It’s all about staying connected. That’s the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office’s philosophy behind the new, interactive Vision Resource Center, and it’s the guiding motivation for the new “Regional Coordinatorship” […]
Regional Coordinators to Keep California Pathways Projects Connected
It’s all about staying connected.
That’s the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office’s philosophy behind the new, interactive Vision Resource Center, and it’s the guiding motivation for the new “Regional Coordinatorship” model of strategizing and reporting for Guided Pathways.
Building on the success of a pilot program in the Central Valley, the Chancellor’s Office is expanding its regional support network by hiring Guided Pathways coordinators to represent California’s seven distinct “Strong Workforce” regions. The coordinators will be tasked with the broad and ambitious challenge of facilitating and tracking Guided Pathways implementation in each region.
According to the California Community Colleges 2017-18 Guided Pathways Report: “primarily, the regional coordinators will function as connectors, leaders, trainers and supporters.”
“Guided Pathways implementation will prompt unique challenges and opportunities for every college engaged in this effort. The coordinator is positioned to know those challenges and opportunities, animate resources, engage experts, facilitate collaboration and learning, and support progress.”
With colleges at different stages of Guided Pathways implementation, the Regional Coordinatorship model is primarily concerned with providing customized, non-judgmental assistance to serve specific institutional needs. According to Visiting Associate Chancellor for Guided Pathways Mina Dadgar, that entails creating a “firewall” between the work of the regional coordinators and the compliance side of Guided Pathways.
“We’re going to listen deeply to colleges. We’re not going to create noise,” says Dadgar. “It’s about understanding the needs that the colleges have, so we can support each other.”
“We want the colleges to be supported, but we’re also there to learn from the colleges… enhance the feedback loops.”
The Regional Coordinatorship model has already been tested in California’s broadest geographic region, where the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium has been working with the Chancellor’s Office for nearly 10 months to coordinate, track and report Guided Pathways efforts in the region’s 15 community colleges.
The work began in January 2018, with the naming of educational researcher Dr. Laura Lara-Brady as the first Guided Pathways regional coordinator. Since then, Dr. Lara-Brady has dived head-first into the complex task, which has entailed analyzing data, communicating with Guided Pathways partners, and blazing a trail for the six additional regional coordinators (Bay Area, Los Angeles/Orange County, North/Far North, San Diego/Imperial, Inland Empire, and South Central Coast) yet to be hired.
Lara-Brady’s work so far has included pioneering efforts on the Vision Resource Center, a new, interactive resource for Guided Pathways professionals to conveniently collaborate. Additionally, she has organized live and online “Learning Clusters,” bringing critical Central Valley Guided Pathways stakeholders together to provide expertise and solutions on specific topics. So far, these activities have covered Meta Majors, integrated student support, and effective Guided Pathways approaches.
“Through these Learning Clusters, we hope to bring together a network of colleges around a specific topic area to explore common interests, share unique experiences, and benefit from emergent learnings around a topic area,” said Lara-Brady.
More information on Guided Pathways regional implementation and related workshops is available on the Vision Resource Center. Be on the lookout soon for further communication introducing all of the regional coordinators and their respective regions.