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Chaparral 2019-2020: 28.1 Guided Pathways at GCC

Guided Pathways at GCC

by Frankie Strong


Guided Pathways – What is it?

In 2017, the Chancellor's Office outlined a new Vision for Success for the California Community College system. This Vision for Success aims to improve the Community College system by making systematic changes that will benefit students and the community through the framework of Guided Pathways.

It is essentially a tool by which colleges can better assist students in achieving their educational goals.

The Chancellor’s office put forth principles of the guided pathways model in hopes that colleges create a student-centric approach that provides all students with A) a clear path that promotes better enrollment choices and student success; B) support services “that make it easier for students to get the help they need during every step of their community college experience” (Chancellor’s Office).


GCC’s Pathways

The four pillars provide a framework for community colleges. Briefly they are: first, create clear curricular pathways for students to begin their educational or career journey; second, help students choose and enter their pathway; third, help students stay on their path; and fourth, ensure student success with intentional outcomes.

We are already doing all four here at GCC in many ways. We have the Welcome Center, Outreach, Communications and Marketing addressing the first pillar. Our staff and counselors assist in the second pillar. The third is all of us, especially by offering the programs and services that help students remain steadfast on their path. Lastly, because we have collectively helped the student, they are able to graduate with a certificate or degree, or are qualified for gainful employment. You have heard of the saying, “it takes a village”, well, in regards to student success we are all involved either directly or indirectly. We are the village.

Guided Pathways is not new. There will not be any grand opening or a stop and start of what we are doing here. It is a gradual, evolutionary process that is continuous. We have begun the work of assessing and redesigning how we do things at GCC. One very important point is we are striving for student-centric change. It is essential that we all work together to identify student needs and to truly shape our programs and services with our students in mind.


How do we accomplish this?

We can begin by reviewing the processes and information that we provide to students. Is it clear to someone who is a completely new visitor to our college or to our website? Let us try to practice seeing things from the student perspective. We have many categories of students ranging from high school to adult learners; we have international, formerly incarcerated, veteran, community and others.

AND are we, the employees of the college, familiar with the information that is shared with students? Wouldn’t it benefit the students if we each were familiar with the information they are receiving from us?

We invite you to join the conversation about redesigning GCC’s processes to ensure that our students reach their educational and career goals on time. We cannot do this alone; we need your input and feedback. Please visit

The three Guided Pathways Coordinators will receive submissions to the Comment Box. You can remain anonymous should you choose. It is helpful to have contact information so we may follow up or ask questions.

Want to know more or further your knowledge regarding Guided Pathways?
Explore the webpage at:

Glendale Community College | 1500 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, California 91208 | Tel: 818.240.1000 | 
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