Guided Pathways Q&A

Last week we hosted two Q&A sessions for the purpose of answering questions that folks might have about Guided Pathways. We realize not everyone could attend these sessions so wanted to summarize some of the questions and answers here on our blog.

Question #1: What is Guided Pathways (GP)?

Guided Pathways is a model, outlined in the book Redesigning America’s Community Colleges, which hopes to address the challenges community and technical colleges face in helping students succeed in earning a degree or certificate. Guided Pathways is not an initiative, but rather a shift towards viewing what we do from the lens of a student and making changes so that our very complex system can be more easily navigated by those who have little to no background in college. The model involves the following:

  • Getting students started on their path (enrolling, placement, registration,etc.)
  • Clarifying the path (advising, curriculum guides, grouping majors/degrees/certificates into meta-majors)
  • Keeping students on the path (program advising, community building, academic warning, etc.)
  • Aligning pathways with careers (program outcomes, assessment, transfer, etc.)

Want to know more? We have an earlier resource blog post which gives more background or you can check out Redesigning America’s Community Colleges from the EvCC library. We have lots of copies!

Question #2: We received a grant from College Spark for developing Guided Pathways (GP) at EvCC. What does the College Spark Grant ask us to do?

We are in year zero of the grant, a year in which we focus on developing the work plan for years one and two, assess what we do (or do not do), and develop meta-majors. A large focus of GP work in Washington state is to eliminate the equity gap so much of the GP work we do will be with an equity goal in mind. This is a very brief overview of the goals of the grant, to find out more, check out the Guided Pathways 5-Year Implementation Plan.

Questions #3: What work has been done and what will happen next?

Last spring several groups started working on Guided Pathways. One group looked at our current curriculum guides and began drafting a curriculum guide template to incorporate some elements students would like to know including: a suggested sequence of courses for each quarter, recommended courses for common transfer partners, pre-requisites, etc. Another group created a draft of meta-major groupings. An opportunity to give feedback on these groupings occurred at the All Instruction/Student Services meeting and other opportunities will be announced. Many faculty engaged in Jump Start grants and explored various aspects of GP work at the college including a world languages transfer guide, a color coding scheme for engineering students to better understand which courses count towards multiple goals and which are more specific, and some initial work on how a meta-major specific College 101 might work. These are all summarized in the GP Canvas course under the Jump Start Grants button.

What happens next?
We are forming a GP Steering Committee and several subcommittees (Advising, Meta-Majors, Equity Gap Research, Communication, Technology Products) and recruiting volunteers from across campus who have an interest in poking their head up and joining a college wide discussion. The GP Steering Committee will meet on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 1-3pm. Interested in joining? Let us know before Thursday, Sept 22!

Questions #4: How can I stay informed?

Well, you’re reading the blog which is a great first step! Sign up to follow the blog and you won’t miss any new posts.  We have also created a Canvas course which houses much of the information related to GP work at EvCC. The Canvas course is only accessible by link, due to the constraints of our system and the number of users, so bookmark the link so you don’t have to hunt for it later. If Canvas isn’t your thing, we also have a Guided Pathways Intranet page. Check it out!

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