The Guided Pathways Framework

The Guided Pathways frame work is an integrated, inclusive approach to reimagine and comprehensively transform the Cuesta student experience. This effort involves reshaping the college as an equitable institution that is more effective and more efficient at serving our diverse student body with its diverse aspirations and its diverse social and academic preparations.

Using a student-centered approach and seeing the institution through a student lens, the transformation engages the college as an inquiry-based, networked community to create an equity-driven institution as competent in student completion as it is in student access.

The basis of the transformation effort is to utilize a Guided Pathways Framework to make the student experience more intentional, supported, and clear. We are constructing processes and interventions to help guide and support each student--regardless of preparation – to reach their self-defined completion effectively and efficiently.

  • The Guided Pathways Framework is not "a program", "an initiative", "a pilot", nor what we are going to "do".
  • The Guided Pathways Framework helps us design what we would "become".

"But don't pathways limit students' ability to explore?"

Rather than restricting students’ options, the Guided Pathways Framework is meant to help students make more informed decisions without limiting students' options. Students will always be free to "explore". In the Guided Pathways Framework they will have a structure in which to explore and a better understanding of the implications of that exploration.

Overarching Goals of the Transformation

  1. Areas of Study: All first time in college students identify an Area of Study at the time of application and select an Academic and Career Path by end of their first academic year.
  2. Program Maps: All instructional programs (degrees, certificates, and major preparation for transfer) have an adaptable program map with on and off ramps.
  3. Student Support: All students receive intentional academic and non-academic support.
  4. Scheduling/Enrollment: Course scheduling is data-driven and informed by students’ availability and comprehensive educational plans.
  5. Student-Facing Technology: All students utilize seamlessly integrated, interactive, comprehensive student-facing technology in support of their educational goals.
  6. Communication & Outreach: The college provides interactive, coordinated, and targeted communication throughout the student’s experience.
  7. Professional Development: All faculty, staff, and administrators participate in strategic, frequent, and consistent professional development to sustain Cuesta's student-centered, equity-minded, data-driven efforts.
  8. Campus Community:  The college provides the physical and social space conducive to campus engagement and a sense of belonging.

Expected Outcomes of the Transformation

  • Reduce/eliminate equity gaps
  • Increase term-to-term persistence
  • Increase rates of completion & transfer
  • Reduce time to completion & accumulation