Moving Forward With Guided Pathways: Coming Attractions!
We continue to make great progress in becoming a Guided Pathways college, and this blog exists to provide updates on the various initiatives happening across campus. Guided Pathways is an intentional, holistic, student-centered approach ensuring students have the tools, guidance, and support to complete their academic goals. Think of it as a GPS for students—there are many ways to get to the same goal, but our responsibility is to provide a guided approach to ensuring the goal is achieved.
Meta Majors to Academic Pathways
Over the past 18 months, our work groups have continued making Guided Pathways a reality at Cypress College. Our deans, faculty, and counselors have worked diligently within the Meta-Majors Work Group and decided we would no longer use the term “Meta Majors” and, instead, would call our academic pathways by their division name. This means we are now using division nomenclatures to help students determine their area of interest. Fine Arts; Social Sciences; Science, Engineering, & Math (SEM); Business and Computer Information Systems; Career Technical Education (CTE); Kinesiology; and Language Arts are now official communities for Guided Pathways! Below is an example of how this will look on our website:
Program Mapping Project
Cypress is also one of only three colleges in California to participate in the Program Mapping Project. This initiative will be a game changer for our students, allowing them to map out their comprehensive academic plan based on if they want to complete their studies in two, three, or more years. Below is a preview of how students will enter this new portal. Faculty and counselors will be involved this spring in determining which courses students would take each semester to complete their degree or certificate. To launch Guided Pathways, this past fall we offered Connect2Cypress, a campus-wide effort to help students clarify their path and introduce our current and prospective high school students to Guided Pathways.
Another key project focused on a streamlined onboarding process for students utilizing My Path, a bridge between CCCApply and when the student actually registers for classes. This tool guides students through essential steps and directs them to the appropriate resources—all before they step foot on campus.
The college also launched its inaugural Anaheim Pledge class in fall 2018. This cohort was larger than expected, due to the great work of our Counseling and Student Development staff. The Pledge is an integral part of Guided Pathways, as is our Dual Enrollment Program, helping students to focus on taking more units, being intentional in their decisions, and ensuring a guided approach to their completion. These are only a few of the many efforts our fabulous teams have engaged in, whether as a department or division, to help improve our students’ lives. I thank you for your continued commitment, and as we move forward I encourage you to remain involved and focused on the great work ahead that will take us into Phase II. The next 12 months will include the submittal of a Title V grant, written in conjunction with Dr. Al Solano and Nicola Perry, our new Guided Pathways consultant. The activities included in this grant were developed by our Guided Pathways Task Force, and will shape how Cypress College operationalizes the idea of creating guided pathways. For more information about Dr. Solano’s background and work, please visit his latest blog, where he details the work completed by Bakersfield College. Ms. Perry has consulted in our district, as well as in Southern California, and worked in the well-respected Maricopa (AZ) Community College District. The potential grant will allow us to focus on three critical areas:
- Distance Education: Increase Pathway options, increase the pools of trained faculty and adjunct faculty, strengthen SEM and CTE programs, especially for our underrepresented student populations
- Develop Completion Teams for Each Pathway: These completion communities have been tested throughout community colleges in California and have had great success here and in other states. The team is embedded within each school, providing a coordinated approach to supporting students by increasing the communication and coordination of our services.
- Develop a Faculty Center for Excellence: Invest in ourselves through professional development and continued learning opportunities. We have plans to create a Faculty Center of Excellence on the fourth floor of the Cypress College Complex. Whether the subject is writing and incorporating SLOs or ILOs, developing curriculum, and building equity and inclusion in your classroom, Cypress College will continue to have innovative, caring, and engaged faculty leading our charge to remain number one.
There is so much more ahead. This is an exciting time to be a Charger, as we are in the driver’s seat for building our future. Buen Cypress! We Take This Journey Together.