President John S.K. Kauwe III and Sister Monica S. Kauwe were joined by special visitors Elder Clark G. Gilbert and Sister Christine Gilbert for the fall 2022 new student orientation. Each had the opportunity to address those embarking on their educational journey at Brigham Young University–Hawaii in Sunday's devotional.
As part of Elder Gilbert's remarks, he demonstrated the university's commitment to serving students throughout Oceania and the Asia Rim when he invited new students to stand as he called out their home country. An exciting number of students stood up in rounds as they represented the various countries worldwide. He subsequently mentioned the BYU-Pathway Worldwide and BYU–Hawaii partnership being a recent contributing factor that has helped increase the number of students from the university's target area.
Since announcing the official partnership in November 2021, BYU–Hawaii has admitted over 200 BYU-Pathway students. Or, more specifically, students who have completed BYU-Pathway's foundational PathwayConnect curriculum and/or a certificate or associate degree through BYU-Pathway Worldwide. For many of those students, BYU-Pathway gave them hope for higher education. As a result of the programs and certificates offered through BYU-Pathway, these incoming students are better prepared to enter the classroom and make the most of their time here at the BYU–Hawaii campus.
Following the devotional, Elder Gilbert, Former President at BYU-Pathway Worldwide, was approached by different groups of students eager to share their stories of how BYU-Pathway was instrumental in their coming to BYU–Hawaii. These students are evidence of the potential that lies within this partnership. One personal account shared was that of Brother Gomez, a student who just arrived for the fall 2022 semester. When approaching the Gilberts, Gomez was overcome with tears as he explained past feelings of hopelessness in pursuing an education back in the Philippines. But after many trials and hardships, BYU-Pathway gave him a second chance. He and his wife are both grateful for the blessing it is to study here in Laie. The Gomez family is just one example of many that were vocal in expressing gratitude for their educational opportunities through the Church Education System.
When asked about the partnership, BYU–Hawaii admissions manager, Maurice Mo'o, stated, "the BYU Pathway partnership is a game-changer for all stakeholders. BYU Pathway alone has seen unprecedented enrollment numbers in the Pacific and Asia areas. BYU–Hawaii has also seen a spike in applications, particularly for the IWORK program. The partnership has also sparked interest with many non-traditional students." Mo'o added, "we are constantly tweaking the application process and criteria to make it seamless for the BYU-Pathway students who have completed the necessary programs." These adaptations simplify the application process, and one step that may have taken four to six weeks to complete can now take minutes.
The excitement around what can become of this expanded opportunity for students in the Pacific Islands and Asia continues to grow. Please visit the BYU–Hawaii Admissions website for more information regarding the partnership. There, prospective students can view the eligibility requirements to apply or submit questions about the process to BYU–Hawaii admissions officers.