Many of you have heard the term Guided Pathways and may be asking, “what is it”? or even, “don’t we already have pathways at Cypress”? In this blog installment, I will try to explain what Guided Pathways is, what it isn’t, and what you can expect in the coming months.
The Guided Pathways approach asks colleges to look at current processes from a student’s perspective. For example, how easy is it for a student to get information, navigate the necessary processes required to enroll, to complete a degree or certificate, and/or understand how to succeed at Cypress College. How well do staff and faculty in different divisions interact on behalf of the students, and do you even know how a student accesses support services outside your own work area?
For a brief tutorial about Guided Pathways, please check out this informational video:
Students: – In the Discussion Board at the end of this blog, tell us where you feel you struggle at Cypress. Is it during enrollment? Trying to get classes? Talking with your instructor or counselor? Finding your way to the various support offices on campus? Receiving communication?
The Four Pillars of Guided Pathways
This year will be a Guided Pathways implementation year. Cypress will be engaging in conversation with all employees and, especially, students, on various topics ranging from:
Clarifying the Path (how a student understands the pathway options available to him/her);
Entering the Path (how easy is it to apply, enroll, choose his/her major, establish an educational plan, meet counselors, faculty and other students);
Staying on the Path (at what point do students struggle and why?);
Ensuring Learning (what happens in the classroom that helps students understand the connection between learning, completion, and career).
Faculty and Staff: In the Discussion Board below, tell us when you think students start falling off their path?
Funding for Guided Pathways
The State of California has dedicated funds to help the college create clearer pathways. Cypress can expect approximately one million dollars over five years. Here’s how we become eligible for this funding:
One of the main cornerstones of Guided Pathways is the creation of Meta Majors. The “majors” are really Areas of Interest and students declare a Meta Major before declaring a specific major. An example of a Meta Major might be “Health and Wellness” – within that Meta Major might be all the health degrees and certificates, but also psychology, human services, and some kinesiology degrees. Advising, tutoring, specific general education courses, and other support services will be designed to assist students in this area of interest.
Cypress will be creating these Meta Majors, with the input of students and staff, during the 2017-18 year, with the goal of having these in place for students by fall 2018.
During the fall 2017 semester, we will be initiating conversations across campus on the following topics:
- Meta Majors
- Communication and Marketing
- Using Technology to Engage Students
- Just in Time Assistance and Student Momentum Points
This is an exciting time at our college and we look forward to building upon the academic excellence that exists at Cypress in order to ensure students receive the best educational experience available anywhere.
Tell Us What You Think
We welcome your feedback in the discussion boards below. Buen Cypress!