Guided Pathways to introduce online class planning program


Courtesy of: California Guided Pathways

Valerie van den Broek, Features Editor

City College students will be able to navigate a virtual map to their educational goals, complete with which classes they need to get there and a timeline to graduation, by the 2020 school year.

City College was one of 20 California community colleges selected in 2017 to design and implement Guided Pathways, a project that helps students explore academic options, choose a program of study and develop a plan based on its program maps. The college has been working on implementing it the past two years and is now wrapping up its later stages.

The Sample Program Mapping is a part of Guided Pathways that offers an online map for students to see which classes they need to take for their major and the best ways to get there.

“Students will be able to see how they can organize the required and suggested courses to earn a particular certificate or degree, semester by semester,” said Margaret Prothero, department chair of English skills and Guided Pathways faculty coordinator.

Many students have reported being overwhelmed with the figuring out which classes to take, which ultimately leads to them dropping out before completing their educational goals.

“Research shows that both program maps and student educational plans help increase graduation and transfer rates,” Prothero said. “And they do so by helping students complete their educational goals more quickly and efficiently.”

Besides the online maps, academic counselors are made available to students to create a personalized plan, which includes what classes to take at what time.

“Sample Program Mapping is a great snapshot, but cannot replace academic counseling,” academic counselor Christy Grant said. “Students definitely need to meet in person as well.”

Student Senate President Joshua Villanueva said he is enthusiastic about the project.

“We have to think about the students, and this [Sample Program Mapping] will save us so much time,” he said. “I’m super supportive of the idea of helping to cut down these barriers.”

Not only does the Sample Program Mapping focuses on students success in college, but also success after graduation by providing program learning outcomes help from City College’s Career Center.

“Our career counselors help students in every step and stage of thinking about their interests,” Prothero said. “Choosing a major, and what kind of career they might like to explore.”

Guided Pathways is working in phases to get the project online as fast as possible. The first phase is working on the associate degree for transfer.

“We all work together to help you,” Prothero said in reference to City College students. “Your teachers, your academic counselor, and your career center counselor, and we are all here to help you determine and then reach your goals.”