What Are Guided Pathways?

Guided pathways reform is a student-centered approach that can dramatically increase the number of students earning community college credentials while closing equity gaps. Rather than work with a subset of students, Guided Pathways is a college-wide undertaking that provides a framework for integrating California-based initiatives such as SSSP, Equity, Basic Skills Transformation, the Strong Workforce Program, and California College Promise.

Guided pathways provide students with clear, educationally coherent program maps that include specific course sequences, progress milestones, and program learning outcomes.

These maps are aligned to knowledge and skills required by four-year institutions and the labor market, thus ensuring that students can continue their studies and advance in their careers.

The maps help to simplify decision-making for students by providing intentional opportunities for exploration and informed choices. Students are helped from the start to understand academic and career options, choose a program of study, and develop a plan based on the program maps.

These plans enable colleges to provide predictable schedules, frequent feedback, and embedded, discipline-specific support to help students stay on track and complete their programs more efficiently.

They also facilitate efforts by faculty to ensure that students are building knowledge and skills within and across programs that will allow them to succeed in further education and on the job.