Teachers College, Columbia University
CCRC Summer Institute


While many community colleges are implementing whole-college reforms following the guided pathways model, most are not and have not received technical assistance from any national or state organization. Many of these are rural colleges or others without the organizational capacity and resources needed to undertake guided pathways reforms on their own. CCRC is making efforts to reach institutions that, for whatever reason, have been left out of the guided pathways movement. By working with rural and rural-serving colleges in the 2021 summer institute, we hope to learn more about the opportunities and challenges they face and support them in the early stages of planning and implementing guided pathways.

Yes, CCRC plans to offer a summer institute in 2022 that will be open to a broader range of colleges.

You should have some experience planning and beginning to implement guided pathways or similar reforms, preferably for at least 8–12 months. For example, your college may have undertaken efforts to transform the student experience through improved program design and alignment; teaching, advising and program onboarding; and partnerships with K-12, universities, and employers. Institute content will be scaffolded to support your learning, but a basic familiarity with guided pathways is assumed.

We understand that colleges may have unique ways of describing their reform efforts. As long as your work is compatible with the guided pathways framework, we welcome your application.

Here are a few recent CCRC publications on guided pathways reforms and associated institute topics:

We suggest that teams include at least one person who works directly with institutional data on a regular basis. This person does not need to be an institutional researcher specifically. Part of the institute entails completing straightforward, practical exercises using your college’s student enrollment data to examine disaggregated program enrollments and completions and first-term coursetaking patterns. To participate, you will need someone to perform these analyses and ideally someone who can orient the other team members to the data. Prior to the institute, CCRC will provide support to participating colleges and the people who work with institutional data to help all colleges complete the prework.

We will use Zoom for synchronous activities and a Canvas course site to house all instructional materials and resources. We hope that these platforms will be easily accessible to participants, and we will provide technical support as needed.

It is difficult to predict how COVID-19 will impact colleges’ working conditions in summer 2021. If your team members will be participating from separate locations, we recommend that all participants join us on Zoom. If your team is able to gather safely in person and would like to do so, we recommend that you join from a conference room with excellent audio and video capabilities, so that institute faculty and other participants will be able to see and hear you. If only some team members are able to gather in person, we recommend you all join individually.

Yes! There will be within-team and cross-team activities for the 8–10 college teams that participate in each session, and all teams will be invited to participate in a post-institute virtual mini-conference in late September 2021.

Attendees who participate in all or nearly all institute activities will receive a certificate of participation from CCRC. Attendees will not earn Teachers College credits or continuing education units and will not receive a transcript or grade for participating.

We recognize that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many rural and rural-serving community colleges are facing steep enrollment declines and likely cuts to state funding and therefore are rethinking longstanding college practices and processes. This institute will provide an opportunity to learn alongside peer colleges, practitioners, and CCRC researchers about the guided pathways framework and how key concepts of the reform can help orient colleges to student success in programs aligned with their educational and career goals. The institute is designed to help rural institutions think through pressing issues related to enrollment, equity, and workforce partnerships and to develop a plan to guide institutional redesign in the months ahead.

CCRC is targeting colleges that have not received much technical support for their guided pathways reform work and prioritizing these colleges in our selection process. If your college is in a state with guided pathways initiatives in place, your application will be stronger if it explains why your college has not been able to fully take advantage of supports or opportunities from the state or other technical assistance providers, or why previous planning and implementation efforts have been less successful and now is a better time. While we cannot predict which institutions will apply and which institutions we will select, we have received a great deal of interest in the institute, and it is likely that we will only select a small number of colleges from states with formal state guided pathways initiatives.

We have received a great deal of interest in the institute, with over 180 people registering for the informational webinar we hosted on February 23, representing institutions in 35 states. We will be selecting 16–20 college teams to participate, and we anticipate that we will have to make some difficult decisions in reviewing applications and speaking to teams under consideration. For this reason, we have made the application fairly brief and plan to be in touch with all colleges that apply to offer resources to support their guided pathways implementation work.

Contact Us

Hana Lahr

Senior Research Associate and Program Lead

Announcing Our Summer Institute Cohort

Read more about the colleges accepted to the institute on CCRC's blog.