Press Release

AAC&U Announces Twenty Institutions in New Guided Pathways Project

Washington, DC—The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) announced today the twenty institutions selected to participate in a new two-year project, Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning. The Guided Pathways project is designed to build institutional capacity to ensure students are learning.

“AAC&U is thrilled to partner with the selected Guided Pathways institutions to promote student success and demonstrate the ways in which community colleges are vital to our nation’s strength—serving as engines of discovery, innovation, and social mobility,” said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella.

As the leading national association focused on quality in undergraduate education, AAC&U, in collaboration with the Center for Community College Student Engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, will work with the twenty institutional participants to strengthen designs of project-based and applied learning experiences, and to assess student achievement of learning outcomes to advance equity and student success goals along guided pathways.

The Guided Pathways framework is composed of four main practice areas: (1) mapping pathways to student end goals; (2) helping students choose and enter a program pathway; (3) keeping students on path; and (4) ensuring that students are learning.

The following institutions will participate in the project:

  • Amarillo College
  • Chattanooga State Community College
  • Community College of Baltimore County Foundation, Inc.
  • Crafton Hills College
  • Finger Lakes Community College
  • Houston Community College
  • Indian River State College
  • Kapi’olani Community College
  • Kilgore College
  • Miami Dade College
  • Middlesex Community College
  • Monroe Community College
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Palo Alto College
  • Salt Lake Community College
  • San Antonio College
  • San Jacinto College
  • South Texas College
  • St. Petersburg College
  • Waubonsee Community College

Four additional institutions that responded to the call for proposals received honorable mentions:

  • Community College of Philadelphia
  • St. Philip’s College
  • Stanly Community College
  • SUNY Rockland Community College

“If we, as a nation, are going to close equity gaps in student outcomes, we must engage in collaborative and comprehensive efforts to help institutions that serve our most diverse students enhance their existing structures and practices to fully prepare students for success,” said Tia Brown McNair, AAC&U Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Student Success. “One goal of this effort is to learn from the work of these twenty institutions to inform the learning processes at many other institutions to ensure that learning and completion remain equal priorities.”

AAC&U is looking forward to partnering with the Pathways Collaborative on this effort and will convene an advisory group of leading experts to fully realize the project goals.

Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning is supported by funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ascendium Education Group.

To learn more about the Guided Pathways project, visit

About AAC&U

AAC&U is the leading national association dedicated to advancing the vitality and public standing of liberal education by making quality and equity the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education in service to democracy. Its members are committed to extending the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915, AAC&U now comprises 1,400 member institutions—including accredited public and private colleges, community colleges, research universities, and comprehensive universities of every type and size.

AAC&U functions as a catalyst and facilitator, forging links among presidents, administrators, faculty, and staff engaged in institutional and curricular planning. Through a broad range of activities, AAC&U reinforces the collective commitment to liberal education at the national, local, and global levels. Its high-quality programs, publications, research, meetings, institutes, public outreach efforts, and campus-based projects help individual institutions ensure that the quality of student learning is central to their work as they evolve to meet new economic and social challenges.

Information about AAC&U can be found at

About Ascendium

Ascendium Education Group (formerly Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates) is the nation’s largest federal student loan guarantor, a leading postsecondary education philanthropy and a provider of student success services for postsecondary institutions. Ascendium, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides information, tools and counseling to help millions of borrowers nationwide avoid default and keep the door to reenrollment open. Ascendium’s philanthropic mission is to elevate opportunities and outcomes for learners from low-income backgrounds so they can better achieve postsecondary educational and career success. To learn more, visit