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The Costs of Guided Pathways Whole-College Reforms

June 2019–November 2020

Hundreds of community colleges nationally are adopting guided pathways reforms, and CCRC is studying guided pathways implementation in well over 100 colleges. However, an important gap in the field’s understanding of guided pathways is the cost of implementing such large-scale reforms, which may involve hiring new advisors, upgrading websites, implementing new or improved student information systems, and providing extensive training and coordination of faculty and staff. How much these reforms cost and how colleges are funding them are key questions that need to be answered to determine whether guided pathways is a sustainable strategy for these colleges in the current business environment.

In this project, CCRC will study the costs of implementing guided pathways at three colleges in Michigan, Texas, and California and pair the cost data with information on the effects of these reforms to estimate the cost-effectiveness of guided pathways. We will produce a report on our findings and a guide with tools for college leaders for sustainably financing guided pathways.

This project is funded by The Kresge Foundation.