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Learning Life Skills: Learning with the Spirit

BYU-Idaho student Vitali continues to improve academically by applying the most important principle he feels he learned in Pathway

A mother with an unfinished degree. An employee with limited career options. A young man with an academic dream. A Relief Society teacher with doubts about learning. Each overcame their trials by learning and applying life skills.

Through PathwayConnect’s Life Skills course, four students learned to broaden their academic and career paths. This is their story.

“PathwayConnect helped me learn by the Spirit and fulfill my dream of coming to the United States to study at BYU-Idaho.”

Living in Argentina, thousands of miles away from the nearest Church university, Vitali Karmanov dreamed of receiving a gospel-based education in the United States. As Vitali began searching for a way to continue his education, he discovered PathwayConnect . The Life Skills course was Vitali’s first time learning with a gospel-based curriculum, and this experience prepared him to make his academic dreams a reality.

After completing PathwayConnect, Vitali now attends BYU-Idaho on campus and still applies the lessons he learned in the Life Skills course to his current studies. Learning by the Spirit, striving to live by the Honor Code, and applying the Learning Model have helped Vitali excel in his PathwayConnect classes as well as his courses toward a degree.

Higher Education, Higher Learning

Vitali on a plane
Vitali was excited to travel to the United States to attend BYU-Idaho.

During his second week in the Life Skills course, Vitali studied the BYU-Idaho Learning Model and saw how it applied to the weekly gatherings. Each week he would prepare diligently to discuss the material and learn from those he gathered with. He also noticed how the academic honesty portion of the Honor Code related to the manner he prepared for gatherings, taught others, and pondered the lessons afterward.

“During the Life Skills course, we talked a lot about the Honor Code and the Learning Model, and I felt prompted to follow those teachings,” Vitali said. “I learned there is more to academic honesty than not cheating on homework or tests; it shows students the importance of having integrity and responsibility in all things — spiritually and academically.”

While students are not required to live by the Honor Code during PathwayConnect, it is encouraged that they do, because it prepares students spiritually and academically to continue their education with a Church university both online and on campus. Learning to have the companionship of the Spirit in academics can help students better find guidance and understanding in what they are learning.

“The Spirit helped me adapt to student life and prepare me for my courses toward my degree in software engineering with BYU-Idaho ,” Vitali said. “The effects of having the guidance of the Spirit helped me learn more than I ever have before.”

Vitali in his Life Skills class
The lessons taught in the Life Skills course have prepared Vitali to receive his degree with BYU-Idaho.

Learning with the Spirit

Vitali found that applying the Learning Model and Honor Code helped him study with the influence of the Holy Ghost, which prepared him to better understand and study the courses needed for his degree. For students who are in PathwayConnect or are pursuing an online degree or certificate , here are some tips to learn by the Spirit.

  • Offer a prayer before beginning schoolwork
  • Commit to apply what you learn each week
  • Be open-minded and prayerful when learning new concepts
  • Keep a positive attitude about learning
  • Be honest in all coursework
Receiving and keeping the influence of the Holy Ghost is essential for students to successfully complete their coursework and PathwayConnect. 1
GS120 Life Skills Course, “Lesson 02: The Learning Model & The Honor Code”
President Gordon B. Hinckley stated, “Those who are living the principle of honesty know that the Lord does bless them. Theirs is the precious right to hold their heads in the sunlight of truth, unashamed before any man.” 2
President Gordon B. Hinckley, “We Believe in Being Honest,” Ensign, October 1990

Clearer Understanding

If it weren’t for his time in PathwayConnect, Vitali would have never had the chance to attend BYU-Idaho on campus, find his future career, or learn how to effectively combine spiritual and secular topics. He accredits the Life Skills course for his academic success because it was during that very first semester in PathwayConnect that Vitali discovered how to learn by the Spirit — and that has made all the difference for him.

“Being able to maintain the Spirit while I am studying has helped me understand concepts more clearly and be able to have a happier life within the gospel,” said Vitali. “It motivates me to make an effort to keep the Honor Code and do my best to be a better disciple of Christ,”

Vitali with his arms around classmates
Vitali treasures his PathwayConnect experiences.

This part three in a four-part series about the Pathway Life Skills course. Stay tuned for part four, the story about a woman whose lack of confidence in learning led to struggling to progress academically and spiritually.

Learn more about PathwayConnect courses at !