What is Guided Pathways
Guided Pathways is a whole campus activity. It helps students identify – right from the start – career pathways and how to clarify their path, get on that path, stay on the path, and ensure they are learning to achieve their postsecondary goals.
The Guided Pathways project is a statewide strategy focused on building capacity for community colleges to design and implement structured academic and career pathways for all students, based on research from the Community College Research Center (CCRC) and the national Pathways Project led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
SUNY’s model is an integrated, system-wide approach to student success utilizing intentionally designed, structured educational experiences to guide each student from high school to postsecondary entry through to attainment of high-quality credentials and rewarding careers.
18 SUNY community colleges – accounting for more than 155,000 students or 78% of community college enrollment – are now implementing Guided Pathways.
Students have embraced guided pathways and in November 2018, the SUNY Student Assembly’s General Assembly passed a formal resolution in support SUNY’s Guided Pathways Initiatives.
Creating guided pathways requires managing and sustaining large-scale transformational change. The work begins with thorough planning, continues through consistent implementation, and depends on ongoing evaluation. Each pathway should include:
- Education and employment goals for every program;
- A full-program curriculum map;
- Learning outcomes aligned with the requirements for success;
- Policies for intentional advising at intake;
- Policies to provide timely feedback to students.
- Cohort 1, launched in 2018, consisted of ten campuses: Corning, Jamestown, Mohawk Valley, Monroe, Onondaga, Orange, Rockland, Suffolk, Tompkins Cortland and Westchester Community Colleges.
- Cohort 2, launched in 2019, consisted of eight campuses: Dutchess, Erie, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Jefferson, Schenectady, Ulster, and Nassau Community Colleges.
Monroe Community College was selected as the lead campus, with Mohawk Valley Community College and Rockland Community College serving on the planning team with SUNY. Rockland’s President, Dr. Michael Baston, also serves as a national guided pathways coach.
SUNY Guided Pathways Institutes
- SUNY supports campuses participating in the project and helps them learn how to effectively implement the principles of Guided Pathways: clarify the paths, help students get on a path, help students stay on their path, and ensure that students are learning. A series of five, two-day Institutes engages campus teams and focuses on an important aspect of institutional change and pathway design and implementation.
- The Institute format combines discussions with national and state experts, technical assistance, and facilitated discussion and planning sessions for college teams. SUNY also supports coaches to facilitate team discussions and implementation during and outside the Institutes. A cross-functional steering team – including representatives from faculty, advisors, academic and administrators, and other stakeholders – participates in the Institutes.
The project is funded by the SUNY Performance Improvement Fund (PIF) and with private funding from our partners including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Jobs for the Future (JFF), and Strong Start to Finish at the Education Commission of the States.