In working with hundreds of colleges around the country, we’ve observed a lot of exploration and activity around guided pathways – and we’ve also observed that this focus on the exploration activity has in some cases unintnetionally taken the focus off understanding and optimizing the student experience. For outcomes to markedly improve within a guided pathways context, the student experience itself will have to evolve significantly. To that end, we think that colleges might benefit from a centering (or re-centering) of their guided pathways work on improving the student experience as they move into and through the college. To ensure that guided pathways efforts are student-centered, NCII and its partners offer a set of student experience research questions. The intent is to focus colleges on quantitative and qualitative measures that would demonstrate the impact of guided pathways design work on the student experience.
NCII GPRS 4: Key Decisions for Colleges Transforming the Student Experience through Guided Pathways (Fall 2019)
While it is true that every college is on a unique improvement journey that has a multi-year history — and colleges serve different student populations — in working with hundreds of colleges across the county we have observed that colleges must wrestle with the same fundamental decisions about how to optimize the student experience under a guided pathways framework. In response to this, NCII & Friends have identified a list of key decisions we see as truly vital to transforming the student experience under a guided pathways framework. We offer these decisions not as a exhaustive checklist but to serve as a guide and a point of departure to help colleges with their planning and implementation of a transformed student experience.
NCII GPRS 3: Return-on-Investment (ROI) Model for Guided Pathways (Spring 2018)
Over the six years since the first national guided pathways initiative – Completion by Design – kicked off in 2011, the movement has picked up speed at a highly unusual pace for higher education. We estimate now that 250 colleges around the country are in various stages of guided pathways reform, which is wonderful news for the millions of students that they serve. An often-asked question about guided pathways is “Guided pathways sounds great and we believe it will help our students, but how can we afford to do this – especially in times of declining enrollment?” The model and associated documents provided below help colleges explore this issue, suggesting that we not only consider the costs of doing things differently under a guided pathways model but also the net return to the college in incremental tuition and/or apportionment revenue.
NCII GPRS 2: Guided Pathways Demystified II (Fall 2017)
Feedback from the field after Guided Pathways Demystified I was released was that it helped colleges start and/or evolve conversations about the guided pathways movement on their campuses. Since the publication of GPDM1, feedback from the field has shifted to a host of new questions about guided pathways that are more focused on implementation. This is a great sign for the guided pathways movement, and in this paper, Rob Johnstone & Kelley Karandjeff explore these ten more implementation-focused questions about guided pathways.
NCII GPRS 1: Guided Pathways Demystified I (Fall 2015)
College leaders and practitioners know the completion agenda is here to stay. Perhaps the most promising movement explored in the past five years to achieve our completion goals centers on providing students “guided pathways” to success. This paper explores 10 of the most commonly asked questions about guided pathways collected by Rob Johnstone and his colleagues across the country over the past five years. The paper shares Rob’s thinking about why these important questions may actually lead us to focus on guided pathways more, not less.