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Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 06:05
by DarkJedi
Dande I do think the credits transfer. That's why they do it through BYU-I, they're accredited. Of course what other school is going to put Book of Mormon classes anywhere but as an elective which probably translates to "instead of 128 credits to graduate you'll need 130."

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 08:21
by dande48
DarkJedi wrote:
15 May 2019, 06:05
Dande I do think the credits transfer. That's why they do it through BYU-I, they're accredited. Of course what other school is going to put Book of Mormon classes anywhere but as an elective which probably translates to "instead of 128 credits to graduate you'll need 130."
I depends on the university admissions, but you'd be surprised. A lot of fundamental courses don't transfer between universities, even as "electives". If the new university doesn't have a near identical course, they usually won't accept it. BYU-I's accreditation only means their degrees are valid, not that their individual courses will count towards a degree at another university. I'd be willing to bet the "skills" courses are far too broad to count, especially for a three credit course.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 09:51
by Roy
dande48 wrote:
14 May 2019, 21:16
Just semantics here, but looking at the articles, it says missionaries are "pre-approved" rather than "auto-admitted" or "auto-enrolled". There's a big difference. Credit card companies "pre-approve" me all the time. But you still have have to apply. RMs are now just "guaranteed" to get in now... as if they weren't before.
Good discussion and good point. I did find that the Deseret News article uses the term "automatically admitted" in the title.
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900 ... ormon.html
However, everywhere else the term pre-approved and approved is used.
Admission is when you are accepted to the school. Many students apply for and are admitted to several schools. Enrollment is when you select a particular program. Registration is when you set your class schedule for the term or the semester.
Pathways is not auto-enrolling missionaries:
Mission presidents will be expected to provide missionaries with time outside of their regular preparation days to allow missionaries to complete the admissions processes to enroll in the BYU-Pathway programs, or other educational programs for which they may have plans to attend, Watson said.
What I suppose I do not have clear is if there is any difference between pre-approved, approved, and admitted. Does pre-approved or approved mean that I qualify for admission but I still need to fill out the form "to complete the admissions processes."
I suppose that at the end of the day, that is a distinction for the admissions department to care about. The church is telling all missionaries that they will be accepted. That is the important message and it appears to be life changingly meaningful for many.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 18:24
by SilentDawning
I guess I don't get the purpose of the Pathway program other than to let people who are otherwise not qualified enter BYU-I. The courses seem pretty light. What is meant by "professional skills"?

For me, I find students need to be prepared in math and writing clearly at a minimum, plus many need upgraded computer skills to survive in an online environment where they have to use technology. And I don't get how so much religion curriculum helps them prepare for college either. Baffled, probably because I don't understand the concept or curriculum well enough.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 19:58
by Curt Sunshine
The program is intended to provide courses that are affordable, basic, and easy enough at first for people who normally would not attend college to get their feet wet, have academic success, and then move on to more traditional courses and degree paths. That could be missionaries in foreign countries, members (especially women) who did not attend college (for example, who got married instead), people who struggled initially and dropped out of college very early, or anyone else who wants a college degree but can't afford the cost.

Importantly, the cost per credit hour is frozen for ALL courses throughout one's time at BYU-I - which makes a two-year associate's degree more affordable and a four-year bachelor's degree MUCH more affordable than ANY other option in the United States of which I am aware.

Also, I would have to verify this, but I have heard BYU-I has approached some public institutions about accepting the courses toward online degrees from those institutions using the same tuition level. Although they would not get the same revenue as from their traditional tuition, the students are ones from whom they would not receive any revenue otherwise - and online courses are much cheaper to administer than on-ground courses.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 20:06
by dande48
SilentDawning wrote:
15 May 2019, 18:24
I guess I don't get the purpose of the Pathway program other than to let people who are otherwise not qualified enter BYU-I. The courses seem pretty light. What is meant by "professional skills"?
Semantics again, but it's technically "BYU-I online", rather than BYU-I. ;) I did see some statistics on the Pathways site, I thought was interesting. Of those who completed first year pathways, 55% "Pursued further education from BYU-Idaho Online or another school" . 40% "Improved employment
(for those seeking a new or better job)". 90% "Ability to learn new skills or knowledge".

That last one... what does that even mean? That's not even a sentence.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 20:13
by dande48
Curt Sunshine wrote:
15 May 2019, 19:58
Although they would not get the same revenue as from their traditional tuition, the students are ones from whom they would not receive any revenue otherwise - and online courses are much cheaper to administer than on-ground courses.
I think this is the way most college eduation is leaning in the future. It just makes sense. I'd even say it would increase their revenue. Once the courses are created, there's practically no overhead. I wouldn't be suprised if they made more than the on campus courses, if you factor in land cost, building maintenance, teacher salaries, etc. If I were to start a university, I could choose 100% online over campus any day. It just makes sense.

I am proud of BYU and the Church for offering online college courses long before it was popular. I want to say they've been around since 2003? (*Edit: 1921 for "distant learning". Impressive!). Just to be clear, it's a very good thing the Church is doing. I'm so glad church members can get a cheap college eduation. I think it's super important.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 15 May 2019, 20:15
by Curt Sunshine
Ability to learn new skills or knowledge


Confidence in learning new things is a major component of future educational and vocational success. Part of the intent is to give members an easy way to feel like they have the ability to learn in an academic setting. That really is huge, psychologically.

Also, fwiw, my father-in-law was a pioneer in "distance learning" in the BYU Continuing Education program. The LDS Church has been trying to make high school and college education possible for members without such education for at least 50 years.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 16 May 2019, 07:16
by SilentDawning
Do they get some kind of a terminal credential for the Pathways program? A certificate for example? Or are they simply courses on a transcript?

I want to add about the online/onsite thing. Online is powerful. Less overhead in brick and mortar, security, maintenance, flexibility in completing the course, but there are still a lot of students who survive better in a face to face environment. Much of the cost of online education is in fixed costs, except for the professor who facilitates the class. This is semi-fixed. Depending on how you pay the professor, it's variable by class offered but then fixed from a student enrollment perspective in that class. Adding students to an existing class has no cost to the university other than the cost of getting them enrolled and IT support -- and even then, there are normally fixed cost salaried people who do that enrollment (their advisors).

One solution to the high cost of onsite enrollment is to combine onsite and online students in the same class. This means you can have a lot of onsite offerings without increasing your professor cost. Just add online students to it.

I also believe that certain courses are not successful when offered online. Statistics, computer programming, math -- these ones seem to need a professor who can sit next to you, look at your work, and worm their way into your brain to uncover students' misunderstanding. Having taught all three subjects for periods of years, I know that the ways students can misunderstand these topics are diverse and nearly impossible to address in a purely online format.

All the way from not being able to comprehend the written word very well, to self-inflicted lack of confidence that blocks their understanding (all they say is "I'm not good at this" when you try to help them, and that negative self-talk needs to be addressed and blown out), to logical errors, and also poor short term memory. Very tough to address these problems in an online environment without burning out professors. With computer programming, compiler errors and problems I have never ever seen before when I code come to the surface as well. Students make choices that create the weirdest errors that are hard to predict unless you are there, with them individually, to see the history of their clicking and coding.

Anyway, that's all I have to say about that. If a lot of them go on to get better employment or enroll in other colleges, that's great!

I have a lot of respect for ByU and its outcomes. I think it's partly accidental -- their decision to NOT expand the university system beyond its current enrollment/facilities creates a shortage of seats given the huge demand. The uniqueness of the university -- catering to a Mormon population makes it unique in the marketplace.

The affordability option (due to the church subsidy) contributes to the supply problem. This in turn creates a large supply of graduates which allows the professors to have VERY high standards. If someone doesn't meet the standard or take their work seriously, there are two other students willing to take their place.

This allows BYU to admit strong students, who then complete their studies, and then get jobs.

For me, it means that a strong education system needs to have fewer seats than applicants, and that means open admissions goes out out the Window. There need to be alternate paths for people who can't get in.

I see too many students who don't take their education seriously (like Lori Loughline's daughter Olivia Jade who went online and said "I don't care about school" after she was admitted, fraudulently, to a decent university).

Some will cry foul that education should be available to everyone, but I believe there could be solutions...it is a different paradigm.

Re: RM's auto-admitted to BYU-Pathway Program

Posted: 16 May 2019, 08:52
by Roy
dande48 wrote:
15 May 2019, 20:06
90% "Ability to learn new skills or knowledge".
Yes, I echo Curt on this. I think of it as similar to the mission of a Toastmaster club.
The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.
Of course, with Toastmasters there is no path towards an accredited degree program. Toastmaster members just have to content themselves with the "self confidence and personal growth" component.
SilentDawning wrote:
16 May 2019, 07:16
Do they get some kind of a terminal credential for the Pathways program? A certificate for example? Or are they simply courses on a transcript?
Yes. The pathways program delivers a 15 credit certificate.