Changing the College Experience: Guided Pathways

After years of guiding the student body on the right path to their bachelor’s and beyond, the Community College of Philadelphia has introduced a way to keep those students on that path. The experience of being students is exciting but can be stressful when on their own. Without any direction, a student can find themself in academic and financial purgatory; taking classes they do not need; spending another year at the college and more money. A process not ideal for a student, especially at a community college. 

CCP has introduced a strategy that many colleges around the nation have followed, guided pathways. “Finding areas in which support services can reinforce classroom engagement requires time and a collaborative spirit between faculty, academic support services, counselors and advisors,” says Donald Guy Generals, president of CCP. Many students do not realize that the connections that are made on campus and throughout their educational careers are part of what moves them forward. The process of these pathways pushes students to find those meaningful connections and make friends along the way.

“Finding areas in which support services can reinforce classroom engagement requires time and a collaborative spirit between faculty, academic support services, counselors and advisors,” says Donald Guy Generals, president of CCP. Many students do not realize that the connections that are made on campus and throughout their educational careers are part of what moves them forward. The process of these pathways pushes students to find those meaningful connections and make friends along the way.

    “According to what pathway you are a part of, you will be connected with an advisor who is a part of your pathway,” says Ardencie Hall Karambe, a professor at the college in the theater department. 

Ultimately, the advisors in these pathways act as mentors to students and give them a sure reason to add a class to their roster. Since those advisors would know more about acting than a general academic advisor, they could give students a clearer explanation about a class that they are being advised to take. This form of guidance does not just affect roster choice, but scholarship and certificate choices, which school a student should apply for if they want to dual enroll, an elective close to the student’s major as well or even using programs like Canvas and Starfish Connect to stay updated on what is going on with whatever field they are going into. 

Along with this form of mentorship, the guided pathways also include curricular mapping to give students an easier journey toward graduation. Many students want to take all the classes necessary in one-semester without even considering the amount of work that goes into it and these maps solve the problem by shifting the student’s focus from their rosters quantity to how challenging the workload will be for them.

“Beyond this, it is an obligation that the College community must embrace to more fully realize a collective vision of improving student lives upon achievement of their goals,” says Samuel Hirsch, the Vice President for Academic and Student Success. The college already offers several forms of opportunities to make the path to student success a walk in the park and many professors have even gone the extra mile to make sure that their students are able to succeed, this form of direction is more beneficial to students down the line.

 

About the author

Abdullah Pullin
Editor-in-Cheif | + posts

Abdullah Pullin is an award-winning journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Community College of Philadelphia's newspaper, the Vanguard. Along with this, he is a poet, essayist, literary scholar and English major, pursuing his Associate degree and expecting it in the Summer of 2020.

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