The Guided Pathways (GP) framework is a student-centered approach that can increase the number of students earning community college credentials, while closing equity gaps.
Guided Pathways provide students with clear, educationally coherent program maps that include specific course sequences, progress milestones, and program learning outcomes.
By providing students with a clear path, Guided Pathways model aims to decrease the average number of units accumulated by CCC students earning associate degrees, from approximately 87 total units (the most recent system-wide average) to 79 total units - the average among the quintile of colleges showing the strongest performance on this measure. (Associate degrees typically require 60 units.) Reducing the average number of units-to-degree will help more students reach their educational goals sooner, and at less cost to them.
Vision for Success Executive Summary
Guided Pathways incorporates career resources in order to clarify educational pathways. The Guided Pathways framework also integrates support services in ways that make it easier for students to get the help they need during every step of their community college experience.
For more information, please visit the chancellor's office website.
Career and Academic Pathways (CAPs) are collections of academic majors that have related courses. They also cluster groups of majors that fit within a career area. They are designed with the end (college completion) in mind, and using students' interests as a starting point, CAPs provide structure and narrow choices to support student success.
The mapping and meta-majors design team held five inquiry group sessions in the fall 2018 semester. The groups consisted of faculty, classified staff, administrators, and students. The information gathered at these workgroups was used to create the first iteration of meta-majors for Citrus College. We asked teams of two to four people to group Citrus College's degrees and certificates into natural categories and to name them. We found faculty, classified staff and administrators largely agreed upon both terminology and groupings, while the students used unique language and were more likely to group diverse programs together.
Based on the data from the 30 sorting teams (comprised of approximately 110 individuals), the design team worked to create meta-majors that both honored the student perspective and functionally worked well together.
Also based on the data collected at the inquiry groups, meta-majors have been named Career and Academic Pathways (CAPs).
Three guiding principles helped the design team in refining the CAPs:
- Each CAP is grouped with related career paths
- Each CAP will have the same (or close) math and English requirements for degree programs
- Students' first two semesters would be as generic as possible so as to count toward any - or most - degree programs in a CAP.
Yes, students are not "locked" into a specific CAP or major. Course mapping will be designed with a focus on exploration and flexibility.
General education coursework that connects to a specific program may be
recommended, but students will
not be required to take any particular course(s).
CAPs and course mapping are designed to guide students, not dictate the courses students must take.
The articulation officer, curriculum chair, and program review coordinator will work closely with faculty from each discipline to design course mapping. Details on how faculty can be involved in this process are coming soon.
A GP Success Team is comprised of faculty, classified staff and administrators assigned to each CAP to support the students in that CAP, evaluating resources already in place at Citrus College as well as resources that may need to be established.
Citrus College offers two career planning courses (Counseling 145, Career and Life Planning and Counseling 101, Career Assessment) as well as two new courses, Counseling 205, Pathways to Healthcare Careers and Counseling 206, Pathways to STEM Careers.
More counseling courses specific to CAPs are being developed, including additional career and major exploration content. The new student orientation includes a workshop on "myths about majors," as well as an introduction to
Focus 2, a career planning and exploration tool.
Once Guided Pathways is fully implemented, Success Teams will also offer career and major exploration guidance. Counseling and instructional faculty will work together to provide resources in each CAP that help students connect majors to careers.
Guided Pathways will give students a focus on their ultimate academic and career goals from the beginning of their time at Citrus College. The chosen major and courses that students take will lead them to certificate completion, commencement and/or transfer, reducing the amount of time to complete their studies at Citrus College.
Many STEM programs at community colleges are high-unit programs and degrees (associate of science degrees or associate degree for transfer). The intent is to develop a student's course sequence to ensure that no time is wasted taking unnecessary courses. New scheduling software will allow administration to schedule courses one to two or more years in advance, so students will know in advance when courses are offered. Students will not wonder when classes will be offered, or try to piece together a class schedule around a particular course.
A student's suggested course sequence will provide an optimum experience in their guided pathway. Faculty are working to develop these optimized course sequences to determine if certain sequences of courses result in a better learning opportunity for our students.