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Guided Pathways


Cuyamaca College is one of 20 California community colleges chosen to take part in the California Guided Pathways Project (CAGP). Colleges selected for the three-year program are sending teams comprised of their President, a team facilitator, and three to five other stakeholders to six institutes designed to help campuses implement a fully-scaled guided pathway model. Each college taking part in the program has committed to implementing guided pathways for all incoming students by 2019.

Here are some questions and answers regarding the California Guided Pathways Project.

For more information about Guided Pathways, see this report by Dr. Rob Johnstone of the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement.

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How can I find out more about the fundamentals of Guided Pathways?

Drawing on research conducted by the Community College Research Center as well as the experience of several national organizations, the national Guided Pathways initiative led by  the American Association of Community Colleges grouped the essential, evidence-based practices of Guided Pathways into four dimensions or “Four Pillars”: (1) Clarify the Path, (2) Enter the Path, (3) Stay on the Path, and (4) Ensure Learning. These pillars serve as a foundation for the Demonstration Project and an adaptable and informational framework for the Guided Pathways Award Program.

Who is leading the California Guided Pathways Project that Cuyamaca College is involved with?

The project is a broad-based collaboration designed to adapt the national AACC Pathways model to California. Under the fiscal agency of the Foundation for California Community Colleges, the project draws on the expertise of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Bakersfield College, Center for Community College Student Engagement (CCCSE), Community College Research Center (CCRC), National Center for Inquiry & Improvement (NCII), and WestEd. Additional support will be provided by the Aspen Institute, Achieving the Dream, Jobs for the Future, and Public Agenda.

The work is supported by a California-based advisory committee that includes college representatives, Academic Senate for California Community Colleges, Achieving the Dream, California Acceleration Project, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, California State Universities System Office, Campaign for College Opportunity, Career Ladders Project, Chief Student Services Administrators Association, Education Results Partnership, Success Center for California Community Colleges, Institute for Evidence-Based Change, Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative, Legislative Analyst’s Office, and RP Group.

Who is funding the California Guided Pathways Project?

The project is funded through generous support by College Futures Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundationthe James Irvine Foundation, and the Teagle Foundation, in addition to fees paid by participating colleges.

What is the difference between the $150 million for the Guided Pathways Award Program announced in the 2017-18 State Budget and the California Guided Pathways Project that the Foundation for California Community Colleges is sponsoring and that Cuyamaca is taking part in? How are the two efforts united?

The California Guided Pathways Project (CAGP) is a competitive program consisting of 20  California  community  colleges  who  were  selected  (based  on  specific  criteria)  to participate in a pilot program to implement an integrated, institution-wide approach to student achievement by creating structured educational experiences that support each student from point of entry to  attainment of high-quality postsecondary credentials and  careers.

CAGP has a clearly-defined model, timeframe, and terms of participation, and is being managed by national experts and informed by a California-based advisory committee.

The $150 million provided in the state budget for Guided Pathways will support one-time awards (allocated over five years) to colleges to implement the Guided Pathways framework. Sufficient funding is available to support awards for all 114 California community colleges.

Participating colleges will integrate recent state investments and redesign academic pathways in ways that promote better course-taking decisions, minimize achievement gaps, and   increase the number of students who earn a certificate or degree. The Chancellor’s Office  and  the  Board  of  Governors  will  be  responsible  for  statewide  implementation  of  the California Guided Pathways Award Program. 

Our college is part of the California Guided Pathways Project (CAGP). Does this participation impact whether we can participate in the Guided Pathways Award Program?

No. Colleges can and are encouraged to implement Guided Pathways through a variety of support structures. The Award Program complements the CAGP and the AACC Pathways model. Colleges participating in the Demonstration Project will be well positioned to continue this work with funding provided  through  the state budget. In addition, due to the work that they have already done, colleges participating in the CAGP are likely to be able to commence work sooner and benefit from the Award Program’s robust set of technical assistance and support.

How does Guided Pathways relate to other initiatives like Basic Skills, OEI, Doing What Matters, College Promise, dual enrollment efforts (CCAP & Non-CCAP Agreements), etc?

Guided Pathways is not a new program or initiative but is rather a planning framework for colleges to bring together and scale effective programs, services, activities that currently exist into structures that include all students. Guided Pathways requires a whole-college transformational reform, which entails a breaking-down of silos and more dynamic   collaboration between faculty, administrators, and staff. The Guided Pathways framework will help colleges to integrate the best aspects of all the initiatives into cohesive strategies that   help more students get to and through college.

Last Updated: 05/18/2018
  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District