than 150 countries. In the Church’s Middle East/Africa North Area, over 300 students in 11 countries are currently participating in the program, which continues to grow in the region.

Many students who participate in the program have not had the opportunity for advanced education, so the program provides the opportunity for individuals to achieve that goal. The first part of the program, called PathwayConnect, involves three semesters of successful participation in classes that focus on life skills, math, writing and religion. At the conclusion of these semesters, students receive a certificate of completion and are eligible to apply to either Ensign College or BYU–Idaho to begin classwork that will lead them to a bachelor’s degree. The cost of the program is customized by location, but the average cost globally per credit is US$12.78, which means that Pathway students can complete a bachelor’s degree for approximately US$1,500.

The classes are all delivered online with students completing weekly assignments on their own and then meeting in a weekly online class with a teacher/coordinator and other students in their assigned cohort. In each class meeting, a different student is given the opportunity to lead the discussion after initial comments by the coordinator.

Classes are designed to provide students with a variety of learning experiences. Content-specific videos can be accessed multiple times to ensure that each person can learn at their own pace. The program also uses breakout sessions to provide opportunities for students to mentor and help each other with content that might be difficult.

To read the full article, CLICK HERE