Guided Pathways

Jackson College has completed the first phase of Guided Pathways, in conjunction with other Michigan Community Colleges and the Michigan Center for Student Success, as a Cohort 1 school working with CCRC, JFF, National Center for Inquiry & Improvement (NCII), and Public Agenda. Jackson College was also chosen to participate in the AACC Guided Pathways initiative supported by the Gates Foundation. The six pathways provide clearer sequences of courses, a coherent curriculum, and a connection to careers/transfer to support degree completion. We implemented Guided Pathways for Fall 2016. Each pathway offers an exploratory track to support students who are choosing a program and to minimize loss of credits.  To support this design, we implemented Student Planning (Colleague) and increased the number of advisors (Student Success Navigators).  

Several changes have happened in our curriculum as a result of Pathways. Reading courses for developmental students are becoming co-requisites, taught in conjunction with key gateway courses. We held a ‘speed dating’ event, during which program and pathway lead faculty met with arts and science faculty to discuss which General Education courses to recommend on respective program maps. One of our psychology professors worked with the student services assistant dean to develop an intake form to help students choose their pathway. The Seminar in Life Pathways course, required of all new students, guides students through career exploration and a detailed academic planning process. Faculty organize and host a pathways showcase each semester to feature programs and careers. Seminar students are required to attend. The registrar met with a regional university, Eastern Michigan University, to update and create articulation agreements based on the most requested transfer programs. For some agreements, EMU increased the number of transfer credits used for a degree and will accept students automatically into specific majors as juniors.

A Steering Committee of faculty members from each department, Student Services, Admissions, Marketing, and Information Technology oversees the development and implementation of Guided Pathways. The college re-organized academic departments by pathway. We are currently focused on establishing a process for monitoring milestones, improving transfer pathways, and analyzing the effectiveness of pre-requisites.

ID 16404

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