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What We Are Learning About Guided Pathways

By: Davis Jenkins, Hana Lahr, John Fink & Elizabeth Ganga
What We Are Learning About Guided Pathways

Since the publication of Redesigning America’s Community Colleges in 2015, guided pathways reform has become a national movement in community colleges. As of spring 2018, more than 250 community colleges have committed to undertaking large-scale guided pathways reforms as part of national, state, or regional efforts, and many other colleges are doing so on their own.

Guided pathways colleges are redesigning their policies, programs, and services to support student success in four major practice areas:

  1. mapping pathways to student end goals,
  2. helping students choose and enter a program pathway,
  3. keeping students on path, and
  4. ensuring that students are learning.

This practitioner packet looks at what implementing guided pathways entails, along with promising evidence from early adopters. Part 1 provides an overview of the changes in practice involved in the four areas of the guided pathways model. It also presents examples from colleges and data on improvements they have achieved in leading indicators of longer term success. Part 2 contains case studies of how colleges are approaching key pathways practices and includes data on promising trends in student progress and completion. Part 3 describes the process and timeline for implementing pathways and discusses how colleges can measure the effectiveness of their efforts.