Teachers College, Columbia University
CCRC Summer Institute

The institute is intended for teams from rural and rural-serving colleges that are laying the groundwork for whole-college guided pathways redesign and beginning to introduce guided pathways reforms to the college community.


“Rural” and “rural-serving” institutions include community colleges that:

  1. are designated by the U.S. Department of Education as “rural,”
  2. are located in small towns surrounded by sparsely populated areas and far from a city, and
  3. enroll a large portion (>40%) of students who live in rural areas.

The institute is designed for colleges that have not received significant support from technical assistance providers to implement guided pathways.

If you are unsure whether your college is eligible, please contact Amy Brown at aeb2265@tc.columbia.edu. CCRC will also consider inviting a small number of state system representatives if 2–3 colleges from that state are participating in the institute.

Prior Experience With Guided Pathways

The institute will likely be a good fit for your college team if you have worked on a few but not all of the following strategies.

Laying the groundwork for whole-college redesign

  • Building awareness that colleges create barriers to student success and that only large-scale, cross-college reforms will remove them
  • Building a culture of data-informed practice
  • Reorganizing decision-making roles and structures to facilitate broad engagement in planning and implementing improvements
  • Fostering individual accountability for contributing to the college’s goals for student success
  • Encouraging creativity and experimentation in developing strategies to improve student success
  • Providing time and support for collaborative planning and professional development to support whole-college reform

Introducing guided pathways to the college community

  • Making the case for guided pathways by showing how a lack of clear program paths and supports hurts students
  • Communicating a guiding vision for the reforms
  • Cultivating a shared understanding of guided pathways through college-wide meetings and virtual communication
  • Presenting guided pathways as a framework for aligning and enhancing existing student success efforts

Team Composition

We recommend that teams consist of 4–8 staff, faculty, and administrators who represent a guided pathways leadership team or a preexisting group working on an initiative or proposal related to guided pathways. If you would like to include more than 8 people, please provide a rationale in your application.

Teams should be composed of people who will continue to work together on guided pathways reforms after the institute. The expectation is that all team members will participate in all or nearly all institute activities.

We suggest that teams include at least one person who works directly with institutional data on a regular basis and one person who is a key decision-maker at the college with access to budgets to help execute strategies. Other recommended team members include academic deans and faculty from both career-technical and transfer programs as well as staff or administrators involved with advising, student services, recruitment and retention, or diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Contact Us

Amy Brown

Research Associate