Teachers College, Columbia University

Measuring (and Improving) the Impacts of Guided Pathways Reforms

Date and Time: February 21, 2018 4:00–5:15 PM
Location: Nashville, TN
Venue: Gaylord Resort and Convention Center | Canal B

This session showed how colleges can measure impacts of their guided pathways reforms using early momentum key performance indicators (KPIs). These KPIs are useful as leading indicators of longer term outcomes like completion, but they are measurable in one year and show if early gains from reforms are experienced equitably, a prerequisite for equitable longer term outcomes.

Attendees learned how to run baseline analyses using these KPIs and heard from practitioners on how they have used the KPIs to drive continuous improvement efforts as their college implemented guided pathways reforms. They also learned how the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is working with colleges to report on these early momentum KPIs. Presenters shared a tool for using the KPIs to make simple projections on how increases in the early momentum KPIs could result in increases in completion rates, which can be useful for estimating the range of possible improvements to inform institutional goal setting.

Presenters shared definitions and instructions for colleges to derive and track the early momentum KPIs in order to measure the impact of guided pathways reforms and assess if improvements are observed equitably. In addition to presenting the early momentum KPIs, the workshop demonstrated how disaggregation of these measures by student characteristics, such as race/ethnicity, income, and age, can provide leading indicators as to whether a college’s reforms are closing achievement gaps.

Presenters also shared a procedure and Excel tool for estimating longer term student outcomes using the KPIs, and a practitioner from an AACC Pathways Project college described how his college used data to inform successful efforts at the college to improve early momentum KPIs.


Senior Research Scholar
Community College Research Center
Senior Research Associate
Community College Research Center
Mike Flores
Palo Alto College

Associated Project(s)