For the FY 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, Lake Land College has identified two Key Focus Areas, which are meant to unite the College community in the pursuit of a few systemic, crucial strategies. The first Key Focus Area is to implement Guided Pathways to Success (GPS), while expanding K-12 and university partnerships, to provide a clear pathway to meaningful educational or career outcomes. The Guided Pathways Model is an integrated, institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from her/his point of entry through to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers with value in the labor market.
Central to the pathways model are clear, educationally coherent program maps—which include specific course sequences, progress milestones, and program learning outcomes—that are aligned to what will be expected of students upon program completion in the workforce and in education at the next level in a given field. Students are helped from the start to explore academic and career options, choose a program of study, and develop a plan based on the program maps. These plans simplify student decision-making, and they enable colleges to provide predictable schedules, frequent feedback, and targeted support as needed to help students stay on track and complete their programs more efficiently. They also facilitate efforts by faculty to ensure that students are building the skills across their programs that they will need to succeed in employment and further education.
Guided Pathways Essential Practices
Guided Pathways for Success FAQs
Why is Lake Land College implementing Guided Pathways?
As part of the FY 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, Lake Land College has identified two Key Focus Areas, which are meant to unite the College community in the pursuit of a few systemic, crucial strategies. The first Key Focus Area is to implement Guided Pathways to Success (GPS), while expanding K-12 and university partnerships, to provide a clear pathway to meaningful educational or career outcomes. The Guided Pathways to Success Model supports the strategic plan goals of advancing student success and fulfilling the evolving and emerging education and training needs. It is designed to help students seamlessly transition into higher education through multiple entry points and smoothly advance toward their educational and career goals.
What is a guided pathway?
A guided pathway is a descriptive and easy-to-use plan detailing the scope and sequence of courses required to complete a credential efficiently and transition to baccalaureate degree programs or the labor market. It includes the route a student takes to connect with, enter, progress through, and complete his/her program of study, as well as, the skills they need to acquire for the labor market they will enter after their certificate or associate or baccalaureate degree. Programs have integrated supports along the way to ensure students are staying on the path.
Do students have to participate in a Guided Pathway?
Guided Pathways are designed in such a way that all students will be placed on a pathway which aligns with their career and/or educational goals. Students will still have options on the courses they take, as well as choice of time and modality.
What are the advantages of Guided Pathways for the students?
Guided Pathways are clearly structured programs closely aligned with support services. They provide success management tools including career exploration, guided onboarding, and academic planning. These tools will assist students to choose and stay on a career path and complete the program of study. They help identify “at risk” students for early intervention. Guided Pathways are designed to ensure that students are able to complete their degrees in a timely manner and not accumulate credits that do not count towards their degrees.
What are the advantages of Guided Pathways for the faculty?
Guided Pathways has many advantages for faculty. It is designed to further our goal of helping students be more successful in their courses, helping with completion and retention rates. Additionally, it takes the guesswork out of advising by making course selections clear. Furthermore, it provides faculty with analytics to determine if course and programs are being met, as well as early alert tools. Faculty may use this data to continually adapt and improve their courses. They can also easily alert students when they are going off track or are in danger of failing.
Don’t we already have pathways at Lake Land College?
While Lake Land actually has a lot of components that address the essential practices of Guided Pathways (program models in the catalog, mandatory orientation, mandatory advisement, etc.), they are housed in various silos and aren’t streamlined in a continuous structured experience for students where all of the components support one another. Guided Pathways is designed to ensure that all programs are clearly mapped out to student end goals with clear support services systematically built in along the way. Materials should also be easily accessible and understandable for students.
Will implementing Guided Pathways change the schedule and when courses are offered?
At this point, it is too early to determine how Guided Pathways will affect the schedule and when courses are offered. Guided Pathways will not require students to be full or part-time or take traditional vs. online classes and so on. It is not designed to limit modality, and the pathways will not change due to scheduling. At the same time, they are designed to ensure that students can complete a full sequence of courses in a timely manner. Thus, if a course is not being offered in sequence or at a time that is conducive to students, there is a possibility the schedule might change. Guided Pathways are designed to ensure student success so such changes might occur later in the process if it is deemed necessary to help students persist and succeed in their courses.
How can Guided Pathways help part-time students?
Guided Pathways can help part-time students clarify their career options and make connections between these options and programs of study earlier in their trajectory. In doing so, we can immediately show students how their education will bridge to a living wage and a career path. Additionally, Guided Pathways can help students get into programs of study earlier and the work they do can be placed into a clearer context for why they are taking the courses and how the coursework fits into a more cohesive whole program of study. Guided Pathways also incorporates integrated “intrusive advising” and interventions to help guide students in their journeys, encourage them to continue, and notify them when they are off track.
Are there Guided Pathways for students that require remedial math and English courses?
One of the essential components of Guided Pathways is the development and incorporation of co-requisite courses. Lake Land College has already made great strides in this area! Focus would then be placed on expanding these initiatives to scale. Guided Pathways is also structured to ensure that students are placed in the “right” math that is relevant to their career goals. Pathways are designed to ensure that students can receive the help they need.
Will students lose their right to choose their own classes?
No, Guided Pathways present recommended pathways or sequences of courses designed to fit the students’ end career and/or educational goals. At the same time, they do present an opt-out feature for students if they would decide to take a different course.
What is a “meta-major”?
A meta-major is a collection of academic programs that have common or related content. Programs within a meta-major will share some common requirements to allow for early exploration as students may enroll in this broad field of interest without collecting excess units.
Will students still be able to choose undecided as a major?
In the Guided Pathways Model, students will no longer choose “undecided” as a major. Rather, they will work closely with an Academic Counselor to determine their area(s) of interest and choose a meta-major. Meta-majors are designed to give students an opportunity to explore career interests/academic programs within a certain area before making a final selection. Rather than delaying the choice by choosing “undecided,” students will make choices incrementally, determining their major by the end of the first year.
Guided Pathways Glossary of Terms
Cafeteria Model – A common community college model in which institutions provide many disconnected, disjointed services, programs, and activities; it is often up to each student to navigate the complexities of the college experience.
Cohort: Students grouped together by meta-Major or similar group for data collection, analysis, and big -picture decision-making about pathways development. Students will have at least one statistical factor in common.
Gatekeeper Courses: The first or lowest-level college-level course students must take and successfully complete in order to progress along his or her academic pathway.
Guided Pathways Model: An institution-wide approach to student success based on intentionally designed, clear, coherent, and structured educational experiences, informed by available evidence, that guide each student effectively and efficiently from his/her point of entry through to attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and careers with value in the labor market. Guided Pathways is an umbrella term used to describe highly structured student experiences that guide them on the pathway to completion.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A set of metrics designed to measure students’ progress through milestones on his or her pathway. Specifically used to monitor the effects of institutional interventions.
Meta-Major: A collection of academic programs that have common or related content. Programs within a meta-major will share some common requirements to allow for early exploration as students may enroll in this broad field of interest without collecting excess units.
Milestone Markers/Courses: Measurable educational achievements that denote essential degree-advancing courses such as completing a college -level math course or number of units within a defined period of time. May prompt a “nudge.”
Nudges: Actions that guide decision making while preserving freedom of choice.
Onboarding: The process of helping students move from application to first-day attendance by simplifying admissions, financial aid, orientation, and registration.
Pathway/Road Map: A descriptive and easy-to-use plan detailing the scope and sequence of courses required to complete a credential efficiently and transition to baccalaureate degree programs or the labor market. Includes the route a student takes to connect with, enter, progress through, and complete his/her program of study, as well as, the skills they need to acquire for the labor market they will enter after their certificate or associate or baccalaureate degree.
Program: A set of courses and related activities that lead to an attainment of educational objectives such as a certificate or an associate’s degree; often referred to as a major of study.
On-ramp: The integration of developmental education as a part of helping students successfully complete the critical introductory college-level courses in their initial field of interest. May consist of co-requisite coursework designed to scaffold students’ success in critical college-level courses. Aligns math and other foundational skills coursework with a student’s program of study, and integrates and contextualizes instruction to build academic and non-academic foundation skills throughout the college-level curriculum, particularly in program gateway courses.
Student Educational Plan (SEP): A term-by-term individualized plan of courses a student should take based on his/her placement levels, full-time/part-time status, summer term plans, and pathway selection. The SEP should guide students through registration. Deviation from the SEP may adversely impact a student’s financial aid and lead to excess unit accumulation.
Structured Programs: Streamlined programs of study featuring clear choices, limited electives, and targeted coursework relevant to a career roadmap or credentials required for transfer.
Stackable Credentials: Certificate or degree programs that offer off-ramps and on-ramps for students who need to move between higher education and the workforce. In stackable credentials pathways, students’ earned credits count toward the next certificate or degree.
*Adapted from Bakersfield College’s Guided Pathways Glossary of Terms
Leadership Team Meetings
August 17, 2018
November 21, 2018
November Staff Development – Dean of GPS
All Employee Group Meetings
GPS Division Meetings Fall 2018
IACCAI Conference GPS Presentation – October 12, 2018