Four-Year Degrees Added to Curriculum
Beginning in fall 2021, Ensign College will offer a limited number of four-year bachelor of applied science (BAS) degrees. This type of degree is unique in its focus on preparing students with the in-demand skills employers are requesting. President Bruce C. Kusch explains that “80 percent of our students are enrolled in programs that require them to transfer. We began to feel like there was a need we could fill that wasn’t being filled anywhere else. Many of our students were transferring to non-Church schools. Many of our students would prefer to stay and finish a degree with us. It will be more affordable for them, and because of personal circumstances, many are not in a position to move to attend another school. This led us to propose offering a limited number of bachelor’s degrees. We believe this will complement the offerings by the other CES schools. One of the purposes of the BAS degree is to fill gaps in curriculum.”
The first three of these BAS degrees will be offered in business management, communications, and information technology. The majority of the certificates and programs currently offered by the college will be stackable into one of these degrees.
Ensign College Assists Students Affected by COVID-19
Like all other schools within the Church Educational System, Ensign College chose not to accept federal funding from the CARES Act, which is aimed at helping students who may be experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Coupled with that decision, however, was an effort by the college to provide affected students with private funding assistance. Students enrolled in the winter, spring, or fall 2020 semesters were given an opportunity to apply for an emergency scholarship. During winter semester, the amount awarded to each recipient was $1,000. In the spring and fall 2020 semesters, students who applied and qualified received $750 in the spring and $500 in the fall. The money was either refunded directly to the student or used toward current or future charges on their account.
Courses Through BYU-Pathway Worldwide
Ensign College has begun serving a broader audience throughout the Church by offering much of its unique, job-ready curriculum online, facilitated primarily through BYU–Pathway Worldwide. This is allowing Ensign College to develop and award certificates and degrees that benefit not only students attending its Salt Lake City campus but also members of the Church around the world. At the announcement of this change, President Kusch said, “We will have the opportunity of extending the blessings of learning to thousands. . . . Technology has made possible the remarkable growth of online education—and our shared opportunity is to create learning experiences that are not only convenient and uplifting but compelling and powerful.”
The following programs from Ensign College are anticipated to become available online through BYU–Pathway Worldwide in September 2021.
- Basic Accounting
- Communication Fundamentals
- Computer Support Fundamentals of Medical Coding
- Hospitality and Tourism Management
- Project Management
- Social Media Marketing
- Associates Degree: Applied Communications
- Bachelor’s Degree: Applied Communications