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Pathway Pillars

There are five core components called the "five pillars" in the Guided Pathways community. Implementing the methods outlined in these pillars are designed to keep students on their chosen path by informing them of the actions required when life events or academic obstacles appear in their path.


The essential practices for each component are the following:

 

Pathway Pillar I- Promote the Path- NEW!                                                        

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Goals 

This new pillar takes into consideration our first point of contact and outreach. We need to ensure that students are able to access resources and information in order for them to be able to clearly identify what program is the best fit for them.

Equity Considerations 
  • Are our website and program pages easy to navigate and understand for students and families without prior experience with higher education?
  • How could we ensure access to and use of this info is equitable for students who have been historically underrepresented or underserved in higher education (e.g., lower-income students, first-generation students, students with disabilities, indigenous students, formerly incarcerated students, veterans, undocumented students, etc.)?
  • Who is our community?
  • What are the needs of our local employers?
Visual Representation 

We invite you to further review Pillar 1 and how it aligns with Grossmont’s strategic goals and equity framework. 

 

Click Here for Visual.  

Pathway Pillar II- Clarify the Path

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Goals 

The Guided Pathways design process begins by keeping program outcomes in mind and then creating or redesigning the courses to meet program outcomes. It begins by faculty visualizing the end goal and creating the shortest path of courses the student will take from their first day of attendance to their graduation. Learning outcomes are then developed to prepare students for further education or employment in fields relevant to the college's service area.

Equity Considerations 
  • How are financial costs, potential debt, and economic benefits of program completion (including paths to program-relevant regional employment, projected earnings, and transfer outcomes) made clear for prospective students?
  • Do our program websites clarify differences in earnings potential between related certificates and degrees and across levels of educational attainment?
Visual Representation

We invite you to further review Pillar 2 and how it aligns with  Grossmont’s strategic goals and equity framework. 

 

Click Here for Visual.

Pathway Pillar III- Enter the Path

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Goals 

A Guided Pathways college determines the level of college-readiness with the student and either maps a route to get the student up to college-level ability, or selects a structured "guided pathway" that is mapped through program completion. For students truly needing remediation, the college maps out the quickest remediation route possible utilizing principles outlined in the California Acceleration Project and provides the student with intensive support needed to successfully complete college-level coursework.

Ideally, the college and high schools work together to assure that college-bound seniors are truly college-ready. The Guided Pathways framework strives to provide early remediation at the high school level whenever possible. 

Equity Considerations 
  • Are historically underrepresented and high-needs students disproportionately enrolled in programs leading to lower remuneration careers?
  • Can we help underrepresented students raise their educational and career expectations while meeting their more immediate economic needs?
  •  For critical program courses, do we disaggregate enrollment, pass rate, and subsequent success data by student characteristics? What strategies do we use to improve overall student success in these courses?
  • Do we proactively partner with feeder high schools serving predominantly underrepresented and high-needs students to help students explore academic and career interests and develop viable plans for college?
  • Are dual enrollment opportunities made available to high school students who are deemed “not yet college ready”?
Visual Representation 

We invite you to further review Pillar 3 and how it aligns with  Grossmont’s strategic goals and equity framework. 

 

Click here for visual.

Pathway Pillar IV- Stay on the Path

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Goals

The fourth pillar of guided pathways consists of  intentional monitoring of students' progress along the pathway and involves intrusive interventions to redirect students back to their pathway when they get off track. This is the early intervention part of SSSP (Student Success & Support Program) pillar.

 

College advisors use technology to monitor students enrolled in every program to observe how far along each student is toward completing program requirements. These tools are used to alert advisors when students are at risk of falling off the program pathway. Active monitoring of the students enables advisors to assist students who are unlikely to be accepted into limited-access programs and redirects him/her to more viable credential and career destination. 

Equity Considerations 
  • How do we support advisors to incorporate engaging, proactive, and culturally relevant advising practices to better support underrepresented students’ success in their programs? 
  • How do we ensure underrepresented students are not disproportionately directed away from competitive, limited-access programs?
  • How do we integrate academic and student support services into Guided Pathways so the support is unavoidable and therefore less stigmatized?
  • How do we ensure low-income students’ financial stability needs (e.g., nutrition, transportation, childcare, public benefits, emergency assistance) are being met so they can make progress toward program completion?
Visual Representation 

We invite you to further review Pillar 4 and how it aligns with Grossmont’s strategic goals and equity framework. 

 

Click Here for Visual.

Pathway Pillar V- Ensure Learning 

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Goals 

Ensure learning is occurring and aligns with intended outcomes. Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) are clearly outlined and appear on every course syllabi. They are measurable, have been developed and assessed by faculty so they can evaluate whether students are mastering the learning outcomes and building the skills needed for success across the program and career.  Students demonstrate what they have learned in their course by:

  • Participating in group projects
  • Internships
  • Applied learning experiences
    (Learning by doing)

The college ensures that learning is occurring by incorporating effective teaching practices throughout the pathways and provides professional development to faculty to update their practices as student needs change.

Equity Considerations 
  • How are we ensuring underrepresented students participate in program relevant active and experiential learning opportunities?
  • How do we support faculty to implement pedagogical changes that better support learning outcomes success for underrepresented students (e.g., culturally responsive teaching)?
  • What opportunities exist for faculty or advisors to critically examine their roles in advancing equity-minded teaching and advising practices at the college (e.g., critically examining the role of unconscious bias in the classroom or advising that could affect student aspirations for a particular field or program selection)?
  • Are we disaggregating program learning outcomes data, program retention and completion data, and other assessment measures by race, income, age, and gender to examine equity gaps? How is this data disseminated and discussed among our staff, with students, and with the outside community?

 

Visual Representation

We invite you to further review Pillar 5 and how it aligns with  Grossmont’s strategic goals and equity framework. 

 

Click Here for Visual.