In an effort to serve more students, better accomplish the purposes of LDSBC, and more fully make use of donations, changes have been made to the way scholarships are organized and facilitated. This initiative focuses on clearly supporting and strengthening the enrollment and retention of students through a simplified and automated process. It also enhances the college’s ability to promote academic performance and program excellence, recognize service and leadership, and develop self-reliance. These changes are intended to help produce the skills-based, job-ready education that today’s students need.
One change is to the way that special-interest funds are distributed. While special-interest funds that give preference to students who match their criteria (e.g., single parents) are still encouraged, the college is asking that they also allow the flexibility to benefit others when their preferences aren’t met. This change will enable the college to more fully use the spendable funds currently accessible.
Two important parts of simplifying the process are creating one application to be used for all scholarships and placing that document on the college website instead of behind a firewall. This allows prospective students to more easily see and understand which scholarships are available, which they qualify for, and how to apply for them. As a result, the number of unique student applications rose from 625 in fall 2018 to 963 in fall 2019 after the changes were made.
BYU–Pathway Worldwide Partnership
LDS Business College has been closely aligned with BYU–Pathway Worldwide since 2017. Any domestic PathwayConnect graduate who attends LDS Business College pays the same tuition they had previously through BYU–Pathway, which is about half the normal cost. The college is able to offer this scholarship because of philanthropic funds donated for this purpose. The number of domestic BYU–Pathway graduates receiving this scholarship grew from 88 in 2018 to 184 in 2019.
LDS Business College is also providing content for the BYU–Pathway program for those students who graduate from PathwayConnect and matriculate into taking BYU–Idaho online classes for degrees and certificates. The content is in the areas of social media marketing, hospitality and tourism, supply chain, project management, and information technology. This contribution is also expected to grow in the coming years.
Internships Now a Requirement
Starting fall 2019, every LDSBC student is required to complete an internship to graduate. Requirements differ depending upon the major, and students have been prompted to talk with their academic advisors to verify the final details. Students are actually encouraged to participate in as many internships as they can. The college is working diligently with employers to set up these opportunities, and in some cases that means supporting these students financially. Philanthropic funds are needed to provide a stipend or living expenses to help students complete their internship.
Mexico Connect is a pilot program encouraging Mexican students to complete the required internship in their home country. “We have taken several groups of our students from Mexico to visit well-known multinational companies doing business in Mexico with the goal to help them have an understanding of the excellent employment opportunities there,” says President Kusch. “If these students choose to return to Mexico after completing their schooling, we want them to have a vision of what they can do to build the kingdom in their home country. Because there are so many students here from Mexico, it just seemed like a good place to begin such an effort.”
Since fall 2016, students from 81 countries have attended the college, and 35 percent of the 2019 graduating class were international students. “We love and welcome international students,” says President Kusch. “We appreciate the diversity of thought and experience they bring to our campus. Many of them come to LDS Business College because a family member, friend, or Church leader recommended the school to them. The stories they tell of how and why they came are remarkable.