Faculty & Staff Resources

What is Guided Pathways?

In essence, the California Guided Pathways Project is an approach to organizing college programs to make it easier for students to successfully navigate the college system and achieve their individual goals.  

Here is a short introduction produced by the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (CCCO).


The CCCO summarizes the approach as follows: "The Pathways model helps colleges clarify paths to student end goals, helps student select and stay on-path, and helps ensure quality learning. Guided pathways reform is a student-centered approach that can dramatically increase the number of students earning community college credentials, while closing equity gaps. Rather than work with a subset of students, guided pathways are a college-wide undertaking that provides a framework for integrating California-based initiatives such as SSSP, Equity, Basic Skills Transformation, the Strong Workforce Program, and California College Promise. The California Guided Pathways project was modeled from the American Association of Community Colleges (ACC) Pathways Project and adapted for implementation in California"*.


Colleges that adopt the Guided Pathways model focus their work on four "pillars" with a student-centered approach.  The pillars are:

Clarifying the path: How can the college create clear curricular pathways to further education and employment?

Entering the path: How can the college help students choose and enter their pathway?

Staying on the path: How can the college help student stay on their path?

Ensuring Learning: How can the college ensure that learning is happening with intentional outcomes?