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Guided Pathways Implementation Model

The Student Success Center unites work being done throughout the state at the college level into statewide initiatives by encouraging peer support and learning between colleges and with experts from our communities and students as well as experts from across the country. Working to increase access to shared resources and a community of learning, the Center convenes college teams and partner organizations throughout the year to foster peer and expert learning opportunities designed to inspire and accelerate meaningful policy and practice changes.

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Guided Pathways is a framework for learning and transforming your college. To fully engage in this work, your college and leadership team will need to commit to significant change and continuous improvement over a long period of time.  Because this type of institutional change is the aggregate of numerous large and small changes and because of the natural turnovers in staffing, it is important to create and iterate your plans, challenges, and progress transparently.

The 2024-2026 Guided Pathways Work Plan is primarily designed to help your college describe your progress in implementing Guided Pathways practices at scale, reflect on opportunities and capacity for further work, and plan for 2024-2026 activities. In addition, this tool will serve to inform the peer and professional development learning agenda for future statewide professional development events, coaching, and additional technical assistance, build connections between colleges based on their priorities, and reinforce your college’s commitment to and progress in implementing Guided Pathways with fidelity.

Each Section of the work plan is arranged to comply with legislative requirements from the Workforce Education and Investment Act, the legislative action that provides the system with Guided Pathways Funding. The sections are further aligned with questions from the 2022 Scale of Adoption Survey, administered by the Community College Research Center. Each college received a copy of an individualized plan that is populated with college responses from the survey, this template is generic in that it contains all potential scale of adoption measures and associated prompts for response.

The work plan is due Friday, June 28th with submissions emailed to Monica Wilson at

Pathways (Meta Majors), Programs of Study, and Program Maps

Programs of Study (clustered into Pathways) are well-designed with clearly defined learning outcomes aligned with industry identified needs and transfer pathways and are clearly mapped to guide and prepare students to enter employment and/or further education regardless of point of entry and course load. Students know which courses they should take when, are directed to default course selections designed to lead to on time completion, and are able to customize their academic plans by working with an adviser or faculty member to address their individual context.

Outcomes Alignment

Course outcomes are aligned with program and pathway outcomes, and those learning outcomes inform a default course taking framework.

Structured Exploratory Experiences

Default structured exploratory experiences have been included in the first two quarters of each program/degree map to enable each student to narrow, confirm, or change their program/degree choice. These experiences may be offered as a course, sequence of courses or be embedded in a First Year Experience course or identified program courses. These experiences should support students in exploring the world of work (through ethnographic study, building professional network access, etc.) in addition to exploring programs within their pathway.

Predictive Courses

For each Program of Study, key courses in addition to math and English have been identified that are predictive of student success in completing that specific program. This information is used to develop supports and increase the integration of inclusive teaching and learning strategies to increase success in these predictive courses and used by advisors when helping students make informed selections and/or transitions between programs of study. Please note: This is different than identifying and addressing “High Enrollment/Low Completion Classes.”

Math Pathways

Required math courses have been identified that are appropriately aligned and contextualized to each Programs of Study.


Schedules are consistent and predictable, and are organized in a way that makes it possible for a full-time student to complete a two year degree in two years (this could include block scheduling, hyflex courses, or other flex schedule models). Courses are scheduled to ensure students are able to enroll in the courses (considering course conflicts, complementary and toxic combinations of courses, etc) they need when they need them and can plan their lives around school from one term to the next.


Every new credential seeking student is provided structured exploratory experiences (through orientation, entry advising, college success course, ethnographic experience, etc) informed by labor market information and designed to support their choice of a pathway upon enrollment, and confirm a program/degree map within no more than two quarters. Orientation and intake activities are mandatory and designed to build a sense of belonging, clarify student career and college goals, and to create a comprehensive individual education and financial plan based on program/degree maps. 


Placement is an equitable, measurable, educational process that fosters a sense of belonging and prioritizes every students’ access to college level curriculum.

Educational Planning

Educational Planning is mandatory, accessible, and highly engaging for all credential-seeking students. It provides meaningful information for student pathway/program decision making within two quarters. The college educational planning services monitor and provide ongoing educational plan adjustments as students progress through completion or transfer. Professional educational planners, college navigators, advisors and faculty maintain close cooperation to ensure equitable access to all programs for each student.

Degree Math and College Level English within One Year

Most students (including basic skills/ transitional studies students) earn pathway/ program appropriate college-level English and degree math credit within one year of enrollment (for part time students, within 45 credits).

Progress Monitoring

Student progress toward credential completion is monitored on an ongoing and regular basis. This information is used to inform selective admissions program entry, scheduling, course design, and educational planning policy and practice. Student progress monitoring data is used to provide frequent and regular feedback and resources to students, college faculty, staff, and administrators.

Engaging Students in Support of Completion

The college identifies when students are losing momentum in progress toward completion and has communication tools, policies and supports in place to work with students to address their identified barriers. Students who are not making progress toward accessing selective admissions programs (nursing, dental hygiene, etc) are provided relevant information regarding additional pathway options leading to a family sustaining career.

Classroom Environment and Course Design

Faculty are active partners in improving student success. Faculty provide meaningful and equitable learning experiences for all students and assess whether course design is resulting in student mastery of outcomes without disparities by race or gender. The college uses disaggregated student course outcomes data in addition to regular feedback from faculty and students to support focused professional development opportunities designed to improve instruction, course design, pedagogy, and assessment.

The allocation numbers for guided pathways from the Workforce Education Investment Account, HB 2158, have been released to the colleges.  There is an additional 4.1 million dollars to be spread across the colleges for the 2022-2023 program year.  The funding allocation model, approved by WACTC, is based on an enrollment mix that takes FTE and headcount into consideration.  These funds are budgeted as ongoing for the foreseeable future.  The table below provides guidance on investment guidelines for the funds.

HB 2158 Identified Areas

Guided Pathways Essential Practices


Investment Guidelines

Student Support Services – Advising & Counseling
  • Design an advising experience that provides equity-minded educational planning for every degree seeking student (structured to co-create education plan with every student)
  •  Design an intake, onboarding, and orientation experience which includes a mechanism for all students to learn about the full suite of opportunities and choose a meta-major by the end of the first quarter of enrollment.
  • Design a financial aid experience including integration of strategic plans to address student food and housing insecurity.
  • Design a placement experience that considers a range of instruments in lieu of placement tests including high school GPA, high school and other college transcript analysis, Guided Self-Placement, etc.
  • Construct plan to integrate evidence-based intervention strategies with analysis of student credit accumulation on path
  • Redesign of the advising system
  • Redesign the intake/ orientation/ onboarding system
  • Redesign a holistic financial support system
  • Redesign the placement system
  • Develop an integrated evidence-based intervention plan
  • Engage students’ feedback in the redesign process
Faculty Engagement
  • Engage faculty across disciplines in redesign efforts including meta major development, curricular design and integration of contemporary andragogy
  • Involve faculty in data analysis of course, program and labor market outcomes
  • Engage faculty in focus group facilitation related to the student experience
  • Engage interdisciplinary faculty in planning time for data analysis, meta major and curricular redesign efforts
  • Provide faculty professional development related to culturally relevant andragogy practices designed for equitable outcomes
  • Facilitation of student focus groups
Meta Major Development/ Program Alignment/ Designing Degree Maps
  • Design Meta Majors and related programs using labor market information and in collaboration with industry to identify regional employer needs
  • Development of clear & transparent degree maps
Design degree appropriate math and English credit structured within 1 year of enrollment for EVERY student
  • Develop a Meta-Major structure aligning programs and curriculum with program maps for every student  
  • Create effective communications materials for ease of use by students and community members, including mode of delivery
Structured Exploration
  • Design an equity competent/ culturally relevant structured meta-major/ career exploration experience for ALL students
  • Development of effective communication materials and strategies for/ with diverse student and community review and analysis
  • Design or improve student structured exploration of pathways

Technology Data analytics and student tracking

  • Identify system-wide technology needs & potential solutions 
  • Construct a plan including integration support of relevant stakeholders to meet technology gaps
  • Integrate technology solutions to collect and disseminate essential information (i.e.; degree maps, credit accumulation on pathway, early alert, to students, faculty and staff)
Research & Evaluation
  • Construct a plan to review disaggregated student success data college wide on an ongoing and consistent basis
  • Develop research capacity plan to analyze essential practices (i.e. degree maps, credit accumulation on pathway, etc.)
  • Identify evidence based excellent practices to improve student completion rates and eliminate equity gaps
  • Improve infrastructure (i.e. data systems, IR, IT and end user capacities, etc.) designed to effectively analyze and disseminate disaggregated data for identifying practice improvement opportunities
  • Enhance research and evaluation capacities

Colleges will be required to submit annual reports on the impacts of guided pathways funding on postsecondary outcomes. A survey instrument, similar to what has been used in prior years, will be released by the middle of June 2022 and due September 9, 2022.  This is another data point we will draw from in assessing guided pathways implementation and planning for technical assistance and professional development.

Colleges receive technical and leadership support by a coaching team. Learn more at the Coaching Corner

Emerging technical assistance is offered based on emerging needs from the colleges. Learn more about current offerings from the Student Success Center staff and partners.

Find current studies and literature related to national and state Guided Pathways implementation strategies and outcomes.

Find information and materials for upcoming and previous Guided Pathways learning opportunities 

Find scheduled and previous meeting details including agendas, minutes, and materials from the Guided Pathways Advisory Council meetings.

Guided Pathways Listserv

Join the Guided Pathways Listserv to stay in touch!

Guided Pathways Contacts

Find Guided Pathways contacts, and stay in touch.

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Last Modified: 3/14/24, 12:23 PM

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