Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning

Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning is a two-year project launched with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Ascendium Education Group. Guided Pathways is an integrated framework that supports institutional transformation with student success at the center based upon a structured experience, as articulated in Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success. Guided Pathways builds institutional capacity to define clear and coherent pathways for degree completion and to ensure learning while on the pathways, leading to completion of a postsecondary degree or credential.

The guided pathways framework has 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.
  4. Ensuring that students are learning.

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 twenty community colleges to build institutional capacity and to develop resources that will help institutions strengthen their efforts to ensure students are learning, as part of the Guided Pathways framework for student success.

Project goals:

1. To contribute to the research-based, scalable prototype for the ensuring students are learning component of the Guided Pathways framework and a set of professional development tools for institutions to achieve the stated outcomes for measuring success.

2. To develop a research design for studying the effects of this prototype on teaching and learning outcomes within a pathways framework at the institutional level.

3. To work collaboratively with faculty to improve learning and quality in pathways programs to help students understand defined credential competencies and the alignment with employability skills and competencies.

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

Please direct any questions to

AAC&U Project Staff:

Tia McNair, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Ashley Finley, Vice President of Research and Senior Advisor to the President

Lucie Bonneville, Program Coordinator, Diversity, Equity, and Student Success