Let’s not call them Meta-majors anymore

I’m at the College Spark Metamajors workshop in Vancouver, WA with many of he Guided Pathways Steering Committee members. We are learning about some great work other colleges are doing which I would like to share with you.

But before I do that, I want to make it publicly known that we’re officially going to change from using the phrase “metamajors” at EvCC. Nina Benedetti is heading the metamajors subcommittee and the first thing that committee did was vote to no longer call them metamajors. Henceforth, we will call them “Pathways”. Why relabel? First, we have a lot of certificates and programs that are not the same as “majors” and second, using a phrase students aren’t familiar with does not make anything more easy to understand. So think PATHWAYS.

Pathways are program groupings, like Health Sciences, Business, etc. The idea is to put similar programs together with a label students pick correctly when they start college. Once we have these groups we can work on developing how students will interact with them and what kind of supports are needed for students within them. Some of the cool things we’re hearing that other colleges are doing:

  • Changing from course catalogs to program maps. Instead of an alphabetical list of courses, students see a 2 or 3 year map of what to take and when to choose a pre-req stacked right when appropriate.
  • Contextualized Math. When a Pathway involves a specific college-level math course, we can design a Pathway that will get students to that specific class as soon as possible, in hopes of ending the current need for students to take up to five quarters of pre-college math before taking that Math 107 or Math 146 course.
  • Pathway-specific College 101 courses. This could be a powerful tool in getting our students on the right pathway and headed to a career. For example, there are so many Health Science careers that our students don’t know about. If we’re going to put potential Health Science students into a College 101 course, why not have that course discuss material about the career options so students can make a more informed decision?

Can you tell we’re eager to get Pathways pinned down so we can start on all the other good stuff we can do within them?

We floated our current draft of Pathways at the Department Chairs meeting last week. The Chairs agreed on the number of Pathways with mild suggestions on renaming of those Pathways, and a possibility to have Humanities separate from Art. There is still work to be done to gain consensus. Our goal is to have the Pathways groupings of programs finalized this quarter.  Much work was completed last spring and we have recent  input to help us finalize this. We will continue to review and assess so think of this as the starting point. Consider these groups as organizational architecture which will help us to move to the next stage of designing how students will interact with them on our website, what they’ll be labeled, how to provide advising and/or counseling support, etc.

Please use the comments space here to give your feedback on the Pathways. Everyone on campus is committed to student success. Please contribute your voice so we can all do this redesign work together.

If you’re interested in working with one of the sub-committees and adding your voice to the discussion in a more regular way, here are the sub-committee meeting dates and times:

: Nov 14 from 2-3pm in Nippon Business Institute
Equity Gap Research: Oct 31 from 2-4pm in WHI 228
Pathways: Nov 2 from 3-4pm in Rainier 227
Technology: Nov 2 from 3-4pm in Rainier 227

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