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Guided Pathways Model Leads To Student Success

Dear Ryan,

I’ve heard the phrase “Guided Pathways.” What does it mean and how will it help me?

Sincerely, New Student


Dear New Student,

Guided Pathways is an initiative to help Pima Community College students complete their programs in a timely manner. It includes proactive advising, academic maps, 15 to Finish and “meta-majors.” Guided Pathways involves:

  • Mapping pathways to students’ end goals
  • Helping students decide upon and enter a program pathway
  • Keeping students on track
  • Ensuring students are meeting learning outcomes

The College has been working on academic maps that align to programs of study leading to either transfer to a four-year university or immediate employment. This includes redefining the math levels needed for the long-term goals of students. The pathways also help students accomplish their long-term goals by mapping their educational paths with the endpoint in mind.

Students are kept on the path through proactive advising, which includes working with program advisors assigned to specific programs of study. This new advising system monitors students’ progress toward degree completion and helps advisors to better meet each student’s needs. The College also is creating meta-majors – or academic focus areas – as a way for students to explore areas of interest and then confirm a major. New students attend a new student orientation, where they meet with an academic counselor or program advisor and register for first-semester courses.

15 to Finish is another initiative geared to `student success and on-time graduation. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, only 13% of community college students graduate in two years, 22% within three years, and 28% within four years. By enrolling in 15 credits every semester at Pima, students can finish in two years with a degree. For those who complete core classes such as Math and Writing early, the odds of graduating increase tremendously.

Guided Pathways helps you navigate your educational path from point A to point B. Think of it as having a personal guide, along with a map and compass.

Sincerely, Ryan

Ryan Sermon is a Pima Admissions and Recruitment Program Coordinator

Have questions?




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