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Four Pillars of Guided Pathways



If we want different results, we need to design our institutions differently. Building a structure with the students and their end goals in mind results in everything we do being focused on helping students reach their self-defined goals, regardless of the level at which they arrived.


four arrows in opposing directions

Create clear curricular pathways to employment and further education.

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Help students choose and enter their pathway.

transportation icon to represent staying on the path

Help students stay on their path.

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Ensure that learning is happening with intentional outcomes.


Clarify the Path

All programs are mapped (with the students' end-goal in mind) to transfer and career and include these features:

  • Detailed information on target career and transfer outcomes
  • Information on course sequences, critical courses, and recommended contextualized/ complementary general education and elective courses
  • Mathematics and other core coursework are aligned to each program of study

Get on a Path

These supports will help ensure students get the best start (early momentum):

  • Activities to help students explore careers, fields, and majors
  • Redesigning the student onboarding experience
  • Accelerated/Adaptive curriculum to ensure college-level credit as early as possible
  • Full program educational plans
  • Contextualized, integrated academic support in gateway and critical courses
  • K-12 partnerships focused on career/college program exploration

Stay on a Path

To keep students on path, we want to utilize these supports:

  • Ongoing, intentional academic counseling
  • Technological tools for students to easily track their progress
  • Targeted, contextualized extracurricular programming
  • Building community by offering targeted programs and services
  • Systems/procedures to identify students at risk and provide needed supports

Learn on the Path

To enrich and strengthen student learning:

  • Program-specific learning outcomes
  • Applied learning experiences
  • Collaborative student engagement activities
  • Faculty-led improvement of teaching practices
  • Systems/procedures for the college and students to track learning outcomes
  • Development of critical thinking skills