Across California, Guided Pathways Work Plans Make the Grade

The State of California in 2017-18 invested $150 million dollars into Guided Pathways (GP), a bold new initiative focused on dramatically increasing student success and reducing equity gaps at the community college level. Today, community college stakeholders across the state have begun the process of implementing this transformative initiative.

As part of this implementation process, the Research and Planning Group for California Community Colleges (RP Group) was tasked with analyzing each California community college’s Guided Pathways work plan, which asked colleges to identify their current GP efforts and outline their inquiry, design and implementation plans for the 18-month, “Phase I” funding period between spring 2018 – summer 2019.

The purpose of this analysis was to gain insight into how each college intended to advance GP reform, while also identifying what kinds of support colleges say they needed in order to be successful.

As Alyssa Nguyen, interim director of Research and Evaluation at the RP Group explains it: “The importance of looking at all the work plans is so that we can identify where and what is being prioritized across the California Community Colleges. It also helps the system office identify what resources it should make available to support the colleges with their implementation based on what the colleges themselves are prioritizing.”

Based on its analysis, the RP Group identified six key areas that more than 70 percent of colleges will be focusing on during Phase 1. The top three are: 1. the examination of student outcomes, college practices and goals; 2. the sharing of student and institutional effectiveness data; 3. the creation of diverse, cross-functional work teams to lead GP implementation.

“[These priorities] demonstrate that colleges understand that they are engaged in more than implementation of an isolated initiative, rather they are building the foundation necessary for effective, student-centered institutional change, both culturally and structurally,” says the RP Group.

These initial findings also suggest colleges are beginning to adopt planned activities designed to fundamentally shift four primary campus structures: 1. college governance; 2. institutional research; 3. campuswide programs and initiatives. 4. college planning and resource allocation.

While Guided Pathways is still in the early stages of implementation, the report concludes California’s community colleges have made positive and meaningful progress towards that transformational goal.

In the end, “Work plans that colleges are building the foundation necessary for transformational institutional change and will continue on this trajectory during Phase I of California Community Colleges Guided Pathways funding.”

Read the full report on the Guided Pathways website: Preliminary Findings from CCC GP Phase I Work Plans.


Laura Hope headshot
Executive Vice Chancellor

So it begins….The beginning of the fall semester is upon us.  During the frenzy of getting the colleges ready for students, I hope thoughts about Guided Pathways are also near—thoughts […]