Call for Proposals: Strengthening Guided Pathways and Career Success by Ensuring Students Are Learning

Thursday, March 14, 2019


Call for Applications from Community Colleges to Participate in an AAC&U Funded Project in collaboration with Center for Community College Student Engagement.

Guided Pathways CFP (all questions).pdf

Guided pathways is an integrated framework, based upon structured experiences with student success at the center, that supports institutional transformation as articulated in Redesigning America’s Community Colleges: A Clearer Path to Student Success. Redesigning America’s Community Colleges. The Guided Pathways project 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.

AAC&U invites proposals from community colleges currently implementing the guided pathways framework that are seeking to build institutional capacity for the ensuring students are learning component of the framework (see above).

Up to twenty community colleges will be selected to join the two-year project to beta-test a research-based, scalable prototype for the ensuring students are learning component of the guided pathways framework that will lead to the development of tools and resources for institutions to achieve the stated outcomes for measuring success. Participating institutions seek to improve learning and quality in pathways programs to help students understand defined credential competencies and the alignment with employability skills and competencies.

Institutions selected to participate in the project will receive a $30,000 subaward to support campus efforts to achieve the project goals. In addition, participation in the project includes registration fees for selected campuses to attend the June 2019 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success, to enroll in the 2020 VALUE Institute, technical assistance and resources to design and implement equity-centered assessment of student learning outcomes, and opportunities to consider long-term strategies for ensuring students are learning within guided pathways. 

Project Requirements beyond participation in the June 2019 Institute on High-Impact Practices and Student Success and AAC&U’s VALUE Institute:

  • Provide an inventory of existing practices and data sources for assessing student proficiency of learning outcomes;
  • Gather baseline data on identified learning outcomes associated with guided pathways, and equity data and goals on student achievement;
  • Identify where project-based learning occurs within the guided pathways curriculum and associated assignments and create a baseline for assessing quality of those learning experiences;
  • Administer both direct (i.e. AAC&U VALUE rubrics) and indirect forms of assessment to test the efficacy of the ensure students are learning components;
  • Participate in online scorer training for the VALUE Institute;
  • Participate in site visits by project leaders; and
  • Provide feedback to project leaders for formative and summative evaluation efforts.


Eligible institutions must:

  1. Demonstrate readiness to focus on the fourth component of the guided pathways framework, ensuring students are learning, by completing the “Scale of Adoption” self-assessment (provided). Eligible institutions must demonstrate significant adoption across the first, second, and third components to establish a foundation for targeted focus on ensuring students are learning;
  2. Demonstrate ability to provide essential baseline data regarding learning outcomes, including the ability to disaggregate data by race/ethnicity, first-generation, gender, low-income status, and age;
  3. Demonstrate capacity to carry out direct and indirect assessment activities fundamental to the project, including preparedness to gather direct evidence from courses, organize data for uploading and analysis, ability to identify project-based learning experiences.

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm EDT on April 2nd, 2019 to be considered for this project. Notifications were sent on May 2, 2019.

The call for proposals has been closed. Thank you for your interest.

Project Leaders:

Tia Brown McNair, Vice President for Equity and Student Success

Ashley Finley, Senior Advisor to the President

Questions regarding the application or the submission process may be directed to: